The Visian ICL by STAAR Surgical is an Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL), also known as an Implantable Contact Lens. The Visian ICL is implanted in the eye behind the iris and in front of the natural lens to correct nearsightedness that ranges from -3.00 diopters to -20.00 diopters. Vision correction with the Visian ICL is classified as high definition vision due to the sharpness and clearness of the vision achieved.
Composed of Collamer®, a collagen copolymer, the Visian ICL is compatible with the natural chemistry of the body so there are minimal risks of lens rejection. Additionally, the Visian ICL has anti-reflective properties and provides ultraviolet protection.
THE BENEFITS OF VISIAN ICL
- Quality of vision obtained
- Compatibility of the implant with the body’s immune system
- The broader treatment range for patients with myopia exceeds that of LASIK or PRK
- No additional maintenance
- Lens placement is not visible to patient
- Removable and replaceable
- Ultraviolet protection
CANDIDATES FOR THE VISIAN ICL PROCEDURE
For optimal safety and best results, patients should not have a history of ophthalmic surgery or diseases such as iritis, glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy. After a thorough medical examination of the eyes and an evaluation of the patients vision history the doctor will determine whether or not this treatment is appropriate.
Patients must meet the following requirements for the procedure:
- Must be adults between the ages of 21 years to 45 years of age
- The anterior chamber depth must be 3.00 mm or greater
- Had stable vision for at least a year prior to implantation
Patients not eligible for the Visian ICL are those with the following:
- Anterior chamber depth is less than 3.00 mm
- Pregnant or nursing
- Did not meet the requirements for endothelial cell density
- Angle of the anterior chamber is less than Grade II
Patients with thin corneas or dry eyes, who are not candidates for LASIK or PRK, may be eligible for Visian ICL vision correction.
THE VISIAN ICL PROCEDURE
The Visian ICL treatment begins one to two weeks before the actual procedure. Using a YAG laser, the surgeon will perform a laser iridotomy. This preliminary procedure will create two small openings near the edge of the iris. This allows fluid to circulate around the eye preventing an increase of intraocular pressure during the procedure. Prescription eye drops will need to be administered for the next few weeks to prevent infection.
On the day of the Visian ICL implantation, the surgeon will numb the eyes with a topical anesthetic before making an opening at the base of the cornea to insert and position the lens. A gel-like solution will be used during the procedure to cushion and protect the eye while the lens is being placed behind the iris of the eye.
In most cases, sutures are not needed because the incision is a smaller size. Eye drops will be administered to prevent infection or inflammation during both the procedure and recovery periods. An eye patch or shield may be used for further protection and comfort after the procedure. Patients should arrange to have someone provide transportation after the procedure. In total, the entire procedure takes 15 to 30 minutes to complete.
RESULTS AND RECOVERY AFTER THE VISIAN ICL PROCEDURE
After the Visian ICL is implanted, patients will likely only need a day or two for recovery, with little to no side effects. Noticeable vision improvement will occur almost right away. The lens remains invisible to others due to its position behind the iris.
The patient will need to return to the surgeon’s office the next day so that the results of the procedure can be evaluated. While the lens is meant to be kept in place for permanent vision correction, it can be removed if necessary. It can also be replaced with an updated lens if significant vision changes occur after the implantation. Patients will still be able to wear reading glasses for presbyopia after this procedure as well.
SAFETY OF THE VISIAN ICL IMPLANTATION
The Visian ICL procedure is not typically associated with the same complications found with either LASIK or PRK. The Visian ICL procedure is considered safer and less invasive than these other procedures, while still achieving a clear distance vision. When complications do occur, they are usually mild and can be corrected by the doctor.
Patients experiencing severe eye pain or a decrease in vision should contact their surgeon immediately.