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Crystalens Cost with Cataract Surgery

Updated on October 03, 2013

It seems like life was much simpler when I was a child. Ice cream was offered in three flavors: vanilla, chocolate, or strawberry. That was all I needed to know to make me happy.

Today, there are just too many choices available. Once in a while, I have a compelling need for someone to take control and tell me which options to select. It has never been more true than this year, when I was confronted with worsening vision.

I’m having a cataract removed from my left eye in one month. I’m in good company. Cataract surgery is the most frequently performed surgery in the United States. Each year, approximately 3 million Americans undergo the procedure, mostly with satisfactory results.

How We Got Here

Decades ago, patients undergoing cataract surgery had no choice but to wear thick glasses for the rest of their lives, since there was nothing to replace the natural lens which had been extracted. Eventually, however, researchers developed the monofocal intraocular lens implant, followed by multifocal implants, and finally, in 2003, the Crystalens accommodating intraocular (IOL) lens implant.

The Crystalens IOL is now in its fifth generation, the Crystalens AO.  When I had my surgery, I had the previous generation (the Crystalens HD) implanted in my eye.

The Crystalens IOL, unlike its counterparts, actually works like the eye’s natural lens. There is no fixed focal point where the eye focuses best. The lens actually mimics the adjustments that the eye muscles make when they shift from focusing on something near, like reading material, to something far, like the horizon. After weeks or months, an individual’s brain eventually adjusts to the lens so that the transition from near to intermediate to far is seamless.

Most people who have the Crystalens implanted will enjoy freedom from glasses in most situations, with perhaps low light and very tiny print giving them difficulty. A significant proportion, however, will continue to need reading glasses.

Consumer Considerations

The Crystalens has enjoyed consumer success. Globally, approximately 7 million people are walking around with this lens implanted in their cataract-free eyes.

So many choices now, so many more difficult decisions. The patient is now a very important part of the cataract surgery process. And as consumers, we all want to find the best value for our money where we can.

The Crystalens is an expensive premium IOL. In fact, it is very lucrative for the ophthalmologist who sells it to you. But don’t expect to find up-to-date lens costs by visiting various opthalmologists’ web sites. These web sites tend to give you the same marketing information about the Crystalens that Bausch & Lomb offers. Also, you cannot just phone an ophthalmologist and expect the office assistant to blurt out their cost for a Crystalens. Very likely, they would encourage you to set up an appointment with the doctor for a cataract evaluation.


So, where do you turn to get an idea of the Crystalens cost? In addition to having the price spelled out for me at two different ophthalmologists' offices, I have investigated reports on the Internet and spoken with individuals to get an approximate range of prices for this lens. You can expect to pay between $2500 and $3000+ (per eye) for your Crystalens. The cost may vary with the area of the country, the length of time the doctor has been practicing, the doctor’s reputation and expertise with the Crystalens, and the amount of overhead he has in his practice.

How Are the Costs Distributed?

I paid slightly more than average for my Crystalens – about $3300 for a lense to be implanted in my left eye. But when I was ready to pay for my Crystalens, I found out that this cost was broken down into two amounts to equal $3300 -- that is, $2800 for the lens, and $500 to my optometrist for the co-management fee. Co-management with your referring optometrist is quite common with LASIK surgery, and apparently, with cataract surgery. But since most people don’t need to wear glasses after they get a Crystalens, I cannot help but feel the $500 is simply their kickback fee to my optometrist, and not much more. It would be an excellent idea to inquire about these co-management possibilities when you first go for your surgical evaluation. It might save you some confusion if you are doing price comparisons with a couple of surgeons.

Also, be aware that your surgeon may price things differently, and include more. Some offices will collect $1000 as the co-management fee to the optometrist, and will charge more for the IOL. If the cataract surgeon also does a lot of Lasik surgery, he/she may charge more for the Crystalens, and throw in free Lasik or PRK touch-ups if you are not satisfied with your visual outcome. In effect, you'll be paying up-front for the possibility of Lasik or PRK enhancement. This could make your lens cost $4500-$5000 for one eye.


What About Astigmatism?

You also need to think about whether or not your doctor includes the LRI (limbal relaxing incisions) in the cost of your Crystalens. If you want a chance of improving your astigmatism without any further refractive surgery, you may opt for your surgeon to put some tiny incisions in your cornea in the operating room.

When I chose the Crystalens, my surgeon included the LRI in the purchase price. If a patient chooses any other lense, the LRI will be billed to the patient (it won't be covered by insurance, because its purpose is refractive).

It is very important that you are clear about the coverage for LRI, if you approve this surgical procedure. Somewhere in your consent forms, you should find a signed statement acknowledging your understanding about the costs. In fact, you really should ask about the possibility of the LRI at your first surgical evaluation.

If you're confused about what LRI is, look to the right and watch the brief video. This is a short procedure that could make a difference in your outcome.

What About Insurance?

Since I am not old enough for Medicare and I don’t use Medicaid, I cannot be too explicit about how their reimbursements work. But I do know that Medicare has no problem paying for cataract surgery. Medicare will only pay for the cost of a standard, no-frills monofocal IOL, though, and expects you to pay the difference for a premium lens.

I have private insurance. I can’t imagine any standard medical policy would pay for a premium IOL like a Crystalens, and in fact, mine does not. They might if it could be proven medically necessary, but that is not going to happen. 99.9% of the population will function well with a monofocal implant, so that’s what they cover. I had to pay for my Crystalens up-front. If I had not had the money, the doctor’s office offered 0% interest installment payments until the lens was paid off.

Cataract in the Human Eye

WikiMedia Commons
WikiMedia Commons

Your Eyes, Your Choice

Weigh all of the factors, but you’re going to want an excellent surgeon to operate on your eyes. I have had two cataract evaluations from separate surgeons.  If you have plenty of time and money, you may also wish to undergo an examination with a different doctor. Be aware, though, that a cataract evaluation is an endurance test – mine took about three hours. If you have a co-existing abnormality, as I do with my left eye, or you have a chronic disease, you might have to go for an evaluation with a retina specialist. You’ll get a good idea from visits to the two physicians as to how well they will cooperatively manage your condition. If you feel confident, look no further!

The Crystalens -- the real thing is only 1/4" long

Is Your Doctor Pushing the Crystalens?

Office staff will be the likely people to give you the pricing options for IOL's. The doctor is usually too busy to go into detail with you about this. Your communication with them may or may not include pushiness to make the sale for any particular lens -- it can certainly go either way. The most helpful refractive counselor in an ophthalmologist's office is the employee who has already had cataract surgery, and can talk about how he/she has adjusted to their lens. But you may not be so lucky as to find a gem like that. Whomever you talk to, be cautious. If at all possible, check out what they say with another surgeon, or do some research on the web.

OK, so maybe they're pushing the Crystalens. This is not necessarily a bad thing. True, surgeons are motivated by money, but think about it for a moment. Many surgeons have developed a particular expertise with implanting the Crystalens in the eight years it has been available. They feel confident in their skill and want you to have a good visual outcome. And the Crystalens has generated a comparatively small number of consumer complaints.

You'll definitely feel more confident if your surgeon's practice has been awarded the Crystalens Center of Excellence designation. To check to see if your doctor owns such a practice, go here.

The Crystalens IOL is not the best choice for everyone, but it can be a good gamble if you can afford it.

My Choice, Your Choice

I researched and deliberated, even down to the point of agonizing over whether I wanted to have cataract surgery right now, or put it off for another year.

