Innovative ophthalmic technology

October 1, 2012

Incorporating the LAL into your practice

It is often said that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. A similar sentiment applies to the way in which a clinical practice adopts a new tool. Innovative ophthalmic technologies hold much promise, however, this promise is soon lost if such technologies are not implemented in a manner that compliments existing patient care standards.

The postoperative journey

The adjustment and lock-in process can take several weeks and involves a maximum of four visits to the treating physician's clinic. If this is considered alongside the requirement for all patients to wear UVblocking sunglasses at all times, it is clear that any patient who opts for this IOL must be accepting of a more time-intensive postoperative care plan. Similarly, physicians must adjust their standard approach to IOL implantation to accommodate this unique care plan.

Education is paramount

First and foremost, time must be taken to thoroughly explain the process to potential patients. Patients who opt for the LAL inevitably invest a lot of time, faith and money into the lens procedure. As a result, they need to have a full understanding of the concept that underlies the lens and its results. In my experience, patients do not have a great deal of knowledge about the existing range of solutions for cataracts and refractive error, as such, thorough patient education is essential.

In my practice, we have optical engineers and opticians who are dedicated to educating patients about different lens options. This is something that I am also involved in, but to ensure that all patients seeking IOL implantation are completely informed about all possible solutions, I find that delegating this task allows patient education to be performed with maximum efficiency. Once a patient has narrowed down his or her options, I then discuss these options with them in detail.