Visian Implantable Collamer® Lens (ICL)
For patients with nearsightedness, an alternative to flattening the cornea with surgical lasers is a permanent artificial lens implant. We use the Visian Implantable Collamer® Lens (ICL) procedure, which inserts a lens made of an advanced non-irritating substance called Collamer® into the eye through a microscopic hole. The Visian ICL does not replace the eye's natural lens. Instead, the ICL is implanted between the iris and the natural lens.
The Visian ICL is the first lens of its kind to receive FDA approval for use in the United States. It is based on many years of research and development in adapting the proven technology of the IOL (intraocular lens) used for cataract surgery.
The Visian ICL procedure differs from cataract surgery in that the natural lens is not removed from the eye. Instead, the Visian ICL is placed in front of the natural lens and works with it to correct vision. One of the advantages of the lens is that you may qualify for surgery, even if you have been turned down for LASIK or other surgical procedures
The Visian ICL works by bending the light rays that pass through the natural lens to achieve sharper focus on the retina. The Visian ICL does not replace the eye's natural lens. Instead, the ICL is placed between the iris and the natural lens.
- One to two weeks prior to the lens being implanted, your eye surgeon will make a small opening in your eye with a laser to allow fluid to pass between the lens and the front chamber of the eye.
- On the day of your procedure, your surgeon will administer topical anesthesia to minimize discomfort. You may still feel pressure in your eye.
The doctor will create one or two small openings at the base of your cornea that will be used to position the lens.
A gel-like substance will be placed inside your eye to protect the eye during lens placement. This gel will be removed at the end of the procedure.
- A small incision will be made, through which the lens will be inserted.
- The folded lens is injected into your eye. As the lens is injected, it will gently unfold in your eye. Once the lens has fully unfolded, the four corners of the lens will be placed behind your iris. This makes the lens invisible to both you and others.
- Once the lens is in place, your surgeon will remove the gel-like substance.
- The surgeon will give you eye drops to help prevent infection and inflammation. You will continue to use these eye drops for several days after your procedure.
- Because the incision made during surgery is so small, sutures (stitches) are typically not needed following the Visian ICL eye surgery. For comfort and protection, the doctor may cover your eye with a patch or shield and prescribe eye drops or other medication.
- You will not be able to drive immediately after the Visian ICL eye surgery, so it is important that you arrange for transportation home.
You may be a candidate for ICL if you:
- Are between the ages of 21 and 45.
- Are nearsighted.
- Have had no previous eye surgery or an eye disease.
- Have thin corneas that rule out LASIK procedures.
The Visian ICL procedure is designed to be a permanent vision correction and the artificial lens can stay inside the eye indefinitely. However, the ICL also can be removed or replaced if your vision changes dramatically, and another vision correction procedure can be performed at any time.