Implantable Collamer Lenses (also referred to as implantable contact lenses or ICLs) are an excellent alternative form of vision correction surgery for patients that are not candidates for laser vision correction surgeries such as LASIK. Our Utah ICL surgery center, serving patients in Salt Lake, Ogden, Provo and all of Utah, features some of the newest ICL technology and some of the most experienced ICL surgeons in Utah, including the most experienced ICL surgeon in the US.
ICL surgery has been an alternative for our Utah vision correction surgery patients for several years. The STAAR Visian® implantable collamer lens, or ICL is often an option for vision correction in Utah patients with thin corneas or who are extremely nearsighted. The Visian® ICL procedure consists of placing a corrective lens, similar to a contact lens, in the eye itself. The ICL lens is implanted in front of the eye’s natural lens, but behind the iris, so that it is invisible to outside observers. The implantable lens is capable of correcting a higher degree of myopia (nearsightedness) than LASIK, and since the procedure does not involve reshaping the cornea through removal of tissue, it can be performed on patients whose corneas are too thin for laser refractive procedures. In addition, recovery is extremely fast and post-operative vision is incredibly sharp. Visian® ICL is an outpatient procedure (the patient returns home the same day), with most patients seeing well enough to drive by the next day.
The first ICl was implanted in 1993 and FDA studies began shortly thereafter in 1997. Dr. Robert Rivera was one of the initial investigators in the FDA trials. There have been over 250,000 ICLs implanted so far, and a new lens is implanted world-wide every seven minutes.
During the ICL procedure no corneal tissue is removed. The lens is inserted through a small 3 mm self-sealing incision where no stitches are needed. The lens is inserted behind the iris, and in front of the natural lens where it cannot be seen or felt. Vision is significantly improved immediately after surgery, and continues to improve over the next few days. Vision is often described as ultra-high definition. As with all surgeries, there is some risk with ICL surgery. Risk can be minimized by selecting an experienced surgeon and the right surgical environment. Your doctor will discuss potential risks and benefits of ICL surgery with you prior to determining candidacy and help you make an informed decision regarding whether or not ICL surgery is right for you.
Are you a candidate for ICL surgery?
Since their introduction in the mid-1990s, LASIK and PRK have helped millions of Americans see better without glasses or contact lenses. Since that time, laser eye surgery technology has constantly progressed, affording better, more consistent results to an ever-broadening range of eligible surgical candidates. However, in spite of all these advances, there is still a significant number of patients who are not good candidates for laser vision correction. Patients with thin or irregularly shaped corneas, extremely high prescriptions, severely dry eyes, or any combination of these factors, may not be suitable patients for LASIK or PRK, but may be able to have the Visian® ICL procedure.
You may be a candidate for Visian® ICL eye surgery if you:
• Are over 18 years old with a stable prescription.
• Have moderate to extreme nearsightedness.
• Have healthy eyes without disease or serious ailments.
• Have realistic expectations and are educated and informed about the risks and benefits of ICL surgery and the alternatives.
A thorough vision correction examination is required to determine if you are a candidate for ICL surgery. Our Sandy Utah office provides complimentary vision correction surgery examinations for patients who have not had previous vision correction surgery, and are now considering ICL or laser vision correction surgery in Utah.
As part of our stated commitment to providing the best in vision correction technology to Utah, Hoopes Vision recently welcomed Dr. Robert P. Rivera to their surgical team. Dr. Rivera is the most experienced ICL surgeon in the United States, and has performed thousands of Visian ICL procedures. In 2010 Dr. Rivera received the Pioneer award from Staar Surgical for his contributions to ICL implantation surgery. He has traveled around the world performing the Visian® ICL procedure, training other surgeons, and has experienced first-hand the amazing results this surgery can provide. “ICL surgery is a great alternative for patients who are not ideal candidates for LASIK or PRK,” Dr. Rivera says. “It’s also a great option for people in professions, like law enforcement or photography, where ‘high definition’ vision is vital to their work.”