Yes, there are just too many choices available today. And I do have a need for someone to take control, at least occasionally, and narrow down my options. And eventually, the retina specialist did just that. He said, “I believe your only choices are the Crystalens or a standard monofocal IOL.”

Update: I did opt for the Crystalens. It has been a year since I had a Crystalens implanted in my left eye. The same year I also had a vitrectomy and ERM peel in the same eye, which gave me back several lines of vision. In the last few months, as my retina has healed, I have experienced some accommodation with my vision. This means that the Crystalens is doing what it is supposed to do. I now remove my glasses to work at the computer. I must wear glasses for driving due to the development of myopia in my right eye, and with the added complication of the developing cataract.

I have experienced no problems with the lens either. My results are pretty good, considering I have only one Crystalens. It is possible, six months from now, that I'll have cataract surgery in the other eye, and with two of these IOL's, my accommodation should be even better.

Many people will have their cataract surgeries two weeks apart. It's a personal decision for most everyone. I have chosen to wait longer, and I remain positive about the Crystalens.

Update on June 14, 2011

On a follow-up visit to my cataract surgeon, he noted that I needed a YAG capsulotomy, which is a pretty normal occurrence months or years after cataract surgery. I will go in to have the posterior capsule, which has become cloudy, lasered and opened up so that more light can get through. This will likely improve my vision in the left eye, which has probably deteriorated some since last Christmas.

Update on September 13, 2011

I had the YAG capsulotomy about a month ago. With this procedure, one does experience a few floaters initially. I got used to them. After a few weeks, I haven't noticed anything unusual, and my optometrist has looked at my IOL in a follow-up visit. Everything looks clear with the capsule holding the lens now.

Update on October 7, 2011

I have decided to have cataract surgery on my right eye next month. After I get my second Crystalens, I will have a much better idea of how I did with this lens. I will write another update after the lense has settled in. My surgeries have occurred almost 2 years apart.

Update on January 13, 2012

I had my second cataract surgery on 11/15/2011. Everything went well, and my right eye was implanted with a Crystalens AO. One day after surgery, I was seeing 20/20 for distance! That's really great, since I have some astigmatism. During surgery, my surgeon did the LRI (limbal relaxing incisions) on my cornea, which lessens astigmatism. By the way, the LRI procedure is included in the price of the Crystalens.

But today, I went for the second follow-up appointment with the optometrist who is managing my after-care. He says the first 90 days after cataract surgery are spent monitoring the healing of your eye (I have not yet reached 90 days post-surgery, obviously). After the 90-day period, the person who got the Crystalens just needs to be patient -- very patient. It can take a year or more to see what your full visual outcome will be.

My optometrist also remarked that Bausch & Lomb will tell you what is a reasonable expectation for just how spectacle-free the patient is going to be, which may differ somewhat from patient expectations.

I would be ecstatic if I could read a novel without glasses, using good lighting. We'll see.

I'll be back in a few months with another update.

Update on October 3, 2013

It has now been about a year since the second cataract surgery. I have the Crystalens in both eyes.

Although I now have 20/20 at a distance, and my intermediate vision is good, I still need readers for a lot of close work -- reading or sewing, etc.

Most print books or periodicals have text that is about 10 point size. That is marginal for me, and I need to wear readers. With 12 point text, and with good lighting, I can get by without glasses.

So, for labels in department stores or on canned goods at the supermarket, I need my readers, or in poor lighting as you encounter in some restaurants.

Let me qualify my choice of the Crystalens, though. The reason I have 20/20 vision at a distance is because my astigmatism has been corrected through the LRI (limbal relaxing incisions) that were done on both corneas, with both surgeries.

Those two tiny incisions on each cornea may not seem like much, but they were responsible for the ability to drive without glasses.

Those two tiny incisions done on each cornea are included in the cost of the Crystalens, at least the way my surgeon prices it. If you get a monofocal lense, or a Restor lense, etc., the incisions MAY NOT BE included, and you could receive a bill of up to $2500 with each surgery. The total bill could, potentially, be more than the cost of a Crystalens.

So, was the Crystalens the right choice? It was for me. Even though I still have to wear readers, I got rid of my astigmatism, of which I had a "medium" amount.
I have good intermediate vision. Everything on my car's dashboard looks clear.

Do you have astigmatism? If so, how much? I would recommend a thorough conversation with your surgeon about the way he prices his products, and how you could benefit from trying the Crystalens. Your Crystalens will accommodate, or not, for close work. It will mimic the "flex" of the natural lense, or it won't. It's highly individual! Everyone has different expectations, as well.

If you don't have astigmatism, and you have nothing to gain from getting the premium lense implanted, I would suggest getting a monofocal lense or a diffractive lense. Ask your surgeon what kind of visual outcome you could expect. With a monofocal lense, you are going to have your lense "set" for distance, or "set" for close work, and you might be just fine, say, seeing great at a distance, but using readers for close work. Or vice versa. In this case, you will have to consider the kind of lifestyle you have, and just how important distance vision is. Or how important reading vision is.

I actually had the outcome of a person who had monofocal lenses implanted, with them set for distance. But I got rid of my astigmatism, too. I would not change my mind on anything I did with my two cataract surgeries.

Note: The information contained in this article is not meant to diagnose or treat any disease. If you have any of the symptoms mentioned in this article, consult your personal physician.

Photo Credits

Photo of brown eye from lookintomyeyes

Photo of a human eye with a cataract by Rakesh Ahujah, M.D.


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    • gracenotes profile image

      gracenotes 2 years ago from North Texas

      Hi DeniseVU,

      Sorry it took a while for me to respond. I am glad that you are doing so well, but sorry you'll have to have the additional procedure. I was not familiar with B & L's new lense, so thanks for the update. I hope your vision goal is reached eventually.

      I had some minor problems for a while with the "edges" thing, especially early in the morning. Be patient and I trust that everything will be resolved.

    • DeniceVU profile image

      Denice Victor Ullestad 2 years ago from Marysville, WA

      Hi Grace,

      It's been 4 weeks since my cataract surgery. My surgeon went with the newly FDA-approved lens by Bausch and Lomb: Trulign Toric. It's a Crystalens but it's specifically for correcting astigmatism from within the eye to minimize the need for further vision-correcting surgery or procedures.

      My surgeon was the first to implant this and I was the first patient to receive it in my area. A representative from Bausch and Lomb was there to observe my surgery.

      My vision was 20/25 the day after surgery with hopes it would improve after the dilation period was over. Two weeks after surgery though, it started to get worse and unfortunately the toric lens didn’t work 100% for me in correcting the astigmatism. It “almost” did, but things are slightly out of focus so I’ll be getting the corrective procedure in about 6 weeks. My doctor is confident that patients with a lesser degree of astigmatism will do very well with this new lens. If he'd used the regular Crystalens, I'd still be looking at getting the corrective procedure anyway with the amount of astigmatism I had, but now it'll be an easier fix since my vision is “almost” there. I was a good candidate for this new technology and I'm glad I was chosen to be the first.

      I'm pleased with how it's gone so far and am hopeful that the halos and shimmering go away and that in time I can learn to ignore seeing the edges of the lens. All in all it beats trying to see through a waxed paper-like film and being blinded by bright light.


    • gracenotes profile image

      gracenotes 2 years ago from North Texas


      Thanks so much for the comments. I apologize for how long it took me to reply.

      But it looks like you had the surgery about 3 weeks ago. I hope it went well. Sorry you had to do this at age 46.

