Advanced cataract surgery is now possible in Shanghai

Cai Wenjun
The advanced trifocal lens, which can help cataract patients and those with astigmatism, has been approved by Chinese health authorities and is now available in Shanghai.
Cai Wenjun

The advanced trifocal lens that is used to restore vision among cataract patients and for astigmatism is now available in Shanghai.

The first batch of patients have already undergone lens transplantation after the product was approved by Chinese health authorities last month, local eye hospitals said.

"With medical development and people's rising demand for quality of life, cataract surgery has grown from a traditional eyesight-recovering operation to a precise refractive surgery for better vision and a more convenient life," said Dr Lian Jingcai from Shanghai Xinshijie Eye Hospital. "Elderly patients are among those seeking after-surgery vision quality."

The trifocal lens provides a range of near, intermediate, and distance vision without the need for glasses after surgery.

Before, there were two types of lenses: those that restored vision for a fixed distance (requiring patients to wear glasses), and those that restored clear vision for near and other distances, with a drop-off in intermediate distance.

"However, intermediate distance is crucial because it allows one to see objects at arm's length. Patients with other types of lenses can read a book at a close distance or see faraway objects, but they couldn't see a computer screen or send a text on their smartphone," Lian said. "With trifocal technology, elderly people can enjoy their lives better."

Furthermore, approximately 40 percent of people with cataracts also have astigmatism. Lian said that cataract patients can get more help from the advent lens that can fix astigmatism.

According to the Chinese Medical Association, the incidence of cataracts among Chinese between 60 and 89 is about 80 percent. With the rising aging population, there is also a rise in cataract cases. In 2020, there were over 3,000 cataract surgery patients per million people in the country, a figure that had increased nearly 38 times over the previous 30 years.

According to the national government's plan, China intends to perform over 3,500 cataract surgeries for every million people by 2025.

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