What would it be like to see the world for the first time?

Well some people might actually be able to answer that question. A group of medical experts have perfected an eye lens implant procedure.

CBS news reports on the new eye implant surgery. It is expected to revolutionize the way blind people live life by giving them the gift of sight and allowing them to do every day things that they could not do before.

Patients have already gone through the new lens implantation and have had successful results.

How is the surgery conducted?

Patients receive a new, plastic Symfony lens implant. The manufacturers of the lens say it provides patients with a continuous range of vision including far, intermediate and near distances. Eye surgeons who have been working with the new implant say it offers better vision without as much of the halo and glare that follows standard monofocal lens cataract surgery.

One woman, Jennie, who got the surgery told CBS news,

“I couldn't do anything without glasses. I also had a cloudiness, a loss of color. It was impossible for me to drive at night. Now, as we are having the door painted, I can properly select the colors and I could properly enjoy the colors.” She also said her astigmatism is not prevalent anymore.

The lens has been approved in the United Kingdom and Jennie’s surgery took place there. It is expected to receive approval from the Food and Drug Administration soon as well. How does the lens help a person see? Is it safe?

Surgeons say the lens is completely safe. The lens is inserted into the lens capsule of the eye -- replacing the natural lens -- during a cataract operation. The plastic implant actually has circular grooves that extend the eye's range of vision and allow more light in. Lens manufacturers say this is the first lens to correct all forms of vision problems.

“Patients and surgeons told CBS News that the lens acts like a camera zoom lens, providing a smooth transition from seeing near-to-far. The implants may have appeal to those who collect reading glasses and driving glasses, as they grow older,” according to CBS.

What are the financial costs involved?

Experts say the eye operation takes only a half hour, and the cost comes to an estimated $3,000 to $6,200 per eye. Jennie told CBS her implants were worth every penny. She also said the surgery makes her feel younger, because now she does not have vision problems. Jennie said, “It is really tempting to show off to people, because I am so delighted I can see so well.”

Dr. Qureshi, The London Eye Hospital Medical Director performed the first commercial Symfony lens implant ever. He commented on the surgery saying,

“I get a lot of hugs from old people, which is great. replacing the eye's natural lens with the plastic implant is as safe a laser eye surgery. And it will last almost forever. Everybody [with them] will get good far vision, they'll get good intermediate vision and in about 80 to 90 percent of people, they will be able to read comfortably -- even small print -- without glasses. ”


Gerry Oginski
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NY Medical Malpractice & Personal Injury Trial Lawyer
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