What is the Restor IOL?

AcrySof ® ReSTOR ® is the first and only IOL (intraocular lens) that uses apodized diffractive technology to provide cataract patients with and without presbyopia a quality range of vision. In clinical trials, 80 percent of patients reported “never” wearing reading glasses or bifocals following bilateral cataract surgery.The vast majority of patients who undergo cataract surgery today receive traditional IOLs, which typically require patients to use reading glasses or bifocals for near vision following surgery. The AcrySof ® ReSTOR ® lens is a foldable IOL that represents breakthrough technology because of its unique, patented optic design, which allows patients to experience the highest level of freedom from glasses ever achieved in IOL clinical trials.

Does the AcrySof® ReSTOR® IOL work?

As we perform daily activities such as reading, watching television or working at the computer, our eyes are constantly focusing on objects at varying distances – up close, far away and everything in-between. The ability to quickly change focus throughout this range of vision is called accommodation. Accommodation is the ability of the eye’s lens to change shape to focus on objects at various distances.

Unfortunately, this ability diminishes as we grow older, causing us to become dependent on bifocals or reading glasses. However, the AcrySof® ReSTOR® IOL was designed to provide quality near to distance vision by combining the strengths of apodized diffractive and refractive technologies. Similar technology has been used for years in microscopes and telescopes to improve image quality, and has now been patented for use in intraocular lenses by Alcon.

Apodization is the gradual reduction or blending of the diffractive step heights. The application of apodization to intraocular lenses is a patented process by Alcon and can only be found in the AcrySof® ReSTOR® IOL.

Distance vision: Refers to focal points that are typically 7 feet or further from your eyes. Items that typically fall within the distance range of vision are billboards, street signs, and movie screens.

Apodized Diffractive

Apodization is the gradual tapering of the diffractive steps from the center to the outside edge of a lens to create a smooth transition of light between the distance, intermediate and near focal points. Diffraction involves the bending or spreading of light to multiple focal points as it passes through the lens. On the AcrySof® ReSTOR® IOL, the center of the lens surface consists of an apodized diffractive optic. This means that the series of tiny steps in that center area work together to focus light for near through distance vision.

Near vision: Refers to focal points that are typically 16 inches or closer to your eyes. This is also known as “reading vision.” Items that typically fall within the near range of vision are books, newspapers, and medicine bottles.

Distance vision: Refers to focal points that are typically 7 feet or further from your eyes. Items that typically fall within the distance range of vision are billboards, street signs, and movie screens.


Refraction: Redirection of light rays as they pass through the lens to focus on the retina.
Retina: The transmitter located at the back of your eye that sends the images to your brain.

The refractive region of the AcrySof® ReSTOR® IOL bends light as it passes through the lens to a focal point on the retina. This outer ring of the AcrySof® ReSTOR® IOL surrounds the apodized diffractive region and is dedicated to focusing light for distance vision.

ReStor IOL Results

During U.S. clinical trials, the results with ReSTOR were remarkable:

  • 80% of patients reported that after lens implant surgery with ReSTOR lenses, they no longer needed glasses or contact lenses to see clearly at all distances.
  • 94% said they could drive and read the paper without contacts or glasses.
  • Nearly 94% were so satisfied that they would have the procedure again.

It is important to understand that while ReSTOR is a new technology, intraocular lenses are not new. Lens implant surgery for cataracts is the most commonly performed surgery in the U.S. and has been performed for more than two decades.

Alcon, Inc., the manufacturer and distributor of the AcrySof family of lenses, of which ReSTOR lens is a part, has an outstanding track record for successful innovation. In fact, AcrySof lenses are the most frequently implanted lenses in the world. More than 21 million AcrySof lenses have been implanted in patients’ eyes since 1990.

However, for years medical researchers have been eager to find a lens that would not treat cataracts but give patients the range of vision they wanted. Until recently, the only lens implant available was a “monofocal” lens that accommodated sight at a fixed distance, typically medium range. ReSTOR works by diffractive and refractive properties which allow an exceptionally high degree of freedom from any form of corrective eyeware.

The Next Step

Dr. Northam has performed thousands of cataract surgeries since her residency and is proud to be the first surgeon in the Ark-La-Tex to perform the first Acrysof Restor IOL, when it was approved by the FDA in March 2005.  Because of the broad range of refractive surgery that she offers her patients and the different selection of intraocular lens options that she uses for cataract surgery, she can help you determine which lens option is best for you.  If you are considering having cataract surgery the next step is to schedule a cataract evaluation (dilated eye exam) with Dr. Northam.  The ReSTOR IOL is also considered an upgradeable elective IOL therefore there is an additional out-of-pocket expense that insurance does not cover for the procedure. At Collom & Carney Eye Dr. Northam wants to make your procedure easy and affordable by offering several forms of payment options, as well as financing.

If you would like more information regarding the ReSTOR IOL or would like to schedule a FREE Consultation with our Refractive Coordinator to see which lens option you might qualify for, call (903) 614-3937.