The great hope for light-adjustable intraocular lenses (IOL) was that they would make refractive surprises after cataract surgery a trivial affair to correct. The lenses—as their name implies—can be molded by the surgeon after implantation using a low intensity light beam to warp the photoreactive silicone lens into the shape of the individual patient’s prescription. The FDA first announced approval of these devices in late November 2017.1 However, such lenses have been in use in more than a decade of trials, and now researchers are evaluating their long-term success.2 

A German research team looked at 103 eyes of 61 patients who had the lenses implanted after cataract surgery between April 2008 and December 2012.2 With a mean 7.2 years of follow up, they found that the patients maintained good refractive outcomes with minimal deviation. They noted no significant changes in corneal thickness. Two patients experienced small complications in the form of slight opacities of IOL material, but these issues did not impact visual acuity. Other eye diseases were within the normal range in line with the patients’ age, the study shows.2

“Our findings suggest that LAL technology is a safe and efficient method to achieve good visual results without long-term complications,” the authors concluded.2


1. FDA News Release. FDA approves first implanted lens that can be adjusted after cataract surgery to improve vision without eyeglasses in some patients. FDA. November 22, 2017. Accessed August 29, 2019.
2. Schojai M, Schultz T, Schulze K, et al. Long-term follow-up and clinical evaluation of the light adjustable intraocular lens (lal) implanted after cataract removal: seven-year results. J Cat Refract Surg. August 14, 2019. [Epub ahead of print].