Looking for an alternative to laser vision correction? Nearsighted patients can benefit from surgically implanted lenses called phakic IOLs (intraocular lenses). These lens implants, also referred to as implantable collamer lenses, can correct moderate to severe myopia, allowing patients whose prescription falls outside the LASIK range to experience corrected vision and enjoy visual freedom. Unlike LASIK or PRK, the phakic IOL implant does not change the shape of the eye. Although intended to remain in the eye permanently, the lens can be removed if necessary.
Phakic intraocular lens implants are similar to the intraocular lenses used in cataract surgery. However, in this type of lens implant surgery, the eye’s natural lens remains in place and the phakic IOL is inserted either on the iris or immediately behind the iris. This eye lens implant corrects vision by acting like glasses or contacts within the eye.
The surgical implant procedure is performed on an outpatient basis and takes about 20 minutes. After anesthetic drops are used to numb the eye, a tiny incision is made to create an opening for the insertion of the implant lens. Since the incision is self-sealing, the surgery is usually completed without stitches.
Following the procedure, improved vision is often observed immediately. However, patients may experience a mild scratchiness immediately following surgery and should rest at home with their eyes closed as much as possible for the rest of the day. Most patients are able to return to normal activity within a few days after lens implant surgery.
STAAR® Visian® ICLTM – Surgical Contact Lens Implant
The Visian ICL (Implantable Collamer Lens) is a phakic IOL made from a collagen copolymer that is highly biocompatible. It has been implanted in over 700,000 eyes worldwide. According to STAAR Surgical, over 99% of the patients in the clinical trial were satisfied with their vision after having Visian ICL lens surgery.
The lens is placed behind the cornea between the iris and the natural lens. Because the Visian ICL is positioned inside the eye, it is invisible and undetectable by others. It is also foldable, so a smaller incision can be used during the surgical procedure. This means the procedure is less invasive than other lens implants and does not require stitches.