Mark Blecher, MD Discusses the FDA Approval of Tecnis Symfony IOL

Mark Blecher, MD Co-Chief of Wills Eye Hospital Cataract and Primary Eye Care Service comments on the recent FDA approval of an extended range intraocular lens.

Video Transcript

Hi I'm Dr. Mark Blecher coming to you from the Wills Eye Alumni Society Newsroom here in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. I've been asked to say a few words about a new FDA approval of an intraocular lens for cataract surgery. It’s always exciting when the FDA seems to be doing its job and looking at improving new technologies for medicine and in ophthalmology in particular. Sometimes we have a whole raft of new products coming out and sometimes there's been quite a wait. In ophthalmology in particular and cataract surgery we've been a bit spoiled over the years we've had many new products.

Just recently the FDA approved the Abbott Labs AMO Symfony extended range of focus intraocular lens for cataract surgery. In cataract surgery we are taking out the Cloudy lens of the eye that's the Cataract and replacing it with a clear plastic lens. We've been doing it for quite a while and the technology has improved over many years as have the quality of the replacement lenses that we've been using. We like to use replacement lenses are cataract implants that will not only be clear instead of cloudy which the Cataract was but also improve on the visual function of the optical function of the eyes so people who are having to depend on glasses either for distance for astigmatism correction or for reading may not need to use those glasses after cataract surgery. So all of these new lenses are many of these new lenses that have been coming out that some some of you may have heard about are attempting to do just that. We are attempting to recreate the perfect natural lens of the eye that many of us were born with however there's nothing perfect yet it's always a process and every new lens is hopefully a step forward reaching that ultimate goal.

The AMO Symfony lens is a somewhat newer class of product that endeavors to not only replace the cloudy cataract but to allow you to get rid of your glasses for all of the different needs that I just spoke about. For distance or near for astigmatism and for reading. There are a couple of lenses that try to do that currently with some degree of success they're called multifocal lenses and they use a concept of diffractive Optics to break the light up into two focal points distance and close and that can work for many patients. It does require of the eye to be quite perfect otherwise optically no other medical conditions or issues and the surgery has to be very perfect as well.

There's another class of lenses is called the accommodating lens which purports to change its focus by moving in the eye to give you near and far that lens also can treat the some astigmatism the current multifocal lenses cannot. The Symfony lens uses a variation on diffractive optics not to create two focal points but to create one elongated focal point. The advantage of that being that you don't get as many side effects such as glare and halo when you don't have to separate focal point competing for attention. In addition this lens is said to be very very good at correcting for a chromatic aberration. Now there are many different abnormalities are irregularities in an optical system such as the eye which can cause the vision not to be perfect despite having a perfect surgery and some of these are different kinds of aberrations of the light path in the eye. Spherical aberration, chromatic aberration the symphony lens pays particular attention not only to spherical aberration but chromatic aberration so if you decrease the amount of aberrations you can increase the quality of the image. That's very important in trying to get a little extra visual function out of your intraocular lens. What's even more revolutionary about this product and this approval from the FDA is the first one of these presbyopia or reading vision correcting intraocular lenses that can also correct for astigmatism. The Crystalens or the Trulign is an accommodating lens that corrects for astigmatism this is the first of the diffractive optics corrective lenses that can correct for astigmatism so a lot of surgeons have been very interested in having a technology like this available and now it seems that we will.

I'm told that the lens will not be available for use in the United States until sometime after September 2016. It has been approved in Canada Latin America and Europe in the word on the street and talking to my colleagues is that its functioning extremely well and they're having a very great success with it. I'm looking forward to having it available for use here at Wills and in the United States and reporting back with the with our own results once we've gotten our hands on it. Thank you for your attention.

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Course Content

Mark Blecher, MD
FDA Approval of Extended Range Intraocular Lens

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