Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL)
The implantable collamer lens procedure, or ICL for short, differs from cataract surgery in that it is a phakic procedure, meaning the eye’s natural lens is not removed. An ICL is an artificial lens, similar in function to a contact lens, which is implanted in front of the eye’s natural lens but behind the iris so that it is practically invisible to outside observers. The ICL procedure corrects moderate to severe myopia (nearsightedness: those who can see up close) and/or astigmatism.
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 1 million 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 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 to help you make an informed decision regarding whether or not ICL surgery is right for you.
This 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 the 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 postoperative vision is incredibly sharp. Visian ICL is an outpatient procedure with most patients seeing well enough to drive by the next day.
Implantable collamer lens – ICL for short – has been an alternative for our Utah vision correction surgery patients for over a decade. The STAAR Visian® ICL is often an option for vision correction in 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 myopia (nearsightedness: those who can see up close) and/or astigmatism than LASIK, and since the procedure does not involve reshaping the cornea through the 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 postoperative vision is very sharp. Visian® ICL is an outpatient procedure (the patient returns home the same day), and most patients see well enough to drive by the next day.
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:
The ideal candidate for custom wavefront LASIK has had a stable refractive prescription for at least a year and also has an irregularity that affects the quality of his or her vision.
A thorough vision correction examination is required to determine if you are a candidate for ICL surgery. Our Draper, 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.
– Are over 18 years old with a stable prescription.
– Have moderate to extreme nearsightedness and or astigmatism.
– 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
A qualified ophthalmologist will insert the Visian ICL through a small micro-opening, placing it inside the eye just behind the iris and in front of the eye’s natural lens.
No, most patients state that they are very comfortable throughout the procedure. Your ophthalmologist will use topical anesthetic drops prior to the procedure and may choose to administer a light sedative as well.
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 surgeon will be able to tell that vision correction has taken 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.
Although the Visian ICL is intended to remain in place permanently, a qualified ophthalmologist can remove the implant if necessary.
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 contains an ultraviolet blocker that provides protection to the eye. Collamer is a material proprietary to STAAR Surgical Company.
Hoopes Vision is proud to offer a comprehensive selection of the newest, safest, and most effective vision correction procedures available anywhere in the world. Whether you are seeking freedom from the hassle of glasses and contacts or you are in need of a sight-saving cornea transplant, the specialists at Hoopes Vision have the expertise and technology to help you.
The fellowship-trained, board-certified cornea specialists at Hoopes Vision offer a comprehensive array of the most advanced cornea transplant procedures available today, including the newer partial-thickness and laser-assisted transplants.
For patients who may not be ideal candidates for ICL due to the onset of presbyopia, also known as “after-40 vision,” the KAMRA corneal inlay is a promising new option. The goal of KAMRA is to eliminate or reduce dependence on reading glasses while leaving distance vision unchanged.Over time, the lens begins to stiffen, making it harder, then completely impossible.
Keratoconus is a degenerative eye condition that causes the shape of the cornea to change from a round dome to an irregular cone shape as the central cornea becomes progressively thinner and weaker. Keratoconus affects about 1 in 2000 people.
Patients who come to Hoopes Vision because of our track record of safety and proven results are often surprised at how affordable the very best vision correction procedures can be. We work hard to put our technology and expertise within the reach of almost any budget.