If You’re Not a LASIK Candidate, Visian Might Be The Solution
For some people, vision correction procedures like LASIK may not be advisable, perhaps due to extremely high prescriptions, thin corneas or dry eyes. In the past, being told that you were not a candidate for LASIK simply meant that there were no other options to surgically correct your vision. But now, phakic lens implants such as the Visian ICL™ can be used to permanently correct your vision, even if you’ve been turned down for LASIK or other procedures in the past. The word “phakic” means that your natural crystalline lens is left in the eye. This is important because your natural lens plays a critical role in helping your eye adjust between seeing objects that are near and far.
About The Visian ICL
The Visian ICL (implantable contact lens) is the first lens of its kind to be approved by the FDA for use in the United States. It is based on many years of research and development in adapting the proven technology of the IOL (intraocular lens) used for cataract surgery. The IOL cataract procedure is familiar to ophthalmologists and is performed safely on millions of patients each year. While the technology is similar, the Visian ICL procedure differs from cataract surgery as the natural lens is not removed from the eye. Instead, the Visian ICL is placed in front of the natural lens and the two work together to correct your vision.
How Does Visian Compare With LASIK?
During clinical trials, researchers compared the outcomes of Visian patients to those of LASIK patients with similar prescriptions.1 The patients involved in the study were very nearsighted (8-12 diopters of nearsightedness prior to surgery), and their visual outcomes were measured at regular intervals post-operatively. The results showed that Visian provided superior post-operative visual acuities when compared with the LASIK population. For Visian patients, 52% of patients demonstrated post-operative uncorrected visual acuities of 20/20 or better, while only 36% of LASIK patients were able to achieve 20/20 vision or better following surgery. Additionally, patients who received the Visian lens also reported a better quality of vision than those who had undergone LASIK, and the Visian ICL has been shown to induce significantly fewer higher order aberrations than LASIK. In fact, symptoms such as glare, halos, double vision, night vision difficulty and night driving difficulty were largely absent or mild after 3 years postoperatively.2
About The Procedure
The phakic lens implant procedure is performed on an outpatient basis and takes about 15 to 30 minutes. Usually, one eye is treated at a time.
-Drops will be placed in your eyes in order to reduce the pupil size.
-Dr. Walker will use an instrument to comfortably hold your eyelids open during the procedure.
-A local anesthetic is given to numb your eye, so the procedure is virtually painless.
-A small incision is made in the cornea so that the phakic lens can be gently inserted.
-The Visian ICL is placed behind the iris (the colored part of the eye) and in front of your natural lens.
-The small incision is closed with microscopic stitches that dissolve on their own.
-A temporary shield will be placed over your eye to protect it during the time just after the procedure.
Are You A Candidate For Phakic Lens Implant Surgery?
A series of tests performed in our office will help you decide if Visian is right for you. In general, the requirements for phakic lens implant surgery are:
-Your eyes are healthy with no eye disease, iris, pupil or corneal abnormality, or history of retinal detachment.
-Your nearsightedness can be corrected with lenses between -5.0 to -20.0 diopters.
-You have 2.5 diopters or less of astigmatism.
-Your eyes are stable and your nearsightedness has not changed more than 0.50 diopters for 6 months prior to surgery.
-You are not currently pregnant or nursing.
Frequently Asked Questions
How many patients have had phakic lens implant procedures?
Rigorous clinical investigations have been conducted using the Visian lens , and the FDA approved its use in the United States in 2005. Over 50,000 Visian lenses have been implanted worldwide.
Is the procedure painful?
Local anesthesia is used to numb your eye prior to surgery so most patients experience no pain during the procedure. Although some discomfort is normal during the healing process, the vast majority of patients experience little or no pain after the procedure.
Can I see well up close and at a distance after the procedure?
Most people who have the Visian procedure see well up close and at a distance because their natural crystalline lens is left in place allowing natural adjustments to focus on near and distant objects.
Will I be able to see or feel the lens in my eye?
Once implanted, the lens is virtually undetectable, and you enjoy a cosmetic appearance that is natural. Typically, only your doctor will be able to tell that vision correction has taken place.
Does the lens require maintenance?
Unlike contact lenses, the lens does not require any maintenance. It is extremely important to attend all follow-up appointments and schedule annual exams with Dr. Walker to help ensure your long-term eye health.
Can the lens slip or fall out?
Once implanted, the lens will not slip or fall out. It is designed to remain in your eye permanently, and you will not be able to feel it.
How long does the lens last?
Visian lenses are designed to provide permanent vision correction. As long as patients don’t suffer from other vision health problems (such as cataracts) that may affect the lens, it will provide high quality vision for life.
Exactly where is the lens placed in the eye?
The Visian ICL is placed in the “posterior chamber,” behind the iris (the colored part of the eye) and in front of the eye’s crystalline lens. The lens does not touch any internal eye structures and stays in position.
What is the track record of the Visian ICL?
Extensive research and development preceded the introduction of the Visian ICL. It is now being used by more than 50,000 patients worldwide. The Visian ICL provides excellent and stable outcomes and the satisfaction rate among patients is extremely high – above 99% (FDA U.S. Clinical Trial).
What is the Visian ICL made of?
The Visian ICL is made of Collamer, an advanced lens material that is highly biocompatible. Collamer does not cause a reaction inside the eye and contains an ultraviolet filter that provides protection to the eye.
What if my vision changes?
Visian lenses offer treatment flexibility. If your vision changes dramatically, the lens can be removed and replaced, or another procedure can be performed at any time. You can wear glasses or contact lenses if necessary. The lens does not help presbyopia (difficulty with reading in people over 40), but you can add reading glasses if needed.
1 Sander DA, Vukich JA. J Cornea Ext Dis. 2003;22:324-331 2 Sarver EJ, et al. J Refract Surg. 2003;19(4):397-404