      I hope you'll come back and report how you did with the surgery. How has the Crystalens done for you, so far?

    • DeniceVU profile image

      Denice Victor Ullestad 3 years ago from Marysville, WA

      THANK You! I'm having my left eye cataract surgery tomorrow and despite advice from well-intended people to NOT look on the internet for Crystalens reviews, I did. Sadly, there are hundreds of horror stories and very few realistic, positive reviews. It sucks that my near-perfect vision was clouded by early cataracts. I just turned 46 last week and was disgnosed three years ago.

      I'm nervous, excited and cautiously optimistic that I'm making the right decision to obtain the very best outcome for me.

    • gracenotes profile image

      gracenotes 4 years ago from North Texas


      I do emphathize. If you're not going with the Crystalens, I cannot help with prices much. It's been 3 years since I got a quote of any kind, and I don't remember looking into the other lenses very much. You are correct that doctors just won't give you this information without making you go through the whole procedure and exam for cataract surgery.

      I'd be willing to bet that some of the monofocal lenses can be had for $1500 or so.

    • stephen Bee 4 years ago

      please PLEASE can't someone give me a rough idea what lenses cost. I took a survey and it seems like Crystalens is not my best option, instead I should get the other lens, I do a lot of close work and medium range work, not hunting sheep 1 mile away or playing baseball in the outfield. so.. ANY PRICE INFORMATION????? Any??? Mahbe the name of a doctor that won't tell me "well we cant' say until its too late, ha ha ha".

    • gracenotes profile image

      gracenotes 4 years ago from North Texas

      Susan, a macular hole is terrible, and as you found out, face-down positioning is not fun at all. I only did face-down positioning for 3 days with my retinal surgery, and that was enough.

      If the lady at the pool spent $10,000 for both eyes for the Crystalens, that's not uncommon. Remember, I consulted with two surgeons. The one who charged the "premium" amount was including, in that price, future refractive surgery if not satisfied with the results. But I don't like that kind of pricing, because, in effect, you're paying upfront for something you may not need or want. And since I'm seeing 20/20 at a distance, could I actually do better? As my retinal surgeon said the other day, "This is as good as it gets."

      As for email, it seems that HubPages has stopped including the "Contact the author" button on this page. That convenience would have automatically sent a message to me. Ah well. Feel free to contact me at and I'd be happy to continue the discussion. Have a great day, Susan.

    • Susan 4 years ago

      Thank you for answering so quickly! I suppose my biggest fear as far as my eyes are concerned is getting a macular hole in my other eye, which my surgeon said could happen, but he saw no signs of a pucker. The face-down post opt was tolerable--only due to my determination--but I don't want to go through that again!

      My doctor did explain the thinness of the lens, and went into a lot of detail (which is so important)

      After reading your posts, I realize people are confused when given options re: cataracts and the decisions to make about the lens they choose (plus the cost!).

      I've talked to seniors who believe at my age (72), why worry about not wearing glasses and pay all that money, and I did give this a lot of thought. I also got remarks about "oh- the doctor will try to sell you anything!!", "go to a surgical center and all you see are patches from doctors who pushed unnecessary procedures", "stay with the standard cataract lens and wear the glasses!", etc.

      After having the Re-Stor lens in late May, I have no regrets - and put my former trifocals that I would reach for every morning away! (I would have had the Crystalens, but he believed the Re-Stor was what was best for me).

      It also suddenly came to me this morning that I used to get headaches when I read, and I read a lot, and don't have this since I had the Re-Stor and use only cheap readers for small print. I'm back now when shopping to pulling out the glasses to see a price tag or ingredients!

      A 65 year old woman at the pool told me last week she recently had the Crystalens in both eyes one week apart!!, and she loves them. Had little restrictions and adjusted beautifully, and her only concern was not telling people that she had this done due to their questions about the cost, which she wanted kept private (though she did tell ME she paid $10,000 for both eyes). This was more than my doctor would have charged for both eyes--but then everything seems to be more expensive in Connecticut!

      From my experience (and I'm on a fixed income) I would tell people if they want freedom from glasses and the need to change the prescriptions often (which also can be costly), find a way to have one eye done at a time--it's worth it so far to me! But more important--research and find a doctor you trust!

      ps: you're so right about teeth as well! Which leaves us with researching the best dentist, eye doctor and at my age--what next?

      Off to the pool - want to hear who had the latest procedure and on what !!! (not exactly what I want to hear, but it comes with the age territory!!)

      Wish I had your email address to continue to correspond with you about you and your Mom! We have a lot in common! (I am on Facebook but do check out any new Friend requests and have my info restricted)

    • gracenotes profile image

      gracenotes 4 years ago from North Texas

      Susan, believe me, if I had a macular hole, I wouldn't be seeing 20/20. The small hole he sealed up is at the 9:00 O'Clock position on the peripheral retina. I suppose we could just think of it as the "law of unintended consequences" after cataract surgery. Not everyone would be a candidate for laser coagulation, but I was. There are risks, but my retina doctor felt it needed to be done (sometimes a person can develop a blind spot due to this procedure!) Yes, I like my surgeon very much, and the trust factor is high.

      In truth, many kinds of surgical or mechanical interventions probably have risks that we can't foresee. For instance, as a kid during the 1960s, I was lucky to have parents who could afford to get my teeth straightened, but the methods, although state-of-the-art at the time, aren't necessarily what an orthodontist would use now, if he could help it. Many years later, my dentist was very surprised that I didn't have TMJ pain or grind my teeth as a result of the way my teeth and jaws were moved to achieve a better bite as a child. That's just the way it goes.

      Sorry to hear about your mother's pain. My mother has probably had 5 or 6 kyphoplasty surgeries during the last 4 years, to try and fix compression fractures in various vertebrae, due to her severe osteoporosis. So I can relate, and certainly have developed some awareness in this area.

      However, my mom is doing pretty well, and hasn't had any recent compression fractures. I hate osteoporosis, and hope to be able to stop my own bone loss before it proceeds further.

      Nice to hear from you again.

    • Susan 4 years ago

      Hi Grace!

      I was surprised to read this and since I had a macular hole in the past (prior to any cataract surgery), was wondering if a retinal hole was similar? I'm learning constantly about eye treatments and how they're treated! I previously wrote that my neighbor had the "regular" cataract surgery on May 29 (same day that I had the Re-Stor lens). She is is still being treated due to irritation and redness and told me it was probably because she also has been treated for glaucoma. This I didn't have, thank goodness! I'm doing well with the Re-Stor lens (only one eye) and only use cheap readers for small print.

      Thanks for the update! You gave a lot of information about the lens that we would never know about, and you must have a great surgeon. Keep us posted!!

      ps: I hope your Mom is doing ok? Mine still in lots of pain after back surgery at 94, though surgery went well per x-rays.

    • gracenotes profile image

      gracenotes 4 years ago from North Texas

      In case anyone is interested, yesterday I went to see my retinal surgeon, and he lasered shut a tiny perforation in the periphery of my retina. It was done in the eye that had my most recent cataract surgery. The procedure is called laser photocoagulation.

      Not everyone who has retinal holes will have to undergo this procedure. It depends on many factors, including your age. However, my surgeon remarked that the cataract surgery, which took place about 9 months ago, could have created this phenomenon.

      It seems that any artificial lense (Crystalens, ReStor, it doesn't matter), being plastic or silicone, is much thinner than your natural lense. Because it doesn't fill out the space as well, and there is more room for traction and pulling within the lense sac, it can, over time, create more traction on your vitreous. More traction on your vitreous can create a small hole, which may need to be treated. If left alone, the hole could someday cause a retinal detachment.

