When considering cataract surgery, the most significant decision that must be made by the patient and surgeon is which type of intraocular lens implant will provide the most satisfying outcome. With today’s incredible medical technology, there are a wide range of lens implant options to discuss. Dr. Hamilton recently explained his decision-making and consultation process with Cataract and Refractive Surgery Today magazine. In the article, which appears in the January 2017 edition, Dr. Hamilton discusses his style for deciding on and explaining the best lens implant option, based on the individual needs of each patient.
Dr. Hamilton explains his approach as the following, “My style is to make a recommendation based on a comprehensive clinical history, patient-reported desires for visual function and needs, the slit-lamp examination (including dilated fundus), corneal topography, and often (but not always) macular optical coherence tomography imaging. I prefer this approach to asking the patient to make an “educated” choice that is often biased by of a loved one, friend, or neighbor….”. He then comments on the importance of understanding the recovery process, adapting to new optics, and the use of educational materials to help convey these concepts. Using online simulations and physical models allows Dr. Hamilton to most accurately convey the specific procedure, lens choice and post-operative experience to the patient. For example, using a model of the Symfony IOL (Abbot Medical Optics), he explains that, “Can you see the rings on this extended-depth-of-focus lens? We are changing the optics your brain is used to in an instant. Your brain needs to adapt to the new optics. During the first few months, you will notice some combination of glare, halos, and starbursts around lights at night. These won’t be debilitating like what you experience now with your cataracts, but they will seem unusual. After a time, you will notice these aspects less often. You are wearing a watch, necklace, bracelet, earrings, but you don’t notice them. Your brain is used to them and ignores them. In much the same way, your brain will adapt to the new norm of these amazing optics and ignore the glare and halos.
Read the full article here.