Which Lens Is Better For Cataract Surgery, Indian Or Imported?

8 mins read

Cataracts are a common eye condition that currently affects a vast majority of people. The only treatment for cataracts is a surgical intervention- removing the clouded lens and replacing it with an artificial lens. Advanced technology, state-of-the-art equipment, and well-trained surgeons have been instrumental in how cataract surgery has evolved over the years. 

During Cataract surgery, the damaged and clouded lens is removed and replaced with a new intraocular lens (IOL). The IOL comes in various types and depends on multiple factors. The patient has the option to choose IOLs made in India or abroad. 

The common question in every patient’s mind is which IOL suits them best- Indian or imported? This depends on factors like the severity of the damage the cataract has caused, the shape and size of your eye, etc. Read on as we help you find your answers. 

What is an intraocular lens (IOL)?

The lens implanted after the cataract affects the eyes’ natural lens through surgery is called an intraocular lens (IOL). It restores vision post-surgery by focusing light and functions similarly as the natural lens. The IOL used in cataract surgery is also known as pseudophakicthe  IOL. This is different from the artificial phakic lenses used in refractive optical power correction surgeries. Usually, these artificial lenses are made up of silicone or acrylic glass. These are inert and foldable and are the safest optical implants. 

Types of Premium IOLs

These are advanced types of lenses that are implanted in the posterior chamber of the eye These are used for modern cataract procedures like phacoemulsification, and MCIS (Microincision Cataract Surgery). These include the following:

  • Monofocal lenses
      • These are made up of rigid materials and are not foldable
      • These are mostly preferred to elderly patients.
  • Multifocal lenses
      • They can effectively function as our eyes’ natural lens.
      • The multifocal lens focus at multiple distances.
      • These are mainly made up of silicone or acrylic glass.
  • Toric lenses
    • These are suitable for patients with corneal astigmatism (condition which alters the curvature of your eye).

Evolution Of IOLs In India

During the late 80s, IOLs had to be imported to India since IOL were not manufactured in India. However, during the late 90s, India began its manufacture of low-cost IOLs at a fraction of the cost of imported or foreign IOLs. Over the last two decades, there have been incredible advancements in the material and designs of IOLs worldwide, including in India. This has significantly helped the low-income population of India since the cost of cataract surgery has come down owing to the use of Indian IOLs.

According to many clinical research studies, the safety and efficacy of the Indian IOLs have been comparable to the imported IOLs. The quality of Indian IOLs has been so advanced and popular with positive outcomes, that India has started exporting these IOLs to other developing countries.

Why indian Lens is better?

The quality of lenses manufactured has improved tremendously in the last couple of years. 

  • Indian lenses are as good as any standard imported lens.
  •  They are more cost-effective when compared to the mported lens.
  • Indian lenses are more easily available than imported ones since the Indian lens can easily be manufactured locally.
  • The low-income population greatly benefits from the Indian lens due to the reduced cost. The low socioeconomic status people cannot afford imported IOLs, and this population is most affected by cataracts.
  • The overall cataract surgery package reduces due to the low-cost IOLs used.
  • They exhibit similar efficacy as compared to the imported lens.
  • They are easy and safe to use.

Why Do Patients Choose Imported Lenses?

Irrespective of the high quality of Indian lenses, some patients still prefer imported IOLs because:

  • The foreign manufacturers spend a lot on Research & Development (R &D) for producing newer generations of IOLs (for example, the blue-light filtering IOLs). R&D leads to improvement and innovation in technology and the efficacy of new products.  Patients who prefer such technologically advanced lenses usually choose imported IOLs.
  • The new generation of  IOLs that are manufactured have to undergo a series of rigorous testing, evaluation, and certification. Hence this guarantees the quality and authenticity of these imported lenses.

Factors Affecting The Type Of IOLs Used?

Your eye surgeon would guide you best to choose the right type of IOL which suits you according to the severity of the damage caused and the morphology of your eye. Your decision would finally be based on the following:

  • Cost 

      • The package of your cataract surgery depends on the type of IOL you choose. Indian IOLS are less costly, and your overall surgery package is also less costly than that with imported IOLs.
  • Eye hospital

      • Cataract surgery packages vary from hospital to hospital. You need to choose an appropriate hospital with good cataract surgery packages that enable you to afford foreign IOLs easily.
  • Clarity of vision required

      • If you are looking for near, intermediate and distant vision correction, imported IOLs are the most preferred choice.
  • Pre-existing diseases 

    • Certain eye diseases like advanced glaucoma, corneal disorders or age-related macular degeneration require a special imported lens. 


Cataract surgeries have made tremendous advancements due to the latest technologies and state-of-the-art equipment. The intraocular lens (IOLs) also play a vital role in the success of cataract surgeries and their potential visual outcomes. Indian manufacturers have been active in the process of developing IOLs of standard quality which meet your needs. 

Consult our eye specialists at Medfin to understand your condition better and guide you through all the options available and help you choose the best choice for your eye health and visual needs.


The content on this site is the copyright of Medfin and is intended for informational and educational purposes only. This should not be considered as a substitute for medical and surgical expertise. Results from any treatments or surgeries are subjective to an individual patient and the type of procedure/ surgery performed. Please seek professional help regarding any medical concerns. Medfin will not be responsible for any act or omission arising from the interpretation of the content present on this page.

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