Are you seeking clear vision, but are not a candidate for LASIK? Or are you looking for a vision correction alternative to LASIK? Clear vision may be in your future! With the Visian ICL (Implantable Contact Lens), you can achieve high definition vision without many of the risks associated with laser vision correction. Implantable lenses have long been used for treatment of cataracts, and are now available for patients seeking clear vision!
What is the Visian ICL?
The Visian ICL is a refractive lens also known as a phakic IOL (intraocular lens). “Phakic” meaning that the natural lens of the eye is not removed during the procedure. Instead, the natural lens is left in place. The ICL is an implant that is situated behind the iris and in front of the natural crystalline lens. This lens provides excellent contrast and because it is placed much closer to the natural lens, it results in images of a more normal size than glasses and many times, better vision than glasses. The Visian ICL is considered an alternative to corneal refractive surgery such as LASIK, PRK, and refractive lens exchange. As an added feature, the Visian ICL advanced lens material contains a UV blocker that actually prevents harmful UVA and UVB rays from entering the eye. The placement of the Visian ICL into the posterior chamber of the eye makes the lens usually invisible to both the patient and any observer.
The best candidates for the Visian ICL are between the ages of 21 and 45, with moderate to severe nearsightedness. It is best if the candidate has not had any previous eye surgery and does not have a history of eye disease such as glaucoma, iritis or diabetic retinopathy.
If for any reason are major changes in your vision, the ICL can easily be removed and replaced, or another procedure can be done at any time. With the ICL, you can still wear glasses or contact lenses if necessary. Unfortunately, The Visian ICL does not treat presbyopia, or the need for reading glasses due to age.
Visian ICL surgery is performed on an outpatient basis, which means that the patient has surgery and goes home the same day. A light, topical or local anesthetic is administered and there is very little discomfort and normally no pain associated with the procedure. Some drops or perhaps oral medication may be prescribed and a visit is usually scheduled the day after surgery.
What are the Benefits of the Visian ICL?
The Visian ICL is an Implantable Collamer Lens that works with the eye to correct vision. Unlike traditional contact lenses that go on the surface of the eye, the Visian ICL is positioned inside the eye between the iris (the colored part of the eye) and the natural lens where it stays indefinitely. If your vision changes dramatically, however, it can be removed from the eye.
Technologically Advanced Lens Material: Unlike other lenses, the Visian ICL is made from Collamer, a technologically advanced lens material exclusive to STAAR Surgical. Because of the collagen in Collamer, it is biocompatible with the eye (not seen as a foreign object to the body) and provides exceptional quality of vision. The lens rests quietly in position while accurately correcting vision. The Visian ICL is the best choice for a lens that is going to remain inside your eye for a lifetime.
Corrects a Wide Range of Vision Needs: If you are between 21 and 45 and nearsighted, you are an excellent candidate for the Visian ICL. It is preferable that you have had no previous ophthalmic surgery or history of ophthalmic disease such as glaucoma, iritis, or diabetic retinopathy.
Thin Corneas: The cornea is the curved portion on the front surface of the eye. The Visian ICL does not have any effect on the cornea and may be appropriate if you have thin corneas.
Dry Eyes: Visian ICL does not cause or contribute to dry eyes. If you have dry eyes, ask your doctor if the Visian ICL may be the best vision correction option for you.
Extreme Refractive Error: Refractive error in the focusing of light by the eye is a frequent reason for reduced visual acuity. Anyone seeking clear vision may be a candidate for the Visian ICL, including those patients with low and extreme high refractive errors.
The Visian ICL procedure:
Prior to Surgery (2 to 3 weeks): Your doctor will schedule a procedure to prepare your eye for implantation of the Visian ICL. This is necessary to ensure the fluid inside your eye flows properly after your surgery. This is virtually painless as your doctor will apply numbing drops to the eye before making tiny openings in the colored portion of the eye with a laser beam. After this procedure, you will be given eye drops to prepare your eyes for surgery.
The Day of Surgery It is important that you do not drive yourself home so make arrangements before the day of surgery. Prior to implantation, you will receive anesthetic eye drops to minimize any discomfort. Your surgeon may also administer a sedative. Then, the doctor will create two micro openings in the edge of your cornea that will be used to insert and position the lens. Next the lens is injected, gently unfolding in your eye. Special marks on the lens ensure proper positioning. That’s it— the procedure takes about 15 minutes! Because the opening is microscopic, recovery time is very short without needing any sutures. A few hours after the procedure you will be able to leave the clinic.