      So, I've had this done, and I'm doing OK. My vision seems unaffected by the procedure so far.

      It's just one of the unintended consequences of having cataract surgery that I didn't anticipate!

    • gracenotes profile image

      gracenotes 4 years ago from North Texas

      Susan, how nice to hear from you.

      Yes, I always recommend asking others to give opinions. I tried to talk to four people before I had the first cataract surgery.

      You are correct about the surgery. One does spend a lot of money constantly changing eyeglasses prescriptions. That's pretty much the life of someone with advancing cataracts, and it gets expensive.

      However, some insurance companies are more strict about screening for cataracts, and won't approve the surgery unless vision gets really bad. I think this is a problem for a friend of mine who is in her early 60's. Everyone has a different notion of what is "bad."

      I must say that I am glad that my doctor took a more liberal view of the needed surgery, as I am only 60. I shudder to think what may happen to healthcare and coverage in a couple of years, and could it be that both you and I will be very glad that we don't have to deal with this particular surgery under those conditions?

      I think I'm still doing well with my lenses, but nobody has done a post-operative check since February. I am going to see my retinal specialist for an annual follow-up next week, and I will ask him what he thinks about the placement of my lense, and whether it has developed any post-capsular clouding yet.

    • Susan 4 years ago

      Learning every day from others that have had the Crystalens implants and all have reported great results. For those questioning getting these, I hope this is of some help (as your information has been). I was surprised to learn that two women did not have as much adjusting or limitations that they thought they would have! Prices also vary here in Conn. and one woman paid $10,000 for both eyes!

      I also am adjusting from the Re-Stor lens (which I could only have in one eye on May 29, 2012) and at first asked my doctor for a prescription to see better. He told me to just hang on to it and fill it only if necessary, and he was right...I don't think I will be needing it--my right eye is now 20/20 and taking over the vision of my left eye. I only use cheap readers for small print. Haven't tried night driving yet and will have to test myself. I see glares on the day lights on cars, so am unsure just how annoying this might be at night?

      Never had to wear just sunglasses and after wearing them, I put them on the top of my head while inside a store--only to learn that since it's been years since I wore them, I tried on clothes and forgot they were there and lost them temporarily! I also found that the brown tinted glasses with clearer shades on the bottom work better than very dark glasses.

      I hope you have adjusted fully with your Crystalens and from what I have been hearing, if your doctor recommends them--go for it! It's so wonderful not having to reach for glasses the first thing in the morning!

      People have said - "Well, you're older, why bother at your age!" I'm in my early 70's and on a limited income, but this was money well spent !! By the time I pay this off, it would equal the cost of constantly changing my eyeglass trifocal prescriptions that were always changing and expensive!

    • gracenotes profile image

      gracenotes 4 years ago from North Texas

      Susan, I do remember the pretty colored lights that I was asked to focus on with the first cataract surgery. The two surgeries were so completely different as to what I remember.

      In answer to your question, it has been about 7 months since my cataract surgery. I still only wear glasses for close work, and distance and intermediate are good without corrective lenses. It may still be many months before I can see good close-up, if ever! I believe one cataract surgery patient told me that it was more than a year before she could see the numbers on the dial of her watch. I can usually see the numbers on my watch, but have trouble with price tags and other small print. Usually I can get the price right, but I have to squint. Reading a 14-point type page is not very much fun without glasses, but I can do it, if I have strong illumination.

      As far as I am concerned, my surgeon did a great job. Because I had astigmatism, the limbal relaxing incisions that he did have made the difference, and are probably the reason I see 20/20.

      As for threading a needle, one expert on the Crystalens told me that its focusing ability does not go much closer than 14 inches or so. It's good to know that I'm not crazy.

      Tell your friend who had the surgery that she needs more time before her implant can be evaluated fully.

    • Susan 4 years ago

      Just thought I would add this for those that are nervous about having a lens implant, and I sure was!, they did give me a sedative at the surgical center that lasted only 15 minutes (the total time of the surgery). Usually I can brave it out, but I was very nervous, and I'm assuming because I'm older now??

      When the doctor was working on my eye, it was an amazing sight. Very pretty colors in pink and blue - almost like the lava lamps! - and that kept me focused more on the pretty colors than having the surgery itself.

      Before I realized it - it was done quickly and I was having a coffee and muffin and ready to leave. No eye patch, few restrictions and the only inconvenience is having to use eye drops for about a month!

      Only thing to be nervous about is paying for this expensive lens!!

    • Susan 4 years ago

      Thank you for writing back! We do seem to have a lot in common! Yesterday I covered 5 stores and drove in the sunshine and found that I was seeing better without the sunglasses. I kept trying them on and off and for the first time in years had purchased 3 pair! Then it started to cloud up, and I noticed cars that have the automatic lights on their cars were casting a brighter light (almost as though it is when I would drive at night since the cataract surgery on my other eye. I still have that "heady" feeling when walking off and on, but it's not as bad as it was right after the Re-Stor surgery. Was a bit nervous going into Kohl's and having to cover more than one floor, but I was determined!

      Just decided to do my nails and due to an overcast day, decided to put my old trifocals on. Found out I cannot use these glasses, as everything was a blur! I also tried to thread a needle yesterday and realized I'm seeing a lot better but have a way to go.

      I hope your Mom will not have any problems with her heart. My mother had a stent put in 10 years ago and that is fine, though they did detect a congestive heart condition and still are proceeding with her back surgery on June 13. We're all going to celebrate her 94th birthday tomorrow. She asked for FUNNY cards--not MUSHY! Wants to put them in a scrapbook. Imagine that--a scrapbook at 94 for the future!! Bless these mothers of ours!!

      Thank you again for writing. There were so many questions and no place and no one to communicate with who had made a decision about these lenses. Your experience has helped me get through this.

      Since it's been a while since your surgery, do you have to wear glasses for anything now? I'm assuming i will still need them due to my left eye vision not perfect--though the Yag laser did make things seem clearer. I suppose I'll know more when I return to my doctor in three weeks.

      My neighbor had the regular cataract surgery the same day as I had the Re-Stor and last night said her vision is still blurry, so suppose this "comes with the territory"??

      Time - just have to keep remembering that!!

    • gracenotes profile image

      gracenotes 4 years ago from North Texas

      Hi Susan,

      I am delighted to hear that your ReStor eye is seeing 20/30, so soon after your cataract surgery.

      Yes, bright light is very much needed as time goes by. I wish I could have full control over this. However, the idea of taking along a small flashlight when eating at dark restaurants is great.

      As far as retinal surgeons go, absolutely, YES, they can be more or less picky per patient. My retinal surgeon is definitely more exacting about the kind of lense that is implanted, and he will insert an opinion if he has the opportunity. Also, I can tell you that it is not common at all to have a macular pucker patient under general anesthesia for surgery -- the vast majority simply have a local anesthetic. But my retinal surgeon is very different, and did my retinal surgery, and probably many others, with the patient completely unconscious.

      I get the feeling that you and I think alike, and we even have an elderly mother of about the same age. My mom is 92, and has recently been having more trouble with her congestive heart failure, which means an adjustment in her medication. I really hope that your mom is fine with her upcoming surgery, by the way. You have a lot on your mind, definitely.

