Frequently Asked Questions

Find the answers to all your questions about Visian ICL.
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The Implantable Collamer Lens for nearsightedness and astigmatism is a refractive lens also known as a phakic IOL. “Phakic” meaning that the natural lens of the eye is in place, and “IOL” meaning intraocular lens, or a lens inside the eye. The Visian ICL is a posterior chamber implant that is introduced through a small incision in the eye and is placed behind the iris (the colored part of the eye), and in front of the natural crystalline lens in order to improve your nearsightedness and astigmatism.
The Visian ICL is designed for the correction of moderate to high nearsightedness (-3.0 to –15.0 diopters (D)), and the reduction of nearsightedness in patients with up to -20 diopters (D) and treatment of astigmatism from 1.0 D to 4.0 D. It is indicated for patients who are at least 21 years of age. In order to be sure that your surgeon will use an Visian ICL with the most adequate power for your eye, your nearsightedness should be stable for at least a year before undergoing eye surgery.

The Visian ICL represents an alternative to other refractive surgeries including laser assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK), photorefractive keratectomy (PRK), incisional surgeries, or other means to correct myopia such as contact lenses and eyeglasses.
Patients who are pregnant and nursing and patients with a narrow angle in the front chamber of their eye, because in this case the space for the Visian ICL would be too small. The patient education booklet provides an additional list of conditions that should be taken into consideration when making a decision about the Visian ICL.
The key benefit of Visian ICL surgery is the permanent correction or reduction of your nearsightedness and treatment of astigmatism allowing you to see clearly at long distances without eyeglasses or contact lenses or reduce your dependence upon them. In addition to the improvement of your uncorrected vision (vision without eyeglasses or contact lenses), your best corrected vision (best vision with contact lenses/eye glasses) may be improved.
The material is called Collamer®, a collagen co-polymer that contains a small amount of purified collagen which is proprietary to STAAR Surgical; the remainder is made of a similar material to that found in soft contact lenses. It is very biocompatible (does not cause a reaction inside the eye) and stable. It also contains an ultraviolet light filter.
The Visian ICL is intended to remain in place without maintenance. The Visian ICL can be removed by your eye care professional if needed in the future. If your physician removes the Visian ICL, you will lose the benefit of your nearsightedness correction.
Prior to being placed on the market, the Visian ICL was subject to extensive research and development. Today, more than 1,000,000 lenses have been implanted worldwide. In a US clinical study, over 99 percent of patients were satisfied with their implant. The Visian ICL has a track record of excellent clinical outcomes. Additionally, the ICL lens has been available internationally for over 20 years.
No. The Visian ICL is positioned behind the iris (the colored part of the eye), where it is invisible to both you and others. Only your eye care practitioner will be able to tell that vision correction has taken place.
The Visian ICL is not typically noticeable after it is implanted. It does not attach to any structures within the eye and does not move around once in place.
If you are a potential Visian ICL candidate who is interested in obtaining further Visian ICL information, you should contact a qualified Visian ICL surgeon. Physicians should contact STAAR Surgical Company, the maker of the Visian ICL, to learn more.
The Visian ICL surgery is performed on an outpatient basis which means that the patient has surgery and leaves the same day. The procedure itself usually takes 20-30 minutes or less. The patient will need someone to drive them home on surgery day. A light, topical or local anesthetic is administered. There is very little discomfort during or after surgery. Some eye drops or medication may be prescribed and a visit with your eye care professional is usually scheduled the day after surgery.
Early complications reported the first week after Visian ICL surgery include: Visian ICL removal and reinsertion at the time of initial surgery, shallowness of the front chamber of the eye that can create an increase of the pressure into your eye and may necessitate a peripheral iridectomy (a procedure where a small hole is placed in iris (colored part of eye) using a laser called “YAG laser), temporary corneal swelling (edema) and transient inflammation in the eye or iritis. Complications after 1 week include: increase in astigmatism, loss of best corrected vision, clouding of the Crystalline lens (cataract), loss of cells from the back surface of the cornea responsible for the cornea remaining clear (endothelial cell loss), increase in eye pressure, iris prolapse, cloudy areas on the crystalline lens that may or may not cause visual symptoms (crystalline lens opacities), macular hemorrhage, subretinal hemorrhage, retinal detachment, secondary Visian ICL related surgeries (replacements, repositionings, removals, removals with cataract extraction), too much or too little nearsightedness correction, and additional YAG iridotomy necessary.
Potential complications for refractive surgery in general include: irritation of the conjunctiva (white part of eye), corneal swelling (outer layer of eye), eye infection, significant glare and/or halos around lights, blood/pus in the eye, lens dislocation, macular edema, (swelling in back of the eye), non-reactive pupil, pupillary block glaucoma resulting in raised eye pressure, irritation of the iris (colored part of the eye), severe inflammation of the eye and loss of the vitreous (gel in back of eye). You should carefully review all benefits and risks of Visian ICL surgery with your eye care professional before making a decision about the Visian ICL.
Follow all of your eye care professional’s instructions before and after implantation of the Visian ICL. Take any prescribed medication and schedule all recommended follow-up visits with your eye care professional, usually on an annual basis after the healing of the Visian ICL surgery. Contact your eye care professional immediately if you should experience a problem.

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 DiscoverICL.com

References

References

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.

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