Revolutionary surgery opens eyes in Evansville

Local News

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WEHT) – Joyce Montgomery lives behind a cloud. The cataract in her left eye is invisible to anyone else, but it has altered her life severely.

“Very bad, really really blurry. I could barely see people,” she said. Her visit to the doctor’s office Thursday afternoon in Evansville is about to change everything.

She became Indiana’s first patient to have groundbreaking PanOptix technology implanted in her eye.

“It’s exciting to be able to restore vision for people, and it’s also stressful,” said Dr. David Malitz.

He has done thousands of cataract surgeries in his 25-year career, but small incision here, and a little suction there has opened a new world for Joyce and the medical field at-large.

“The technology is very innovative, and it takes a lot of engineering competence to be able to come up with this,” Malitz said.

Dr. Malitz looks through a microscope during the procedure.

Joyce now has one of the first trifocal lenses in the country. The old way sacrificed some vision somewhere along the way.

“The multifocal lenses only had distance and near, this is the first technology that allows both distance, intermediate, and near to all three zones of vision,” Malitz explained.

This was Joyce’s second cataract surgery, but her right eye doesn’t have this new lens.

As you might expect, it takes a steady hand to pull it off. Malitz has to use fine tools to pull the natural clouded lens out and insert a new artificial trifocal lens in.

The Food and Drug Administration had to go through rigorous trials to make sure it’s safe, too. The government approved this technology last week.

After 20 minutes on the operating table, Joyce gets to go home with a pair of big dark sunglasses. She said the procedure didn’t even hurt.

“Just pressure,” she smiled.

Now Joyce sees the world in a whole new light, and it looks good being first.

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This story was originally published on September 5, 2019

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