The ICL (Implantable Collamer Lens)
For some patients whose prescription is too high even for LASIK or epi-LASIK to correct, the ICL may be an excellent option. This implantable collamer lens to correct vision has been available internationally for nearly a decade with worldwide experience in tens of thousands of patients.
The ICL (sometimes referred to as an implantable contact lens) is placed within the eye during a brief, outpatient surgical procedure providing excellent quality of vision for many patients who cannot safely have LASIK or other laser vision correction. The Visian ICL is invisible to you and others and requires no maintenance. It is made from Collamer, a collagen copolymer.
Collagen is the same naturally occurring substance present in the eye and in many other tissues of the human body. In one study, over 99% of patients in the clinical trial were satisfied with their new vision after ICL surgery. Collamer is very compatible with the eye’s natural environment and the lens contains an ultraviolet filter that provides protection to the eye.
How do I know if I’m a good Visian ICL candidate?
In general, ICL candidates:
- Are between the ages of 21 and 45.
- Are nearsighted (-3D to –20D eyeglass prescription) with mild or no astigmatism.
- Have adequate anterior chamber depth and eye tissue cell density (determined by an ophthalmologist after a comprehensive eye examination).
- Have not had a significant change in their eyeglass prescription of more than 0.5D in one year.
- Are not currently pregnant.
- Have no known allergies to medications used during the procedure and have no other contraindications to the procedure.
- Are not good LASIK candidates because of severe nearsightedness, thin corneas, severe dry eyes, or for some other reason.
Where is the Visian ICL placed?
A trained ophthalmologist will insert the Visian ICL through a small micro-incision, placing the implant inside the eye just behind the iris and in front of the eye’s natural lens. The Visian ICL is designed not to cause trauma to other eye structures and to stay in place with no special care.
Does it hurt?
No. Most patients tell us they are very comfortable throughout the procedure. Your ophthalmologist will use anesthetic eye-drops before the procedure and may administer a light sedative as well.
What if my vision changes after I received the Visian ICL?
One advantage of the Visian ICL is that it offers treatment flexibility. If your vision changes dramatically after receiving the implant, your doctor can remove and replace it. If necessary, another procedure can usually be performed at a later date to further correct your vision. Patients can wear glasses or contact lenses as needed following treatment with the ICL. The implant does not treat presbyopia (difficulty with reading and people 40 years and older), but you can use reading glasses as needed after the ICL has been implanted.
What type of procedure is involved in implanting the Visian ICL?
Your doctor will prepare your eyes one to two weeks prior to ICL surgery by using a laser to create a small opening between the lens and front chamber of your eye. This allows fluid to pass between the two areas, thereby avoiding the buildup of intraocular pressure following the surgery. The implantation procedure itself takes about 20 minutes and is performed on an outpatient basis, although arrangements should be made for someone to drive you to and from the procedure.
The day after ICL surgery you will return to your doctor for a followup visit. Another followup visit at one month and six months will allow your doctor to monitor your progress.
Is the Visian ICL visible to others?
No. The Visian ICL is positioned behind the iris (the colored part of the eye), where it is invisible to both you and others. Only your doctor will be able to tell that vision correction has taken place.
Can the Visian ICL be removed from my eye?
Although the Visian ICL is intended to remain in place permanently, a certified ophthalmologist can remove the implant if necessary.
Will I be able to feel the Visian ICL once it is in place?
The Visian ICL is designed to be completely unobtrusive after it is put in place. It stays in position by itself and does not generally interact with any of the eye’s structures.