Today, technology brings different choices of permanent vision correction. There are several procedures such as laser assisted in situ Keratomileusis (LASIK), photorefractive keratectomy (PRK), or an implantable lens called Visian ICL (Implantable Collamer® Lens). It is important to understand the different choices before deciding on the vision correction procedure that is right for the patient.
The Visian ICL represents an alternative to other refractive surgeries such as LASIK, PRK, incisional surgeries, or other means of corrections such as glasses or contacts. It is able to correct moderate to high myopia with or without mild to moderate amounts of astigmatism. ICL surgery generates options for a much wider range of prescriptions that can free you from glasses or contacts.
The Visian ICL is inserted into the eye to work in conjunction with the natural lens for long term vision correction. This lens is made of Collamer, which is a material used exclusively by STAAR Surgical to make ICLs and other corrective lenses. This material is composed of collagen, which makes the Visian ICL biocompatible with your own body. Also, it offers a built in protection to UV light.
ICL implantations have been approved in the United States since 2005 and in Europe since 1997. Dr. Michael R. George is part of a few selected specialized surgeons able to implant the lens with a 99% satisfaction rate.
Patients who are usually candidates for ICL procedures are between 21 and 45 years old; are nearsighted with mild to severe myopia (-3D to -20D); are looking for a procedure that doesn’t create dry eye syndrome; do not have a history of glaucoma; maintain good eye health. Since September 2018, STAAR Surgical’s Visian Toric Implantable Collamer Lens has been approved by the FDA for the correction of myopia with mild to moderate amounts of astigmatism. It is expected to be available in the United States around November 1, 2018.
Visian ICL patients can correct their vision knowing that the lens is completely removable. This can be the case if the patient experiences any major changes in their prescription such as with the development of cataracts (usually a natural aging process and cloudiness of the lens); or they decide to go with another future or new vision correction option, depending on advances in technology.
Before doing ICL surgery, Dr. George would perform a procedure known as iridotomy, which is done prophylactically to ensure there will be no intraocular fluid buildup behind the implanted lens after surgery. The surgeon uses a YAG laser to make one or two holes by the edge of the iris (colored part of the eye). This method is the safest way to prevent complications that can lead to glaucoma.
The procedure itself is painless as your surgeon will use local numbing medication. During ICL surgery, the lens is inserted between the iris and the natural lens through a small incision in the cornea. The lens is typically not noticeable after it is implanted. The procedure takes about twenty to thirty minutes. The majority of the time, most patients can achieve improved vision immediately following the procedure. They usually are able to resume the majority of their daily activities within few days, but this time with corrected vision.
Please call our office to schedule your appointment for an evaluation to see if you are a candidate for ICL vision correction surgery.