Intraocular Lenses and Visian ICL

Model Lens Close Up3

As vision technology rapidly changes, so to do the terms used to describe the varying products and procedures used. In this blog post, we’ll dive deep into the world of Intraocular Lens (IOL) Implants to help you better understand what makes Visian ICL such an innovative alternative from ordinary corrective lenses or invasive LASIK procedures.

What are intraocular lenses?

Intraocular lenses (IOLs) are medical devices that are commonly implanted inside the eye to replace the eye's natural lens when it is removed during cataract surgery. IOLs also are used for a type of vision correction surgery called refractive lens exchange, which treats people who suffer from farsightedness.

Like your eye's natural lens, an IOL focuses light that comes into your eye through the cornea and pupil onto the retina, the sensitive tissue at the back of the eye that relays images through the optic nerve to the brain. Most IOLs are made of a flexible, foldable material and are about one-third of the size of a dime. Like the lenses of prescription eyeglasses, your IOLs will contain the appropriate prescription to give you the best vision possible.

Different IOL types include:

  • Monofocal Lens
  • Multifocal or accommodative lenses
  • Toric Lens
  • Phakic Intraocular Lens (Visian ICL)
Toric Lenses

The term "toric contact lenses" is most often used to describe specially designed soft contact lenses that correct astigmatism. Most toric contacts for astigmatism are indeed soft lenses — made either of a conventional hydrogel material or a highly breathable silicone hydrogel.

Toric soft contact lenses for astigmatism differ from regular ("spherical") soft contacts that correct only myopia or hyperopia in two important ways:

  1. Toric lenses have different powers in different meridians of the lens to correct the varying amount of nearsightedness or farsightedness in different meridians of the eye.
  2. Toric lenses have a design feature that enables the lens to rotate to the proper orientation on the cornea so the lens aligns with the appropriate meridians of the eye resulting in clear vision.
What is Visian ICL?

Visian ICL falls into the category of Phakic Intraocular Lens, or lenses that are inserted into the eye and work with the natural lens. First developed in 1992, Visian ICL is now being used to treat nearsightedness and myopia all over the world.

Visian ICL, also known as Implantable Collamer Lenses, is a type of refractive procedure to help correct the most common visual problem, myopia. Simply put, ICL is a removable lens implant that is an attractive alternative to LASIK and other refractive procedures.

Due to the unique material in which it is made from, Visian ICL offers patients unique characteristics that make it an ideal solution for correcting your vision, such as being:

  • Biocompatible
  • Soft and Pliable
  • Protective against harmful UV rays

Visian ICL is the only implantable lens that works in harmony with your natural eye. If you are searching for an alternative to LASIK that will correct your moderate to severe nearsightedness, Visian ICL may be perfect for you. Find a doctor near you and discover the endless possibilities of Visian ICL today.

Important Safety Information

The Visian ICL is intended for the correction of moderate to high nearsightedness. Visian ICL and Visian TICL surgery is intended to safely and effectively correct nearsightedness between -3.0 D to -15.0 D, the reduction in nearsightedness up to -20.0 D and treatment of astigmatism from 1.0 D to 4.0 D. If you have nearsightedness within these ranges, Visian ICL surgery may improve your distance vision without eyeglasses or contact lenses. Because the Visian ICL corrects for distance vision, it does not eliminate the need for reading glasses, you may require them at some point, even if you have never worn them before.

Implantation of the Visian ICL is a surgical procedure, and as such, carries potentially serious risks. Please discuss the risks with your eye care professional. Complications, although rare, may include need for additional surgical procedures, inflammation, loss of cells from the back surface of the cornea, increase in eye pressure, and cataracts.

You should NOT have Visian ICL surgery if:

  • Your doctor determines that the shape of your eye is not an appropriate fit for the Visian ICL
  • You are pregnant or nursing
  • You do not meet the minimum endothelial cell density for your age at the time of implantation as determined by your eye doctor
  • Your vision is not stable as determined by your eye doctor

Before considering Visian ICL surgery you should have a complete eye examination and talk with your eye care professional about Visian ICL surgery, especially the potential benefits, risks, and complications. You should discuss the time needed for healing after surgery. For additional information with potential benefits, risks and complications please visit



1Visian ICL Patient Information Booklet

2Sanders D. Vukich JA. Comparison of implantable collamer lens (ICL) and laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) for Low Myopia. Cornea. 2006 Dec; 25(10):1139-46.

3Naves, J.S. Carracedo, G. Cacho-Babillo, I. Diadenosine Nucleotid Measurements as Dry-Eye Score in Patients After LASIK and ICL Surgery. Presented at American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) 2012.

4Shoja, MR. Besharati, MR. Dry eye after LASIK for myopia: Incidence and risk factors. European Journal of Ophthalmology. 2007; 17(1): pp. 1-6.

5Lee, Jae Bum et al. Comparison of tear secretion and tear film instability after photorefractive keratectomy and laser in situ keratomileusis. Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery , Volume 26 , Issue 9 , 1326 - 1331.

6Parkhurst, G. Psolka, M. Kezirian, G. Phakic intraocular lens implantantion in United States military warfighters: A retrospective analysis of early clinical outcomes of the Visian ICL. J Refract Surg. 2011;27(7):473-481.

*American Refractive Surgery Council

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