Implantable Contact Lens (ICLs)
Phakic IOLs, also known as implantable contact lenses or ICLs, are safe and effective for vision correction, offering an alternative to laser surgery. In fact, some studies have shown that patients with higher order aberrations may achieve clearer vision with an ICL than with LASIK. About 85 percent of patients achieved 20/20 vision or better with an ICL while 95 percent achieved 20/40 or better. And, since the natural lens is left in place, the procedure is reversible.
At EDOW, phakic IOL surgery has been available through FDA clinical trials for two years. Our surgeons are the only ones in the Washington, DC, region to be involved in such studies.
STAAR Visian ICL™ (Implantable Contact Lens)
This STAAR Visian Implantable Contact Lens™ (ICL) is another type of phakic intraocular lens used to treat moderate to severe myopia. There have been approximately 40,000 ICLs implanted world-wide, and the lens recently received FDA approval for use in the United States. The lens is made of “collamer,” a unique material that contains a small amount of collagen, which provides excellent biocompatibility and superior optical capability.
Patients who are suited for this lens usually have a high refractive correction, thin corneas, or a preference for non-laser vision correction. Some patients prefer the STAAR® ICL procedure compared to the laser procedure because it is reversible. In contrast to the LASIK procedure where tissue is permanently removed, the STAAR® lens implant can be removed, if needed. In addition some studies have shown that at high levels of correction (-8.0D and above), there may be less higher-order aberrations after the lens implantation when compared to rather than LASIK, which may translate in clearer vision.
During the procedure,with the eye under a local or topical anesthetic, the surgeon will create an incision in the eye. The implantable contact lens (ICL) is then gently folded and injected into the anterior chamber through a 3.0mm, temporal, clear corneal incision. The ICL is then carefully positioned. Following implantation, the lens rests behind the iris surface, vaulted over the natural lens of the eye.
To find out if STAAR Visian ICL™ is right for you, schedule an appointment with one of our experienced surgeons at Eye Doctors of Washington.
The Verisyse™ lens, offered by our Virginia area surgeons at Eye Doctors of Washington, is used to treat moderate to severe myopia. With over 18 years of use and 150,000 procedures performed worldwide, results prove that the Verisyse™ design is safe and effective for individuals with severe myopia (nearsightedness) – who are tired of thick glasses and are not candidates for Custom LASIK.
These individuals may not qualify for laser vision correction because they have a high refractive correction, thin corneas, or a preference for non-laser vision correction. In contrast to a laser procedure, where tissue is permanently removed, the Verisyse™ lens can be removed, if needed.
The Verisyse™ lens is comprised of a convex or concave, 5 or 6 mm optic, on an 8.5 mm wide elliptical carrier (Figure 1). Implanting the Verisyse™ lens takes approximately 15 to 30 minutes during which time the surgeon creates an opening in the iris with a laser to assist fluid flow through the chambers of the eye. The eye is then numbed with local anesthesia and tiny incisions are created in the cornea. Using specialized instruments, the Verisyse™ lens is inserted behind the cornea and in front of the iris, giving the eye another focusing lens that provides high-quality, high-definition vision (Figure 2). Following implantation, the Verisyse™ lens rests on the edge of the iris, vaulted over the central iris and pupil, and positioned in front of the natural lens of the eye (Figures 3-5). Once the Verisyse™ lens is in place, the small corneal incision is closed with microscopic stitches and a temporary protective shield is placed over the eye. Patients may return home soon after the procedure is complete.
To find out if Verisyse™ is an option for you, contact our surgeons serving Northern Virginia and surrounding areas from our offices in Washington, DC, and Chevy Chase, Maryland.
Comparison of STAAR Visian ICL™ and Verisyse™
Both the Verisyse™ and STAAR Visian ICL™ are safe and effective phakic intraocular lenses. Both provide excellent outcomes as alternatives to laser surgery for the correction of moderate to high myopia. There are some differences between the two lenses in their approach to treating refractive errors.
The reason that the Visian ICL has supplanted the Verisyse lens is two fold:
- 1. The Visian lens is foldable as opposed to the ridgid Verisyse lens, allowing for a much smaller incision.
- 2. The Visian lens is placed behind the iris making it invisible to the naked eye whereas the Verisyse lens is placed in front of the iris.
Overall, however, they are both safe and effective lenses, and your surgeon will work with your individual case to help you select the most appropriate lens for your eye.
To learn more about our bifocal IOL options including the ReSTOR® IOL lens as well as the ICLs, Visian™ lens, and Verisyse™ lens, contact our Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia area practice.