Sun City resident Ann Schwartz looks out the windows of her car with amazement these days.
“I can see just as well as I did when I was a young adult,” she said. “It’s incredible. I am so fortunate to be one of first to regain this kind of vision from cataract surgery!”
The timing of Ms. Schwartz’s recent cataract surgery at the Arizona Eye Institute & Cosmetic Laser Center, 19052 R.H. Johnson Blvd., Sun City West could not have been better, she said.
“They called me and told me they had thrilling news that would make my day — and they were right!” Ms. Schwartz said. “They told me a new trifocal lens had just been approved for cataract surgery, and that they were leaping at the opportunity to offer it. They invited me to be one of the first patients to receive it!”
Practice Founder and Medical Director Emilio M. Justo, M.D., said once the AcrySof IQ PanOptix Trifocal Lens became available this year, there was no question he wanted to be among the first to implant it into his patients.
“This is the first time that I can help restore a patient’s vision from near, intermediate and distance — their full range of vision,” Dr. Justo explained. “Our prior premium intraocular lens implants could improve vision near and far, or intermediate and far, but there was often a deficit left in either the near or intermediate vision. The idea of this breakthrough lens is to dramatically improve a patient’s full range of vision.”
Alcon introduced the PanOptix earlier this year, and it is the first FDA-approved trifocal lens on the market, opening up amazing possibilities for vision results from cataract surgery, according to Dr. Justo.
“We are proud to bring this new class of (intraocular lenses) IOLs to the largest eye care market in the world,” David J. Endicott, Alcon chief executive officer, stated in a press release. “Our goal is to ensure optimal outcomes for cataract patients looking to correct their vision at all distances, with the vast majority of them never needing to wear glasses post-surgery.”
For Ms. Schwartz, the lens is life transforming, and she no longer wears glasses for any distance.
“I was becoming afraid to drive at night because I could not see well,” she said. “Now, I can drive any time!”
With the new PanOptix trifocal lens, patients can typically see close up writing, and then easily adjust to a little farther away, such as a computer or TV, while still seeing distances.
While not everyone is a candidate for the new trifocal lens, Dr. Justo said it is another opportunity to dramatically improve vision and quality of life following cataract surgery.
“This groundbreaking technology further helps me to customize every patient’s cataract surgery,” he said. “This is a thrilling time to be a cataract surgeon, because I really delight in seeing and hearing about how the surgery has improved the lives of each patient. I have had patients paint me paintings, because they are so thrilled to have regained their ability to see vivid, beautiful colors again. Others proudly protect their independence and safety by ensuring they can see well enough to drive.”
Dr. Justo uses the LenSx femtosecond laser for refractive cataract surgery to ensure precise results. He also uses a CO2 laser to perform eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty.
Editor’s Note: Ms. Lucas is Arizona Eye Institute and Cosmetic Surgery Center marketing director.