      Oh, by the way, I did have what felt like a systemic response to the post-surgical eye drops back with my first cataract surgery. After reading about other patients' similar reactions, I asked my surgeon if he could prescribe something different with the second surgery. He was happy to do this, and I did better with a different eye drop. I didn't know about the tear duct thing, though, so you've taught me something.

    • Susan 4 years ago

      Forgot to write that I asked my surgeon about possible future retinal surgery since I got the Re-Stor vs.the Cyrstalens, after reading about your decision and the advice you were given. . He said that with today's modern technology, skill and methods they can get into the eye area with any lens you choose. That had been one of my concerns about the Re-Stor, which was recommended for me. I suppose every surgeon and patient is different or have their preferences per patient?

    • Susan 4 years ago

      Thanks you so much for responding. I had my one-week post opt. exam yesterday and what you wrote seems to be true. The doctor said there is some swelling around the sutures, and that could cause one to be unsteady. (it's hard to describe the weird feeling of imbalance!). Of course, my nervous system is also out of whack due to my Mom needing surgery next week, so your answer was very helpful.

      I also have 20/30 vision now in my Re-Stor eye and was wearing trifocals before and haven't had to use them since surgery. To think I used to grab my glasses as soon as I woke in the morning!! I return in three weeks for a follow-up, and I'm sure there is more adjusting in the future. The doctor did say that bright light is better when reading, and his personal attention and time explaining is great! He mentioned taking a small flashlight along with me and using it, should I be in a dark restaurant and can't read the menu and showed me exactly the difference when doing this in his office. (no glasses--now a flashlight--at least it's less expensive!!)

      Also was concerned about using the Prednisolone eye drops, as I cannot take steroids, but he said he has never heard of reactions from eye drops, but if I take my finger and block the tear duct when using the drops, it won't get into my system--in fact, he said it would be better for the eye (always learning something!).

      I think it's great that you're keeping a journal. I do also and even log every medication and doctors' visits on Word on my computer. Then I can just print it out when going to a new doctor (hopefully not many needed??!!) I do this also for my 94-year old Mom, as different doctors prescribe different medications and at her age it's important that they know this!

      It was so great to be able to drive to the doctor's without glasses and kept playing with "do I need the sunglasses or not" due to our weather. Pollen also is very bad here in Conn. I'm finding my other eye (left) that had the Yag Laser two weeks ago more annoying with being scratchy off and on, though doctor just said to use artificial tears and didn't detect any problems.

      Using the computer too much can also affect eyes getting too dry-- due to not blinking enough (learned this when I had Bells Palsy) and I have been on the computer a lot lately.

      I'm just amazed that I'm typing this without my glasses, but did tell the doctor I see more wrinkles now when I look in the mirror!! Guess I can't hide behind the glasses anymore??

    • gracenotes profile image

      gracenotes 4 years ago from North Texas

      Susan, sorry it took a while to get back to you. I have just now received notification of your comment from HubPages.

      Well, I would never be able to remember some of my experiences following cataract surgery if not for my personal journal. I highly recommend keeping one for this reason.

      OK, my first cataract surgery was on 1/11/2010, and my journal entry for 1/13/2010 reads: "Subjective feelings this morning. It feels like someone has given me a new eyeglasses prescription. Walking definitely feels unsteady, and it doesn't help that I've had my light-headedness for 20 years. Something must be different. So, I am careful where I go and I am trying not to do anything quickly."

      So you can see that what you have reported is not unusual. Your operated eye still has some swelling, not to mention the extended dilation of your pupil, which could take at least a week or more to shrink back down, and your lense itself could take 2 weeks or more to settle in. Your visual outcome will not be fully known for a while.

      When I developed my light-headedness, or what I'd call an unsteady, heady feeling, this was back about 1990, and it had nothing to do with my eyes (it's a 24/7/365 feeling that never goes away). However, at the time I was still wearing contact lenses, and I remember discussing the possibility of mono-vision contacts with my optometrist. He said there was an adjustment period which might take longer because of my pre-existing problem.

      I don't know how your Restor lense was set, nor how your original cataract surgery was done, but if you're doing your own version of monovision, it can take a while to adjust. If this is the case, it is fair to say that your nervous system is confused right now. I can't think of a better way to describe it. I think it's best not to pay a lot of attention to the feedback from your nervous system, while being careful how you move. That's what I did, at least. Believe me, in the absence of any real visual problems years ago, I had to adjust to light-headedness, and it took me a long time. Your adjustment should take but a fraction of the time!

      Because I had the dilated pupil for at least a week, I did not do any night driving during that time.

      I hope this helps. Don't assume anything about your visual outcome just yet. By the way, your two eyes are different, and don't necessarily heal at the same rate. Let me know how you do.

    • Susan 4 years ago

      Just touching base with you. My surgeon believed the ReStor was better for me than the Crystalens. I had this done 4 days ago and can read and see the computer and distance well with the ReStor lens, however, my other eye had previous surgery for a macular hole, then cataract surgery and two weeks ago a Yag laser, so that eye giving me more problems than the ReStor right eye. I'm also experiencing an almost dizzy sensation and am assuming it's due to one eye seeing better close up and the other seeing distance--or they're just not coordinated? At times I'm reaching for my glasses, only to learn at times I don't need them for one eye but need them for the other (they are trifocals). My exam the day after the ReStor showed everything in both eyes is fine--no pressure, some blurred vision due to the eye being very dilated, and my surgeon said the surgery was successful. I suppose I'm just impatient?

      I considered the Crystalens, but have family issues that I worried about a quicker recovery - 94-year old mother going for surgery in two weeks, son moving to a new home and new baby expected, so I wanted less limitations.

      Did you find you had to make adjustments as I am doing with one eye being different than the other?

      My neighbor also had the regular cataract surgery the same day and she's going thru the same thing I am right now. We both can't drive yet and we didn't have this problem when we had cataract surgery years ago...very confusing!!

      Perhaps I expected a miracle immediately and I'm hoping my doctor made the right choice. (he saw no sign of macular pucker in the eye he implanted the ReStor, so that might be why he recommended this instead of the Crystalens?

      Again- confusing or else I'm impatient??

    • gracenotes profile image

      gracenotes 4 years ago from North Texas


      I am glad you stopped by again. I know any future comments you give us about your experience will be helpful. There are obviously a lot of variables, especially when some patients have had retina problems in the past.

    • gracenotes profile image

      gracenotes 4 years ago from North Texas

      Susan, the recovery is pretty easy. I felt bad after the surgery, but it was because I had developed a stuffy nose. Even my surgeon was affected by what was "in the air" that day, but he went right on with his surgeries, naturally! If it's pollen time in New England, I hope May 29 is a good day. In any case, there may be some eye watering and scratchiness for 24 hours after the surgery.

      You will be able to resume normal activities after the 24-hour follow up visit to the doctor. But you're not supposed to do any dirty work, nor go swimming for a designated period of time (they will tell you the details). Also, you should not lift anything over 15 pounds for a couple of weeks. Try your best not to bend over for the first week -- doing so could increase the pressure inside your eye. If I needed anything on the ground, I did deep knee bends for the first week.

      The follow-ups include 24 hours, 1 week, 1 month, and 3 months, at least for me. I think my surgeon was a bit more loose and relaxed about who would do the follow-ups after the first 24 hours. This is probably because it was my second surgery. So nearly all of my follow-ups were done by my optometrist. I had to consent to this in writing, so if you have any hesitation or questions about which personnel will do it, be sure to speak up. Fortunately for me, my optometrist practice had hired a new doctor, and he was very sharp. It was obvious that he was very familiar with the Crystalens and how it works.

