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The Implantable Contact Lens (ICL) is also known as a phakic IOL."Phakic" means that the natural lens of the eye is not removed, and"IOL" means intraocular lens, or a lens inside the eye. The ICL is considered an alternative to such procedures as LASIK and PRK or Refractive Lens Exchange. The best candidates for the ICL are between the ages of 21 and 50, with moderate to severe nearsightedness who are not ideal IntraLASIK candidates.
The ICL is a small, injectable lens that is inserted through a tiny, 3 mm incision that does not usually require sutures. The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis, which means that the patient has surgery and leaves the same day. A light, topical or local anesthetic is administered, and there is very little discomfort and normally no pain associated with the procedure.
The ICL provides predictable outcomes and excellent quality of vision. If there are major changes in one's vision, the ICL can easily be removed and replaced. It is designed to remain in place within the eye without maintenance. Because the lens is positioned behind the iris, neither you, nor an observer will be able to see it. The lens material is a collagen co-polymer that is very biocompatible (doesn't cause a reaction inside the eye) and stable. It also contains an ultraviolet light filter.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Visian ICL™
To help you determine whether you might be a good Visian ICL candidate, STAAR® Surgical Company has provided useful Visian ICL information, including the answers to the following frequently asked questions:
How do I know if I am a suitable Visian ICL candidate?
Candidates for the Visian ICL are between 21 and 45 years of age, suffer from myopia (nearsightedness), and want to experience superior vision correction. The ideal Visian ICL candidate has not undergone any ophthalmic surgery and does not have a history of eye disease such as iritis, glaucoma, or diabetic retinopathy. Women who are pregnant or nursing should wait to have the Visian ICL implanted. Lastly, those without a large enough anterior chamber depth or endothelial cell density may not be a good Visian ICL candidate.
Where is the Visian ICL placed?
The Visian ICL is inserted through a small micro-incision, placing it inside the eye just behind the iris in front of the eye's natural lens. The Visian ICL is designed not to touch any internal eye structures and stay in place with no special care.
What is the track record of the Visian ICL?
Prior to being placed on the market, the Visian ICL was subject to extensive research and development. Today, more than 55,000 patients worldwide enjoy the benefits of the device. In an FDA clinical trial, over 99 percent of patients were satisfied with their implant. The Visian ICL has a track record of stable, consistently excellent clinical outcomes. The lens has been available internationally for over 10 years.
Does it hurt?
No, most patients state that they are very comfortable throughout the procedure. You will be given topical anesthetic drop prior to the procedure and light sedative as well.
What is the Visian ICL made of?
The Visian ICL is made of Collamer®, a highly biocompatible advanced lens material which contains a small amount of purified collagen. Collamer does not cause a reaction inside the eye and it contains an ultraviolet filter that provides protection to the eye. Collamer is a material proprietary to STAAR Surgical Company.
What if my vision changes after I receive 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 be performed at any time. Patients can wear glasses or contact lenses as needed following treatment with the Visian ICL. The implant does not treat presbyopia (difficulty with reading in people 40 and older), but you can use reading glasses as needed after receiving the Visian ICL.
Although the Visian ICL requires no special maintenance, you are encouraged to visit your eye doctor annually for check-ups following the Visian ICL procedure. Additional Visian ICL information regarding ICL eye surgery and its follow-up care is available.
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.
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 observers. Only your doctor will be able to tell that vision correction has taken place.
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 interact with any of the eye's structures.