Intraocular lens (IOL) by Dr. John W. Murrell

Cataract surgery has become very high- tech, quick, usually pain free, very effective with very good to excellent results that can last a lifetime. Technology has scientifically increased the precision and safety of cataract surgery and provided many options for patient’s postoperative vision. The cataract patient today has many options to choose from depending on their lifestyle and how much independence they want from glasses. Let’s review these IOL options so that you can make a well thought out decision on your vision based on your lifestyle and needs. I have chosen the Alcon company headquartered in Fort Worth, TX for the IOL’s that I use. I would like you to choose the IOL that is best for you and your lifestyle. There are 4 types of IOL’s available. The most common patient with monovision is a near sighted person who has one eye corrected for distance vision with a contact lens (CTL) while the near vision in the other eye has no correction. Those patients can choose to continue the monovision when they have the cataract surgery with one eye corrected for a distance focal point and the other eye corrected for near. This will reduce the need for glasses. Patients in my experience are usually very happy after cataract surgery. However, monovision will usually only be offered to those who have tried monovision previously and who have liked it for years. The monofocal IOL is covered by insurance and has no out-of-pocket cost to you. Contact us today for a consultation

The conventional monofocal

(The conventional monofocal)

Corrects vision in one focal point (when you see the best without glasses) this can be at distance (most common), near, or intermediate.

  • 25% of patients may still need a weak pair of glasses at a focal point that they choose (usually distance.)
  • 100% of patients will need for the 2 focal points that they did not chose.
  • You will need reading glasses 100% of the time if you choose a distance focal point.
  • You will need distance glasses 100% of the time if you choose near focal point.
  • There are few patents that have mono vision prior to cataract surgery. Mono vision is when one eye sees well at a distance and the other sees near.

Premium Lens Options – additional cost for these lenses not covered by insurance

Intraocular Lens

Acrysof IQ Toric Lens

(The conventional monofocal IOL with astigmatism)

Almost every eye has some astigmatism. This occurs when the clear cornea in the front of the eye is irregularly shaped. Those patients with very minimal or mild astigmatism do not require this IOL. However, those patients who have moderate to severe astigmatism may choose this IOL so they can see better at the focal point they choose (usually distance).

  • 25% of patients may still need distance glasses
  • 100% of patients will need reading glasses
  • Remember, this is a premium IOL and there is an out-of-pocket cost to you.

Acrysof IQ VivityTM Lens

(Distance & Intermediate IOL)

This IOL is designed to give an extended depth of focus to give good distance and intermediate vision. This will enable patients to see the computer and dashboard when driving and still give excellent distance vision.

  • 5% of these patients may still need distance / intermediate glasses while 85% will not need distance or intermediate glasses.
  • 50% of the patients may see ok at near with good lighting, while 50% of the patients will need reading glasses.
  • This technology does not create glare or halos at night.
  • This IOL is available with a Toric option if the patient has moderate to severe astigmatism.
  • Remember, this is a premium IOL and there is an out-of-pocket cost to you.

Acrysof IQ PanOptix Lens

(Distance, Intermediate, and Near IOL)

This IOL gives vision at all 3 focal points: Distance, Intermediate (computer/dash board), and Near.

  • 20% of the patients may still need glasses at distance , intermediately or near while 80% won’t need glasses.
  • This IOL design may give glare or halos of light at night (in my experience less than 5%). While many patients have this, very few are bothered by it.
  • This IOL is available in a Toric option if the patient has a moderate to severe astigmatism.
  • Remember, this is a premium IOL and there is an out-of-pocket cost to you.

Can Each Eye Have a Different Multifocal IOL?

It's possible to have a different IOL in each eye. Mixing IOLs may be ideal if you want to improve distance vision in one eye and near vision in the other, for example. We make this choice very carefully with an in-depth discussion about your desired outcome, needs, and preferences.

How Can I Prepare for the Intraocular Lens Procedure?

There usually isn't much to do to prepare for cataract removal surgery. During your consultation, it is important to inform the doctor of any medications you're taking. Some may need to be stopped or altered to prevent surgical risks. You'll receive pre-surgical instructions before your procedure. Please review them well in advance and contact our office if you have any questions. You may also receive a prescription for antibiotics to begin taking before surgery. If this is the case, it is important to use them as directed.

How Do IOL Implants Work?

The IOL is made with precise power based on the position of the lens, the curvature of the cornea, and the length of the eye. Each of these measurements is taken prior to surgery and may be checked again during surgery, when adjustments can be made. Your intraocular lens is designed to work very much like your natural lens or prescription eyeglasses or contacts. As light passes through the front of the eye, it bends based on the power of the IOL. This focuses rays of light to land accurately on the retina at the back of the eye. The accuracy of the rays of light supports crisp, clear vision at multiple distances.

How Do You Know if You Need an Intraocular Lens?

Every person who undergoes cataract removal surgery needs an intraocular lens. This is because, during cataract removal surgery, the entire natural lens of the eye is extracted. Intraocular lens technology can also be used to improve vision that is not affected by cataracts. This is referred to as refractive lens exchange surgery. It is sometimes considered for adults who are not good candidates for LASIK.

How is Implantation Performed?

Lens implantation is the final aspect of cataract removal surgery. After the clouded lens is removed during the procedure the new lens, the IOL is folded and inserted into the same capsule that held the natural lens. It is secured in the capsule, which will naturally heal around the IOL over the course of several days.

How Long Do Multifocal Lenses Last?

Multifocal IOLs are designed to last many years, if not indefinitely. The new lens is positioned just like the one that has been removed and it does not require any specific maintenance. You shouldn't even be aware that you have it, other than that you can see better than you have in a long time.


As you can see, modern cataract surgery and the IOL options provide today’s cataract patients with many choices. Learning as much as you can about these choices prior to your evaluation in my office will help you ensure that you get the type of vision requirements that you desire. There is also much more detailed information on the internet regarding these IOL’S and I encourage you to check them out.

Schedule a Consultation

To learn more schedule a consultation at our Amarillo, TX office with Dr. Murrell by calling (806) 351-1177 or (800) 782-6393.

Contact Us For All Your Health Related Queries!

Panhandle Eye Group Subspecialists

7411 Wallace Blvd
Amarillo, TX 79106

Amarillo Cataract & Eye Surgery Center

7310 Fleming Ave
Amarillo, TX 79106

Office Hours

We offer earlier morning appointment starting at 7:40am for those who choose to come in at an earlier convince. Our phone hours are as posted.

8:15 AM - 4:30 PM
8:15 am - 4:30 pm
8:15 am - 4:30 pm
8:15am - 12:30pm

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