Lens Implants

Ophthalmology Associates offers Intraocular Lens (IOL) and Multifocal Lenses which involve lens implants in the eye to produce lasting vision correction. While some elect implants prior to the need for cataract surgery, others with serious vision problems that are not viable candidates for LASIK opt for lens implants.

Intraocular Lenses (IOL) and Multifocal Lenses lasting vision correction.


An intraocular lens implant is an implantable contact lens, designed to replace the natural lens of the eye. A typical intraocular lens implant is monofocal, meaning that it has a fixed, single viewing distance. Therefore, individuals with an intraocular lens implant may still require corrective lenses to read or drive following treatment. However, some patients may be candidates for premium multifocallenses, which greatly reduce dependence on corrective lenses. One of ophthalmologists will evaluate your condition and determine if implantation of an intraocular lens implant meets your individual needs.

Are you a candidate for IOL?

When having cataract surgery you will be getting an intraocular lens implant. Insertion of an intraocular lens implant for the treatment of cataracts is one of the most commonly performed eye surgical procedures. Once the clouded cataract is removed, the intraocular lens implant will be implanted to replace the natural lens of the eye. With the cataract removed and the new intraocular lens implant in place, almost all patients regain good if not superior vision. And there is no chance of the cataract returning, since the natural lens has been removed.

While the use of intraocular lens implant’s in cataract surgery is quite common, intraocular lens implant’s also serve another purpose. For patients looking to correct severe refractive errors, the implantation of an intraocular lens implant can permanently correct their vision. Individuals with serious vision problems will not be viable candidates for LASIK or Intralase; fortunately, the implantation of an intraocular lens implant can correct dramatic refractive errors that these other procedures cannot.


Multifocal lenses refer to artificial lenses that when they are implanted inside the eye, restore both distance and near vision without the need for glasses. Historically, when someone developed a cataract, it was removed and replaced with an intraocular lens (IOL), monofocal lens that allowed for focus at one distance. This means that glasses were often necessary for distance and/or near vision. Newer technologies and cataract surgery techniques have allowed for more precision and greater options in correcting vision to reduce the dependence on glasses. Premium multifocal lenses are a type of IOL. Multifocal lenses, like traditional IOL, are implanted in the eye, producing lasting vision correction. While typical IOL are monofocal, having a single viewing distance, premium multifocal lenses have different distance zones built into the lens, allowing for both near and distance viewing. While multifocal lenses do tend to take more time to adapt to, the results are obvious once the patient’s eyes adjust.

Implantation of Multifocal Lenses

Your physician at Ophthalmology Associates will make a small, stitch-less incision in the front of the eye. Through that small incision, the cloudy cataract will be removed. Then the multifocal lens implant will carefully be positioned inside the eye to replace the old lens. As there are multiple options for allowing clear vision. Your ophthalmologist will select the best technology as it relates to your prescription and visual demands. Depending on the type of technology selected, the ophthalmologist can target good distance and near vision (traditional book reading distance) or good distance and intermediate vision (computer distance). It is important that you work together with your doctor to allow the best result to meet your personal visual demands. A small percentage of patients will notice a glare or halo around lights at night.

Are you a candidate for Multifocal Lenses?

Anyone undergoing cataract surgery could potentially benefit from a multifocal lens implant. This is the optimal time to implant the new, man-made cataract lens implant because the cataract has to be removed regardless. This generally occurs sometime after the age of 50. Given the success of multifocal technologies, it has also become possible to elect implantation prior to the need for cataract surgery.

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Meet Dr. Emily Birkholz

Dr. Birkholz specializes in cataract surgery, LASIK eye surgery, medical retina, glaucoma management and more.

Learn About LASIK

Our doctors have vast experience performing LASIK surgeries. We would be more than happy to provide further education on LASIK.

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We can help you get the vision care you want and need with Wells Fargo, CareCredit or Alphaeon convenient payment plans.

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Ophthalmology Associates has been serving the greater Mankato area for over 50 years and our goal has been to provide our patients with the utmost in personal attention and the very best in eye care services. Contact us to set up your appointment today!