      I am sure your surgery experience will be good. Please let me know how you do.

    • gracenotes profile image

      gracenotes 4 years ago from North Texas

      Wilderness, I am glad that you found this hub helpful while you were in decision mode.

      I read one of your hubs about your pre-surgery evaluations. I was surprised that they were able to schedule your surgery only 2 weeks out, but that may have been because you didn't have insurance. On my insurance policy, I was required to have a complete physical from my primary care doc, and the results faxed to the surgeon's office. It all took time.

      The statistics your doctor reported to you about the need for a YAG capsulotomy in patients (20 per cent need it) is certainly different than what my surgeon sees. He told me that at least half of his Crystalens patients need to be YAG'ed eventually.

      Yes, the Crystalens is surely a good lens if you do a lot of reading from your desktop computer. But if this were 25 years ago, and I had only the choice of a monofocal lense, I would choose to have it set for distance. As long as I'm going to drive a car, this is really imperative (something I've learned now that I'm older and wiser). Just like I mentioned in this article, when you ARE given choices, it is so much more difficult.

      Oh, I am also glad that your surgeon offered discounts for cash. :-)

    • Finnsmom 4 years ago

      Thank you for your comments and quick response to my question Gracenotes. They lead me to explore a discussion of the difference between macular pucker and macular hole -similar but distinct conditions. I also discovered that one can have a cataract develop on the lens implant as a result of subsequent surgery and perhaps that is what I am currently experiencing. I will update you and your readers after my next post surgery visit. Thank you for your wonderful information and blog. It's a godsend.

    • Susan Martin 4 years ago

      Wrote to you before when I was contemplating the Crystalens, which is scheduled for May 29 in my right eye. Just had the Yag Laser in my left eye 5 days ago, and this eye I had vitrectomy surgery in 2005 and then the regular cataract. This sight will never be perfect, but I do notice sight is sharper since I had the Yag Laser. Only problem was a very scratchy feeling for several days (which seems to be lessening) after the Yag and floaters are now down to one or two. No over-the-counter tear drops worked except Systane Ultra. Of course, it's also pollen time here in New England!

      I'm questioning what limitations you had after the Crystalens. I'm to start 3 types of eye drops prior to surgery and continue for a month, reducing each week. I'm a very active person and a senior, so I'm hoping the recovery won't take too long??

      Also, how often were your follow-ups with your eye doctor after the Crystalens? I'm sure everyone is different, and I have to admit I'm quite scared about this decision.

      So glad you have this site for those of us who question the option of getting the Crystalens!

    • wilderness profile image

      Dan Harmon 4 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      Hi Gracenotes. Sorry, I'm a little late replying. My new lens is indeed a crystalens. At a month old, I still can't read, but it seems to be improving, particularly if I don't overdo it and tire the eye.

      I've found your hub here so useful, I wrote one myself. Before the surgery I badly wanted to read something by someone that had had a crystalens implanted but this was the only one I found (and it helped me make the decision). Different people can and often do have different results and it can be so valuable to read a variety of experiences that I wrote of mine as well.

    • gracenotes profile image

      gracenotes 4 years ago from North Texas

      Hello finnsmom,

      My left eye still sees some distortion. I believe it will always be like this. My right eye does compensate a lot for it. When you have a macular pucker removed, there is often a little damage left by the surgeon. This is why, if the macular pucker comes back, it can probably be peeled only one additional time.

    • gracenotes profile image

      gracenotes 4 years ago from North Texas


      I appreciate your comments. Sorry to hear about your disappointing experience with the Crystalens.

    • finnsmom 4 years ago

      Hello Gracenotes

      I read your update of 3 months wherein you had the Crystalens implanted in the left eye a few months before your vitrectomy and macular pucker removal in the same eye. I had restor implanted in both eyes 8 years ago. I am now 4 months post op from having a macular hole repaired in the left eye and am experiencing vision distortion on the right side of the left eye (odd). I suspect it is a cataract developed near the implanted lens post surgery. Will know more in June when I see the surgeon again (he is a macular specialist, not the vision specialist who implanted the lenses). In any event the hole is completely closed so that surgery was a success. I wonder, has your distortion improved in your affected eye?

    • joan 4 years ago

      mycrystalens is not worth the $3000 I paid. My sight is blurry and I have been zapped once. Dr, said it has to be zapped again and maybe lazered. My other lens (implanted)

      medicare lens is perfect!!!!

    • gracenotes profile image

      gracenotes 4 years ago from North Texas

      Wilderness, I am so glad you came back to give your report! Yes, when you see colors the way they are supposed to be, it is unreal. I will never forget seeing the first dawn through my kitchen windows shortly after my first cataract was extracted. The early morning light had a totally different look.

      You didn't say which intraocular lens you got. Was it a Crystalens, or some other?

    • wilderness profile image

      Dan Harmon 4 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      Thought I'd drop by and give an update - I had the surgery done 2 weeks ago and am very, very pleased. The only time I use glasses is for reading or very close work - computer usage is glasses free.

      The world is bright and sharp again, with beautiful colors. I'll probably have the other eye done this summer some time.

    • gracenotes profile image

      gracenotes 4 years ago from North Texas

      Thanks for the clarification, Wilderness. It sure is difficult to decide.

      Yes, on the multifocal IOL's (ReStor, Rezoom, etc.), another thing about them is, if you ever have a need for retinal surgery (I did have it!), the retinal surgeon will have a much more difficult time seeing through your replaced lense to operate. The way they are made, he will see a distorted visual field. That's why my retinal surgeon recommended a Crystalens or a monofocal lense when I had the cataract surgery initially. I am glad I had his input. He said, "No diffractive lenses!"

      Well, good luck, whatever you decide. Hope you'll let me know if the day comes anytime soon.

    • wilderness profile image

      Dan Harmon 4 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      Thanks for the reply, Gracenotes. I was hoping to hear that your eyes had compensated just as you say they did. In my case it would be the other way around (if it happens) - the left eye with the new lens would have to carry the duty of close up vision and the right eye, that needs glasses to read, the long distance. Of course that means glasses for the right eye and it is assuming that the second cataract doesn't grow too quickly.

      Mostly I was concerned that the eye with the crystalens would never develop normally without the second eye doing the same task, and you have helped alleviate at least some of my concern there.

      Clarification - my left eye is very poor, and just a blur by now. I can't read a large freeway sign from right under it with that eye. This is the eye that would get the new lens immediately. The right eye, I'm told, has a developing and growing cataract but it has not grown into the section of the lens used for vision yet. That could change tomorrow, but for now it just has presbyopia and is the only way I can function at all. Without it I'm sure I would be legally blind and of course I have very little depth perception even with it.

      Lighting - yes, I need more and more light all the time. My living room (1970's house) had no ceiling light and I put in a fan/light combo, making sure to find one with lots of light. It has (2) 50 watt halogen bulbs (very bright) and 4 40 watt candelabra bulbs that don't do much. Needing ever more light I recently replaced the small bulbs with the "spiral" CFL lights (florescent) in a small size. I had to re-do the physical attachment of the sockets because there wasn't clearance for the larger CFL bulb but I got it to work. Lots more light, some energy savings (about 50 watts now instead of 160) but the dimmer that came with the fan won't dim the CFL bulbs. That's OK - I knew it wouldn't going into the project and never dimmed those bulbs anyway.

      As far as I know, no astigmatism, and a recent optometrist visit and eye exam should have turned it up if there was.

