Go to main content. Press Shift+? for keyboard-shortcuts.

Media Release

New data shows patients implanted with Alcon AcrySof® Monofocal IOLs had lower rates of a common complication after cataract surgery

  • A UK study demonstrated that patients implanted with Alcon AcrySof® monofocal intraocular lenses (IOLs) had lower rates of posterior capsule opacification (PCO) following cataract surgery
  • Comparative, retrospective real-world clinical data to be presented at XXXV European Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgeons (ESCRS) Congress
  • More than 20 million cataract surgeries are performed each year worldwide1


LISBON, Portugal, October 10, 2017 – Alcon, the global leader in eye care and a division of Novartis, will present real-world data to support Alcon AcrySof® monofocal intraocular lenses (IOLs) as a safe, effective way to reduce common complications after cataract surgery. New data demonstrate cataract patients implanted with an AcrySof® monofocal IOL are less likely to develop posterior capsule opacification (PCO) or to require a Nd:YAG laser procedure to correct PCO after cataract surgery than those implanted with a non-AcrySof® monofocal hydrophilic or hydrophobic IOL. PCO, often called the “secondary cataract,” is the most frequent long-term complication following cataract surgery.2 Results will be presented today at the European Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgeons (ESCRS) Congress at 3:02 pm CET at the Feira Internacional de Lisboa congress center in room 4.4.

“Decreasing and delaying the occurrence of posterior capsule opacification is important because, in some cases, it can cause as much as or more vision loss than the original cataract,” said Paul Ursell, MBBS, M.D., FRCOphth and lead study author. “With this study, we now have robust, real-world evidence that shows patients who receive an AcrySof® IOL are less likely to require PCO-treating laser surgery, which carries its own risks and puts a financial burden on the healthcare system.”

Researchers retrospectively analyzed data for 52,162 IOL implantations performed at multiple centers. Three years after cataract surgery, the incidence of the Nd:YAG procedure for AcrySof® monofocal IOLs was nearly two times lower than for non-AcrySof® monofocal hydrophobic IOLs (2.4% vs. 4.4%) and more than four times lower than for non-AcrySof® monofocal hydrophilic IOLs (2.4% vs. 10.9%).3

“Our AcrySof IOLs have been implanted more than 100 million times, improving the sight and lives of tens of millions of patients over the past 20 years,” said Stephan Eigenmann, Surgical Franchise Head, Europe Middle East & Africa (EMEA), Alcon. “AcrySof IOLs have a legacy of changing people’s lives at the time of their surgery, and the data presented today show these lenses reduce the risk of complications long after the initial surgical procedure.”  

The study compared the real-world incidence of the Nd:YAG laser capsulotomy procedure to treat PCO in the first three years after cataract surgery among patients implanted with hydrophobic AcrySof® monofocal IOLs (n = 13,330 eyes) versus patients implanted with non-AcrySof® hydrophilic and hydrophobic monofocal IOLs (n = 19,807 and 19,025 eyes, respectively).

About Posterior Capsule Opacification (PCO)

PCO involves the thickening of the back of the lens capsule following cataract surgery, potentially reducing visual performance.4 Nd:YAG laser capsulotomy, the preferred treatment for PCO, is an outpatient procedure in which the surgeon uses the Nd:YAG laser to cut a hole in the clouded back lining of the eye’s lens capsule, allowing light to pass through to the retina at the back of the eye.5



  1. Lindstrom, Richard, MD. Thoughts on Cataract Surgery: 2015. Review of Ophthalmology. March 2015. https://www.reviewofophthalmology.com/article/thoughts-on--cataract-surgery-2015. Accessed September 2017.
  2. Awasthi, Niranjan, PhD et al. Posterior Capsular Opacification: A Problem Reduced but Not Yet Eradicated. Arch Ophthalmol. 2009;127(4):555-562. http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaophthalmology/fullarticle/422987
  3. A multicentre, retrospective cohort study comparing the real-world incidence of Nd:YAG laser capsulotomy procedure to treat posterior capsular opacification in the first 3 years after cataract surgery among hydrophobic and hydrophilic acrylic IOLs, P. Ursell UK, Date/Time: Tuesday 10/10/2017 | 15:02, Room 4.4, Session Title: Cataract Surgery Practice Styles/PCO
  4. Raj, Shetal M. et al. Post-Operative Capsular Opacification: A Review. Int J Biomed Sci.2007Dec;3(4): 237–250. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3614664/
  5. “Nd: YAG Laser Posterior Capsulotomy After Cataract Surgery.” WebMd. http://www.webmd.com/eye-health/cataracts/ndyag-laser-posterior-capsulotomy-for-cataracts Accessed August 2017.