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Dr. Piazza Implants Maine’s First Multifocal Lens for Cataract Patients at MDI Hospital

June 8, 2005

On June 8th, ophthalmologist Lawrence Piazza, MD, of Coastal Eye Care became the first eye surgeon in Maine, and among the first in New England, to implant the revolutionary new ReSTOR® multifocal lens in a cataract patient. The lens, implanted at Mount Desert Island Hospital, is the first of its kind to provide both near and distant vision, greatly decreasing the dependency on reading glasses or bifocals for patients.

“This lens uses a combination of three complimentary technologies: apodization, diffraction and refraction, to allow patients to experience a full range of high quality vision without the need for reading glasses or bifocals,” explained Dr. Piazza. This range of vision is achieved without glasses through the optical properties of the lens.  Dr. Piazza added that the end benefit for patients is an increased range of quality vision that results in a high level of freedom from glasses. 

Alcon Laboratories, Inc. of Fort Worth, Texas patented the application of apodization technology, which manages light energy delivered to the retina in a way that provides a full range of vision in all lighting situations.

Dr. Piazza was one of three ophthalmologists in Maine selected by Alcon, the manufacturer of the ReSTOR® lens, to be specifically trained in the use of this new multifocal lens, and to formally introduce this ground-breaking lens technology to the patients of Downeast Maine. In clinical trials, 80 percent of patients receiving this lens reported “never” wearing reading glasses or bifocals following cataract surgery on both eyes.

“The vast majority of patients who undergo cataract surgery today receive monofocal lenses, which typically require them to use reading glasses or bifocals for near vision following surgery,” explained Dr. Piazza.

 “With the new ReSTOR® lens, patients have the potential to reduce their reliance on glasses,” said Dr. Piazza.  “This new multifocal lens is a breakthrough in corrective lens surgery that I am proud and excited to offer my patients undergoing cataract surgery.”

The ReSTOR® is a foldable lens and represents innovative technology because of its unique, patented optic design, which allows patients to experience the highest level of freedom from glasses ever achieved in clinical trials. 

The ReSTOR® lens received approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in March 2005.  Clinical trials were conducted in the United States and Europe to establish the safety and effectiveness of this lens.  A total of 566 patients received the ReSTOR® lens in clinical trials and had a mean age of 68 years.

Since its introduction outside the U.S. in 2003, more than 11,000 ReSTOR® lenses have been implanted in patients by more than 1,000 surgeons in Europe and other countries.

Dr. Piazza is among the first group of U.S. ophthalmologists to be trained in the use of this lens, and he has implanted the ReSTOR® in 7 patients to date with 10 additional patients scheduled to receive this lens in the next 2 months.  “The arrival of the ReSTOR® multifocal lens implant is a quantum leap forward in restoring functional vision independent of spectacles for near and distant tasks in the overwhelming majority of patients receiving this innovative technology,” states Dr. Piazza.  “I am excited about what this lens can offer to patients who look forward to active and fulfilling lives after cataract surgery!”

Dr. Piazza, a board-certified ophthalmologist, established Coastal Eye Care, PA in 1994 and has been providing surgical and medical ophthalmic care to patients in Hancock, Penobscot and Washington counties since 1992.  He has been on Staff at MDI Hospital since 1992 and recently has enhanced his surgical schedule at MDI Hospital providing his patients from the island with increased access to eye surgery closer to home. 

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