      Also no insurance, and that's a killer. I understood the price you quoted, and was pleased to find it is only around $5500 here for the total job, including lens (discounts for cash helps). A second quote came in today at $5700, but they don't do many crystalens (pushing the tecnis) so I doubt I will use them if I choose the crystalens.

      Not that I am totally against other multifocals but question if I could adapt to them. I had bifocals (with lines) for years and refused to wear them - I just never learned to tolerate that line across the bottom of my vision. Only when I finally purchased progressive lenses (bifocal with no lines) can I wear them. I am quite concerned, due to the way multifocal lenses are built, that it would be the same for a multifocal IOL. Bad enough to buy prescription glasses and leave them on the dresser each day, but implanted IOL's? Unthinkable.

    • gracenotes profile image

      gracenotes 4 years ago from North Texas

      Wilderness, everyone is so different, but I appreciate your further comments.

      After the first cataract surgery and retinal surgery in my left eye, a few months later, I developed extreme near-sightedness in my right eye. So, for approximately 1.5 years, I was seeing distance with my left eye, and reading with my right eye. This is a very common thing to happen, I understand. It wasn't bad, though, and it didn't bother me. I was simply doing my own version of mono-vision. My left eye was now strong enough that it compensated, and my right eye's cataract worsened in a matter of months.

      It's hard to say what will happen with your eye with the bad cataract, but if it's advanced enough, there will come a point when it will be far more difficult to extract surgically. Your surgeon can guide you there.

      As my doctor said, "we humans are binocular, and our eyes were designed to work together." Another ophthalmologist I have followed on the web, Dr. Ray Oyakawa, has stated that his patients with two Crystalenses do much better (and by that I mean patients who get the same lense, rather than one Crystalens and one monofocal lense).

      But, no, I didn't regret that I let two years go by between cataract surgeries. As I said, I had issues with my left eye, and eventually I had to have a YAG capsulotomy, due to scar tissue building up in the lense sac (extremely common). I figure if you have Crystalens surgeries about 3 weeks apart, both lenses could develop the scar tissue at the same time.

      Another thing that figures in is lighting. To me, this is very important, because it's something we can only control in our home environment. It's pretty amazing what I can read without glasses, if only the light is good enough. It's not a small thing, either -- just go to a lighting store these days and try to find something adequate. I just bought a floor lamp, but I told the owner of the store that I was saving my old, outdated, ugly floor lamps, because they had more sockets for bulbs. I am using them in a room that no one sees when they walk in the front door. The owner told me "great idea", because it's harder to find such lamps anymore.

      Of course, as you're an electrician, you probably don't worry about things like that!

      Oh, by the way, another important thing -- do you have astigmatism? If you do, you definitely should ask the surgeon if the LRI procedure to help astigmatism is included in the price of the Crystalens. If not, that kind of corneal incision procedure can get pricey. I'm sure glad that I had that done. Those two tiny scratches, which take seconds, are the reason that I can now see 20/20 without glasses.

      I changed (slightly) the wording on one of my paragraphs in this hub. Perhaps it was misleading. With insurance, I only paid a few hundred dollars out-of-pocket for each surgery. Of course, the retail price of both of my lenses was about $7000. Do you have insurance?

    • wilderness profile image

      Dan Harmon 4 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      Gracenotes, I really appreciate the information from your hub; it is one of the few places I've found from someone getting a crystalens.

      Can I get your reactions to having surgeries so far apart? I have only one cataract that is bothering me at all, but that eye is nearly useless now. If possible, I intend to wait for the second eye for 3 years, until medicare kicks in. Might I expect vision improvement to be very limited with just one eye being done? Improvement, yes, but not nearly so much as having both eyes? I wear glasses for reading (pretty normal at 62) and the past year even for distance vision. I didn't see anything in your hub about you having that problem, and wonder just how much it might affect the results of a crystalens.

      I would love to have both eyes done, even though the cataract in my right isn't impacting my vision (yet - it will in the future), but financing it would be very difficult. Prices in my area don't seem as high as yours (I was quoted $5200 for the total job, including lens) but that still means around $11,000 for two eyes and that would really hurt. I could swing it, I think, but it would hurt.

      Your thoughts?

    • gracenotes profile image

      gracenotes 4 years ago from North Texas

      JimCross, thanks for your comments. I may be misunderstanding how you stated the estimated costs. The surgeon's charges were covered by insurance, and he, of course, got the "negotiated amount" that they pay for his surgical fees. I actually paid about $2800 for each Crystalens (and who knows what their mark-up was), plus $500 for the co-management fee to the referring optometrist (yes, most do it this way, whether you like it or not). This made each Crystalens about $3300. I believe that my out-of-pocket to the surgeon may have been about $300 after the insurance company paid its part. Oh, and also a $100 deductible was paid to the surgical hospital.

    • JimCross 4 years ago

      Will be having cataract surgery on my left eye with Crystalens on 11 April, 2012. Have advanced Fuch's Dystrophy (corneal edema), so I will probably have to have a corneal transplant in that eye afterwards and let that heal for at least 6 months before repeating both procedures on the right eye. Glad to see the info out here on Crystalens from someone who also couldn't get the procedures done two weeks apart. Since I have Medicare now and military Tricare for Life, I could get the standard IOLs with virtually no cost. Crystalens is $3400 per eye, $1000 for the lens and $2400 for the Dr. Does this sound about right?

    • gracenotes profile image

      gracenotes 4 years ago from North Texas

      Thanks for taking the time for a follow-up comment. Best of luck with your cataract surgery.

    • Valley Mike 4 years ago

      Thanks for your input. No astigmatism issue and my opthamologist has the Crystallens Award of Excellence. He is very skilled and has a terrific reputation in the local medical community. I appreciated his honesty in the assessment that the use of the Crystalens in my post vitrectomy cataract surgery may be disapponting. I am going to opt for the Standard lends.

    • gracenotes profile image

      gracenotes 4 years ago from North Texas

      Valley Mike, I hear you loud and clear. The visual outcome on the Crystalens won't be known immediately. I'd also be curious if you have any astigmatism. That can make a difference too. I'm interested in your surgeon's attitude toward the Crystalens, and also wondering how many of these he has implanted so far. It sounds like he is being honest and straight with you. Good luck, whatever your decision.

    • Valley Mike 4 years ago

      I had macular hole surgery almost a year ago and have now developed the predicted cataract in that eye. I am scheduled for cataract surgery next Wednesday and have to let the surgeon know by Monday whether I want to use the Crystalens or the standard IOL monofocal. My surgeon has been very frank about not wanting me to be disappointed if I opt for the Crystalens. He said the outcome is unpredictable and doesn't want me spending the additional money unnecessarily. Found your website while doing my research.

    • gracenotes profile image

      gracenotes 4 years ago from North Texas

      Susan, I do understand about the financial end of this. Our two situations are very similar. Yes, I had the Crystalens implanted in the left eye a few months before my vitrectomy and macular pucker removal in the same eye. First cataract surgery in left eye was Jan. 2010. My second cataract surgery in right eye was Nov. 2011. Both lenses were the Crystalens.

      And yes, I had the YAG capsulotomy in my left eye about 1.5 years after having the cataract surgery. Once we were sure I would experience no problems from that, we scheduled the second cataract surgery a few months later.

      As far as the financial end of it, I waited longer between each surgery than most patients would. I told my surgeon that it was financially painful to have to buy two Crystalenses in the same year. He ended up offering me a discount on my second Crystalens purchase. Something to think about.

