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Visian™ ICL Implantable Collamer Lens - Implantable Contact Lens

Reviewed by Marc Michelson, M.D.

LASIK Eye Surgery today is a safe and effective method of correcting nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism for the vast majority of patients seeking Laser Vision Correction of their refractive eye conditions. In fact, LASIK surgery is by far the most common procedure to help those wishing to eliminate their dependence on eyeglasses and contact lenses. However, for some patients who are extremely nearsighted or myopic, those that have thin corneas or those that have other conditions that might predispose them to complications with LASIK, another alternative might be to find out if they are good candidates for Implantable Lenses to correct their vision. One such lens is the Verisyse Phakic Intraocular Lens and another is the Visian™ Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL).

The Visian™ Implantable Collamer Lens is another type of Phakic Intraocular Lens which is manufactured from a soft foldable polymeric material called Collamer. Collamer is a proprietary collagen copolymer. The cornea is actually comprised of collagen and so this material provides excellent biocompatibility and superior optical capability. It is readily implanted in your eye behind the iris, or colored part of the eye, by gently folding it and injecting into the anterior chamber through a tiny incision only 3.0mm in length placed by the eye surgeon at the clear edge of the cornea.

The ICL was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration in December 2005 allowing patients in the United States to have it available for commercial use in January 2006. According to the data presented to the FDA to obtain approval, the Visian ICL™ may improve a patient's distance vision without glasses or contact lenses. In a clinical study of 294 patients implanted with the Visian ICL, 95 percent had 20/40 or better vision (considered standard vision necessary to obtain a driver's license), and 59 percent had 20/20 or better, after three years. The FDA was specific in indicating that the Implantable Collamer Lens is designed for:

  • the correction of myopia ranging from -3 to -15 diopters (D) with less than or equal to 2.5D of astigmatism at the spectacle plane,

  • the reduction of myopia ranging from -15D to -20D anterior with less than or equal to 2.5D astigmatism at the spectacle plane,

  • adults 21-45 years of age with an anterior chamber depth (ACD) of 3.00 mm or greater, and a stable refractive history within 0.5D for 1 year before implantation.

Thus as with LASIK or Laser Eye Surgery of any type, a thorough consultation with an experienced eye surgeon is necessary to be certain that the Visian Implantable Collamer is right for you.

Visian Implantable Collamer Lens Common Questions About the Visian Implantable Collamer Lens

  • Who is a candidate for the ICL?

The best candidates for the Visian ICL are between the ages of 21 and 45, with moderate to severe myopia. It is best if the patient has not had any previous eye surgery and does not have any previous history of eye disease such as glaucoma, iritis or diabetic eye disease.

  • What are the advantages of the ICL?

The Visian ICL is capable of correcting a wide range of nearsightedness without the need to remove corneal tissue. When properly implanted, the ICL provides predictable results and quality of vision due to its position inside the eye, as well as its optical characteristics. The lens is made of a biocompatible lens material called Collamer which is well tolerated by the eye.

  • What if my vision changes?

If there are major changes in your vision, the Visian ICL can easily be removed and replaced, or another procedure can be done at any time. With the ICL, one can still wear glasses or contact lenses if necessary and may even be able to have LASIK or another refractive procedure to fully correct their vision. The ICL does not prevent or  help presbyopia, or the need for reading glasses due to age.

  • Does the ICL dry out or get dirty like a contact lens?

No. The Visian ICL is designed to remain in place within the eye without maintenance. An yearly examination by your eye surgeon is recommended to make sure that everything is unchanged and well tolerated.

  • Can the ICL be seen by the naked eye?

No. Because the ICL is placed behind the iris, neither you, nor an observer will be able to see the lens in place. The visual appearance of the Visian ICL is unnoticeable, and there is no way for anyone other than a trained professional to see that the ICL is in place.

  • What is involved in the ICL procedure?

The ICL implant surgery is performed on an outpatient basis, which means that you can have the implant surgery and go home the same. As with any surgery someone will have to drive you to and from surgery. Either numbing drops and/or a local injection will be administered so that there is very little discomfort and normally no pain associated with the implant procedure. Some drops or perhaps oral medication may be prescribed and a visit is usually scheduled the day after surgery.

  • How long can the ICL stay in the eye?

The Visian ICL is intended to remain in place without maintenance. If it becomes necessary, for any reason, it can be easily removed by a trained eye surgeon.

  • Can the ICL be felt once it is in place?

The Visian ICL is not usually noticed by the patient once it is implanted. It does not attach to any tissues within the eye and does not move after it implanted.

Visian™ ICL Implantable Collamer Lens procedure is performed by Eye Surgeons in the following cities:

Visian ICL AustinVisian ICL BirminghamVisian ICL HuntsvilleVisian ICL Long IslandVisian ICL Los Angeles
Visian ICL MontgomeryVisian ICL Nassau CountyVisian ICL New York CityVisian ICL PortlandVisian ICL Providence
Visian ICL Queens NYCVisian ICL RockvilleVisian ICL Salt Lake CityVisian ICL Sioux FallsVisian ICL Suffolk County
Visian ICL TuscaloosaVisian ICL VinelandVisian ICL WarwickVisian ICL Westfield

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©2011 The Medical Management Services Group

updated 5/5/11