After Surgery (Just a few days) To complete the procedure, the surgeon will provide eye drops to help prevent infection and inflammation. You will continue to use these drops for several days once you are home. DO NOT rub your eyes especially for the first 3 to 5 days. If you experience pain or notice any sudden decrease in vision, you should contact your doctor immediately. Then your only instructions are to check in for eye exams on a routine basis.
Visian ICL Advantages
There are many unique advantages to the Visian ICL. Read on to learn more about why the Visian ICL could be the best vision correction procedure for you.
- High Definition Visian™: For years, the only method of permanent vision correction that didn’t involve glasses or contact lenses was corrective laser eye surgery. With the advent of the Visian ICL, however, that’s all changed. Now, you can enjoy “High Definition Visian™” – a new level of vision correction that’s sharper, clearer, more vivid, and has greater depth and dimension – in a simple, 15-minuteoutpatient procedure.
- The “Wow” Factor: After the simple 15-minute outpatient procedure, patients experience an immediate improvement in vision quality and are “Wowed” by the results. Often the quality of vision achieved is many times better than any vision correction solution.
- Designed to be Permanent yet, is Removable: One of the important advantages of the Visian ICL is that while it is designed to permanently correct your vision, the lens can be simply removed and/or replaced if necessary. Also, concerns involving the cornea typically do not apply to the Visian ICL, as no natural corneal tissue is permanently removed or reshaped in any way during implantation.
- Invisible and Undetectable: Because the Visian ICL is positioned between the iris and natural lens, the lens is invisible to both the patient and any observer. Also, it’s positioning in the eye maintains normal iris function and promotes stability.
- Does Not Cause Dry Eye: Visian ICL does not cause or contribute to dry eyes. If you have dry eyes, ask your doctor if the Visian ICL may be the best vision correction option for you.
- Short Recovery Time: The recovery for the Visian ICL is quick and pain-free, and may be as little as one day, due to the very small size of the opening required. Patients typically experience minimal discomfort, and many times go back to work the next day.
- UV Protection: Long-term exposure to UV radiation can damage your eyes; and longer term or more intense exposure increases the chance of eye disorders including the development of cataracts and some retinal problems. As an added feature, the Visian ICL advanced lens material contains a UV blocker that actually prevents harmful UVA and UVB rays from entering the eye, possibly preventing the development of UV related eye disorders.
- Treatment Flexibility for the Future: Your vision changes as you grow older and eventually almost everyone will need cataract surgery. An important benefit with the Visian ICL is that you have options for future treatments. Because Visian ICL maintains the structure of the eye, the lens can be removed and replaced if your vision changes substantially, or if you have another procedure at any time.
- Excellent Safety Profile: The Visian ICL has an excellent safety profile compared to other procedures. Studies have shown that the Visian ICL provides one of the best postoperative results of all refractive procedures available with a patient satisfaction rate of over 99%. Since 1997, more than a 300,000 Visian ICL procedures have been performed worldwide.
Visian ICL Performance
When nothing less than ultimate vision performance will do, super athletes and elite US Military personnel choose the Visian ICL. Why? Because they have a choice and they want the best technology for their individual vision needs. There have been over 300,000 patient eyes treated worldwide—are you ready to get the best in performance and satisfaction for your eyes?
Superior Technology for Super Athletes
In 2008 Team USA bobsled pilot Steven Holcomb almost gave up the sport because of his poor vision. He could no longer compete with contact lenses and other treatment options did not fit his individual needs.
After the Visian ICL procedure Holcomb not only achieved 20/20 vision, he went on to win gold medals at both the 2009 World Championships and 2010 Olympics.
“It was about ten minutes, and as soon as I was up I could see 20/20. It’s been pretty incredible ever since and literally a year later I’m a world champion.”
Just last year, in 2011, top U.S. Professional cyclist Tom Danielson had the Visian ICL procedure to correct his 480/20 vision. Danielson struggled to see with contact lenses and suffered from severe dry eye. After the Visian ICL procedure, Danielson now has better than 20/20 vision and it’s helped him to elevate his performance substantially in one of the most physically and mentally demanding endurance sports.
“It is no coincidence that I had my best season following the Visian ICL procedure. Sight in cycling is everything. Imagine descending a mountain going 60 miles per hour on less than one inch of rubber. Every rock, pothole or dip in the road comes at you quickly, and you have to react with cat-like precision. The Visian ICL has transformed my racing and my life in a very real way. This is a leading product for any outdoor, active individual.”
Soon after his Visian ICL procedure, Danielson was the top American finisher (9th overall) in the 2011 Tour de France.