      I'm glad you stopped by again, and good luck.

    • Susan 4 years ago

      Thank you gracenotes. I have been uncertain about calling my eye doctor as to which cataract to get, as it is a financial decision for me. But I believe you wrote that you also had a vitrectomy or macular surgery in your left eye. Does this mean you had the Crystalens in your right eye? This would be my situation. Eyes are so important that I was very nervous about returning to the eye doctor for MORE! He will have to do a YAG laser in my left eye that was operated on and had the regular cataract surgery due to slight blurriness, but my vision seems to be ok, considering that I did have a macular hole. I can't expect miracles! I saw the pictures they took of both my eyes and I do have some scarring where I had the macular hole surgery. Unsure if that is normal after several years, but the doctor didn't mention anything about that except that the blurred vision is due to my needing the laser. I appreciate your's good to know there are others who have also had to make decisions as I do. Thank you!

    • gracenotes profile image

      gracenotes 4 years ago from North Texas

      No guarantees on anything, Susan. However, I did have 20/20 vision the day after my second cataract surgery, and my intermediate vision is pretty good too. The astigmatism that I had was apparently not that bad, so the LRI that he performed appears to have worked.

      You are correct about one thing. Because cataracts mean constantly changing your eyeglasses prescription, the costs do add up over time for getting new tri-focals. There are cheap, good options to make a pair of eyeglasses (such as at COSTCO, which I recommend). However, if you just don't want to wear the progressives, and your surgeon feels that your chances are good for 20/20, that may be a good option.

      I have had a surgically repaired macular pucker in my left eye, which has left some distortion -- however, my right eye does appear to be compensating! If you need readers after the Crystalens surgery (currently, I do), readers are certainly cheap, and you don't have to worry about their quality very much. Of course, the hope is that eventually, you can get rid of those, too.

      Good luck, whatever you decide to do.

    • Susan M. 4 years ago

      Just at my doctor's today and I currently wear trifocals due to having a macular hole repair 5 years ago. Will never have great eyesight in that eye, but if I get the Crystalens AO in my other eye, my doctor said I will have 20/20 vision and this eye will compensate for the other eye and I can forget the constant need for glasses. If you figure this may cost a little over $3,000 for me, the trifocals needing changing to the tune or $300 each time will in the end pay for the Crystalens AO surgery, I hope? Pondering this, as I just came back from the doctor's today.

    • gracenotes profile image

      gracenotes 4 years ago from North Texas

      Thank you, Ricardo, for your comments. I continue to be very interested in the whole subject of the accommodating lens, and over time (maybe quite a bit of time), I'll have more encouraging reports.

      Currently, I note that spectacle-free, close vision is not accomplished very well when the lighting is less than optimal. Lighting does concern me, and I'm not too happy about what is going to happen as incandescent light bulbs are slowly phased out.

    • Ricardo Jr 4 years ago

      Good narrative on the B&L lens and your experience with it, so far. I too am a candidate and will bring up some of the points you mentioned with my OP...Only one eye needs the procedure...Keep us posted with your exam follow-up's...which look good as of this date.

    • gracenotes profile image

      gracenotes 5 years ago from North Texas

      Wilderness, thanks much!

      I am glad that this is helpful. Check back sometime on this hub in the next few months. By then, my newly operated eye may have stabilized a bit, and I'll have a better idea of what results to look forward to.

    • wilderness profile image

      Dan Harmon 5 years ago from Boise, Idaho

      Thank you for the information - this is something I had no idea existed, and with one eye nearly blind from a cataract it is of extreme interest.

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      gracenotes 5 years ago from North Texas


      My surgeon is Phillips Kirk Labor, MD, listed under Eye Consultants of Texas in Grapevine.

      I'm on my way to have my second cataract surgery this morning, as a matter of fact. I'll be updating this hub in a few weeks after I see how things go.

      Also, it's important to note that prices on the Crystalens have gone up since this hub was written two years ago. Based on the figures I have, his practice is charging about 10 per cent more than what I reported in this article. I think it's important to shop around. Just my opinion, but my surgeon is more reasonable than many I've found.

    • Darla 5 years ago

      Great information. Do you mind providing the name of your surgeon? I was told last week that I need Crystalens implants by a well-known surgeon in Irving. Cost is an issue for me at the moment. Thankfully the surgery is not necessary at this time. It would, however, greatly improve my quality of life.

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      gracenotes 5 years ago from North Texas

      mohit, not sure what the question is. If you already had cataract surgery, you already have an IOL implanted -- I assume you had one eye done.

    • mohit jain 5 years ago

      betty i had my eye cataract operation just one week back. will there be any problem i have get cystalens for my eyes now???? is there any harms or effects ????

    • gracenotes profile image

      gracenotes 5 years ago from North Texas


      That is wonderful that you've achieved such good vision with a standard monofocal IOL. Believe me, I considered that option myself, and gave it much thought.

      At the moment, my best vision is intermediate. Eventually, when I get my second Crystalens, the idea of avoiding reading glasses is very attractive. I wore the half-glasses over contact lenses for many years, and I just hated the reading glasses. Yes, some people are more willing to take a gamble and pay a little more for a premium IOL. It's very individual. Some people will even have Lasik or PRK touch-ups and hope for even better vision, but for me -- never! There's a limit to the risk I'll assume for my vision. It's one reason why I would feel very uncomfortable writing an article about Lasik.

      Thanks for coming by to add another perspective. It is very appreciated.

    • vivian mower 5 years ago

      Despite my doctor's recommendation for a premium IOL such as Crystalens, I chose the standard monofocal IOL tweaked for mini-monovision. I have excellent distance and even intermediate vision. I can even read my grocery list and restaurant menu. I haven't had to have additional surgery such as YAG. The best value IOL is the standard IOL. Why pay $6,000 more for an IOL just to avoid reading glasses? Vivian Mower

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      gracenotes 5 years ago from North Texas

      Betty, I am glad that this helped. I have done a lot of research on this lens, and I would bet that you are getting the newer version of the lens, the Crystalens AO.

      But I'll give you a tip. You have to be very patient with your Crystalens. Very! Your optimal results will not be evident at first. And if you have astigmatism, that can complicate your results.

      That's all I can say. Yes, I will take time out to pray for your surgeon and for the surgical procedure to go well!

    • Betty Schellenberger 5 years ago

      I have scheduled for Crystalens implants in my left eye first in April. Your information has been helpful and reassuring. I do enjoy sewing, crafts and scraebooking on the computer. Having my eyesight to deminish rapdily within the last six months, one has to ask the question, "what price are you willing to pay to be able to enjoy doing those things that give you enjoyment after working all your life?" I am looking forward to less eye strain, headaches, threading needles and making jewelry. Thanks again. Will keep you posted on the progress of my surgeries. Say a little prayer for me and my speciaist. Betty

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      gracenotes 6 years ago from North Texas


      Thanks for dropping by.

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      gracenotes 7 years ago from North Texas

      David, you are welcome. I am hoping for the best with my Crystalens, though I am still, as of this writing, in the healing stage from the surgery.

    • David 7 years ago

      Thank you for the update on Bausch & Lomb's Crystalens technology, i'm surprised that they have not yet trialed the 5th generation technology and only used the trusted 4th generation Crystalens HD.

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      gracenotes 7 years ago from North Texas

      I am glad that the information is useful. Thirty years ago, we didn't have choices this good. Thanks for leaving a comment.

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 7 years ago from the short journey

      Thanks so much for good info on something I am considering. This is helpful.

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