• Written By: John A. Hovanesian, MD, FACS
    Cataract/Anterior Segment

    This prospective, randomized study found that a $17 foldable acrylic IOL manufactured by Australia's Fred Hollows Foundation, the Tecsoft Flex, was just as effective in all study parameters as Alcon's AcrySof acrylic IOL, which costs $215.

    It's nice to let the world know there are very satisfactory nonhydrophobic acrylic IOLs that do well long-term. I've personally used thousands of the Akreos monofocal lenses since this material was approved in the U.S. and have never seen a case of calcification. There is little doubt in my mind that this low-cost lens is equally effective, as long as it's placed in an intact bag. 

    Both foldable single-piece ultraviolet-absorbing IOLs have an overall diameter of 13.0 mm and biconvex optics. The hydrophobic acrylic AcrySof SA60AT IOL has an optical diameter of 6.0 mm with a total length of 13.0 mm. The Tecsoft Flex foldable IOL is a poly-HEMA (hydroxy ethyl methacrylate) acrylic lens with open-loop C haptics and a square edge. The haptics are angulated at 5°. The optic diameter of the model used for this study was 5.9 mm and total IOL length was 13.0 mm.

    The authors compared the performance of the two IOLs in 310 patients. Both were equivalent in terms of visual outcomes, complication rates and incidence of PCO by 12 months after surgery. Cataract surgery resulted in a substantial improvement in VF-14 quality-of-life questionnaire scores in both groups.

    They conclude that further long-term postoperative follow-up data, especially for the incidence of PCO, would be desirable for gaining more information about the safety of the new IOL.