Nothing Less Than Ultimate Vision Performance
Since 2006, the Visian ICL has been improving the vision of the bravest people in our nation under the harshest conditions imaginable. In fact surgeons in the US Military have implanted over 5,000 Visian ICLs with results that are nothing short of heroic.
- More than 98% of patients had 20/20 visual acuity or better
- 100% were able to see better than before surgery wearing contacts or glasses
- 100% believe they function and perform better
If the Visian ICL can meet the demands of soldiers in the US Military, imagine what it can do for you!
Visian ICL FAQs
To help you determine whether you might be a good Visian ICL candidate, we’ve included the answers to the following frequently asked questions:
How do I know if I’m a suitable Visian ICL candidate?
Candidates for the Visian ICL are between 21 and 45 years of age, suffer from myopia (nearsightedness), and want to experience superior vision correction. The ideal Visian ICL candidate has not undergone any ophthalmic surgery and does not have a history of eye disease such as iritis, glaucoma, or diabetic retinopathy. Anyone seeking clearer vision may be a Visian ICL candidate, including those with special or extreme vision correction needs. Consumers should contact a qualified Visian ICL surgeon for more information, including an assessment of their candidacy. Without enough anterior chamber depth or endothelial cell density may not be a good Visian ICL candidate.
Where is the Visian ICL placed?
A qualified ophthalmologist will insert the Visian ICL through a small micro-opening, placing it inside the eye just behind the iris in front of the eye’s natural lens. The Visian ICL is designed to stay in position with no special care. Learn more about the Visian ICL surgery procedure.
What is the track record of the Visian ICL?
Prior to being placed on the market, the Visian ICL was subject to extensive research and development. Today, more than 300,000 people worldwide enjoy the benefits of the device. In US clinical study, over 99 percent of patients were satisfied with their implant. The Visian ICL has a track record of stable, consistently excellent clinical outcomes. The lens has been available internationally for over 15 years. More Visian ICL information is detailed on our corrective surgery clinical results page.
Does the Visian ICL hurt?
No, most patients state that they are very comfortable throughout the procedure. Your ophthalmologist will use topical anesthetic drops prior to the procedure and may choose to administer a light sedative as well.
What is the Visian ICL made of?
The Visian ICL is made of Collamer®, a highly biocompatible advanced lens material which contains a small amount of purified collagen. Collamer does not cause a reaction inside the eye and it contains an ultraviolet blocker that provides protection to the eye. Collamer is a material proprietary to STAAR Surgical Company.
What if my vision changes after I receive the Visian ICL?
One advantage of the Visian ICL is that it offers treatment flexibility. If your vision changes dramatically after receiving the implant, your surgeon can remove and replace it. If necessary, another procedure can be performed at any time. Patients can wear glasses or contact lenses as needed following treatment with the Visian ICL. The implant does not treat presbyopia (difficulty with reading in people 40 and older), but you can use reading glasses as needed after receiving the Visian ICL.
What type of procedure is involved in implanting the Visian ICL?
The surgical procedure to implant the Visian ICL is simple and painless. As a Visian ICL candidate, your surgeon will prepare your eyes one to two weeks prior to the procedure by using a laser to create two very small openings in the colored part of your eye which lies between the lens and the front chamber of your eye. This allows for the natural passage of fluids between the two areas, thereby avoiding the buildup of intraocular pressure following the treatment. The implantation procedure itself takes about 15 minutes and is performed on an outpatient basis, though you will have to make arrangements for someone to drive you to and from the procedure.You can expect to experience very little discomfort during the Visian ICL implantation. You will undergo treatment while under a light topical or local anesthetic, perhaps with the addition of a mild sedative. Following surgery, you may use prescription eye drops or oral medication. The day after surgery, you will return to your surgeon for a follow-up visit. You will also have follow-up visits one month and six months following the procedure.
Can the Visian ICL be removed from my eye?
Although the Visian ICL is intended to remain in place permanently, a qualified ophthalmologist can remove the implant if necessary.
Is the Visian ICL visible to others?
No. The Visian ICL is positioned behind the iris (the colored part of the eye), where it is invisible to both you and observers. Only your surgeon will be able to tell that vision correction has taken place.
Will I be able to feel the Visian ICL once it’s in place?
The Visian ICL is designed to be completely unobtrusive after it is put in place. It stays in position by itself and does not interact with any of the eye’s structures.
Where can I get further information about the Visian ICL?
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 the maker of the Visian ICL, to learn more.