In the 15-minute operation, which is often performed as outpatient surgery, the clouded lens is fragmented by ultrasound and then removed by suction. An artificial lens, the intraocular lens (IOL) is inserted into the intact capsular bag to restore the patient’s visual acuity. Thanks to a wide choice of different artificial lenses, it is even possible to correct vision defects or astigmatism.
Artificial lenses are made of various materials: plexiglass, silicones or acrylics. “We prefer materials which have been used as implant for 20 years and which have therefore been proven successful in contact with the eye and are absolutely safe,” says Christian Fleischmann, Production Manager at HumanOptics. “This is particularly important nowadays as more and more young people are requiring cataract surgery and the artificial lens will have to stay in their eye for many years.”
In Erlangen, IOLs are made of hydrophilic acrylate. In its “dry state”, this material has similar properties to plexiglass and is therefore easily machinable. As a finished product in a “moist state”, however, it is highly flexible and can be folded several times. This has the advantage that only a tiny incision has to be made to insert the lens and this incision heals quickly and often without requiring sutures. HumanOptics has plants in Erlangen and St. Augustin for developing, producing and marketing intraocular lenses for various indications. With its 100 % subsidiary Dr. Schmidt, it has more than 30 years of experience in the IOL sector. “We are one of the few companies in this line of business that can offer the entire vertical range of manufacture”, says Fleischmann. HumanOptics commands a particularly strong position in innovative lenses and high-quality standard lenses. The special lens Aspira-aAY, for example, is a leading-edge solution for cataract surgery.