Cataract Surgery and
Lens Implantation

History of
Intraocular Lens Implants

History of Intraocular Lens Implants

In the old days the only way we could replace the focusing power of the lens we removed was with a thick cataract (coke bottle) glass - glasses that we remember older people wearing years ago. Nowadays, we are quite fortunate because we can replace the natural lens by implanting an artificial, clear, plastic lens.

The discovery of these lenses came as a result of World War II pilots, and the injuries sustained when bullets would strike the plastic canopy of their aircraft, causing small shards of plastic to go into their eye. In the late fourties, Howard Ridley was an RAF ophthalmologist looking after these unfortunate pilots, and he realized that the polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) acrylic of the canopies, was made of an inert material that was compatible witrh eye tissue.

In 1949 he replaced a cataractous natural lens with an artificial plastic lens, and he was viewed with suspicion and derision by other ophthalmologists for doing this unheard of thing. It took the rest of ophthalmology 30 years to figure out how to do the same thing.

There has been an evolution of artificial lenses since then. The current versions are actually placed within the capsular bag of the old, natural lens and they are now made of polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) with an ultra violet blocking substance in them. We also have a number of newer, flexible materials (silicone or acrylic) which can be folded, and therefore, are placed through a smaller incision.

Folded Lens in after Phacoemulsification

What is a Cataract        Types of Cataracts and the Symptoms         Detecting a Cataract
Cataract Treatment      How is a Cataract Removed        Phacoemulsification Technique
Intraocular Lens Implants                                Before, During, and After Cataract Surgery
When Will My Vision Return to Normal                         What is a YAG Laser Capsulotomy
Risks and Results of Cataract Surgery                                   History of Lens Implantation

For more information contact:
Dr. Murray McFadden
(BSc, MD, FRCS(C), Diplomate of the American
Board of Ophthalmology)

© Copyright 1996-2004 Murray McFadden MD, Inc.

Telephone: (604) 530-3332
Fax: (604) 535-6258
SnailMail: 20434 64th Avenue, Unit #201,
Langley, BC Canada V2Y 1N4

This page last updated on December 30, 2003.
Web Page Programmer Turnaround Type and Graphics