Why Visian ICL?
At the time of this post I am 32 years old. At the age of 5 or 6 (can’t remember exactly) I was having trouble in school seeing what the teacher was writing on the chalkboard or showing on the overhead projector. My parents took me to the eye doctor and that is when I first received my thick, coke bottle-like, glasses. I’m not sure what my refraction myopia diopters were at the time, but I do have my myopia reading from the age of 13.
Left eye -9.00 diopters — -1.50 astigmatism X 105 (axis of astigmatism)
Right Eye -10.00 diopters — -1.25 astigmatism X 85 (axis of astigmatism)
This is significantly bad for only being 13. I was the perfect candidate for Visian ICL way back in 1994 but the procedure wasn’t perfected to the extent it is today.
My eyes were only going to get worse over time. Eventually I switched from glasses to hard contacts at the age of 14. I was not a fan of the hard contacts as they were small and had to sit directly on your pupil in order to see through them. Many times the hard contact would slide up or down my eyeball and it was a big hassle to get it back on my pupil.
Once, while at the eye doctor, the contact slid way up and was stuck deep behind my upper eyelid. The eye doctor had to basically reach under my eyelid and pull the contact back down and when he did this, I fainted. I guess it was too traumatic for me being 14 years old. I only was able to wear the hard contacts for a few months before I switched to soft contact lenses.
The soft lenses were so much more comfortable and way easier to put in. So, from then on, I wore those soft lenses as much as possible. Eventually, wearing them so much really started irritating my eyes to the point of deciding to go back to wearing the thick, coke bottle, glasses the majority of the time.
First LASIK Consultation
At this time, I was around the age of 27 and really wanting a solution so that I wouldn’t have to keep wearing my glasses. But my eyes just couldn’t take the abuse of contacts anymore. So I started looking into LASIK surgery as a relative of mine had just recently gotten that procedure done and they were very pleased with the results.
I found a reputable place that does the LASIK procedure and scheduled a consultation. LASIK Consultation myopia reading (age 27 in 2008):
Left Eye -11.25 diopters — -.75 astigmatism X 100 (axis of astigmatism)
Right Eye -11.75 diopters — -.50 astigmatism X 65 (axis of astigmatism)
During this consultation is when I had first heard about the Visian ICL procedure. The surgeon explained to me that the LASIK procedure was not a good fit for me having such bad myopia.
This is also when I found out the cost of the Visian ICL procedure would be in the neighborhood of $6500. I, of course, did not have the money.. so back to the glasses the majority of the time and wearing contacts usually on weekends.
My plan was to try and save enough money to get the Visian ICL procedure, but sometimes intentions don’t work out too well. Too many other expenses got in the way over the next few years, until, by the age of 31 in 2012 I was well on my way to saving enough money to move forward with the Visian ICL procedure.
Visian ICL Consultation
March of 2013 I scheduled a new consultation with a new reputable place, Southwestern Eye Center. During the consultation they said I was a perfect candidate for the Visian ICL procedure.
The cost for me in total was $5382.00 (this covered everything except prescription eyedrops) Here is the consultation myopia reading (age 32 in 2013):
Left Eye -12.25 diopters — -.50 astigmatism X 100 (axis of astigmatism)
Right Eye -12.75 diopters — -.25 astigmatism X 45 (axis of astigmatism)
Here are a couple examples of how I see without the help of glasses or contacts or any corrective action:
This one reminds me of being a kid during Christmas time and I would take off my glasses and stare at the Christmas tree lights. (This was the only cool thing about having a high degree of myopia — not worth it, in my opinion!)
A fair comparison of how I was able to see with correction and without correction.
While at the consultation, I decided to go ahead and schedule the Visian ICL procedure. I scheduled the surgery day for June 4th, 2013. This was the earliest I would be able to schedule it as I would need a driver for that day and due to scheduling conflicts with possible drivers this just worked out for everyone.
Also had to schedule the YAG laser iridotomy for a week prior to the surgery day. The YAG laser iridotomy is 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 was, for me, probably the worst part about the whole Visian ICL process.
1 Week Prior To Visian ICL Surgery Day
YAG laser iridotomy: This procedure consists of the surgeon shooting a laser repeatedly into each eye making two super tiny holes allowing for fluid to flow properly once the lens is implanted. **warning** This description may make you cringe. Each shot of the laser into my eye felt kind of like a minor electric shock to the head.
There was also this weird twinge and click I felt in the back of my head with each laser shot into the eye. Now, none of this was at all painful.. absolutely no pain, just felt very uncomfortable. After the surgeon was done shooting my eyes with lasers, I was free to leave and I could even drive myself home. I don’t necessarily recommend driving yourself home after the YAG laser iridotomy but in my situation that was the only option.
My vision, after the laser holes, was a little foggy but not blurred. There was some burning and redness which made for being pretty sensitive to light, but I drove about a half hour to get home.
Once home for the evening, my eye comfort level decreased significantly. My eyes wouldn’t stop watering, and the burning sensations were almost unbearable.
That evening was eye hell.
Apparently all that is normal though.
So I just toughed it out, I didn’t sleep very much that night as they were burning and watering all night long. The next morning they were much better. It was almost like the laser holes never happened, seriously, I couldn’t believe it. All I had to do now was wait a week and I would be able to see!
Image right before going to surgery.
The first thing they did was put dilating eye drops and some numbing eye drops into my eyes. As I sat there waiting for the drops to take effect, they did their typical pre op tests.. like blood pressure and alike. 20-30 minutes after the eye drops were put in, they brought me back to an operating bed.
I lied down and they hooked me up to the monitoring system and placed the anesthesia needle in my arm. I think they shot in some minor sedative first. So, then I just lied there talking to the nurse technicians and the anesthesiologist about Game of Thrones, as the Red Wedding episode had just aired.
During this time I started to feel pretty good but things start getting skechy in my memory. Once the minor sedative had taken effect they wheeled me into the operating room.
I heard the surgeon, Dr. Campion, come in and he had some nice words of encouragement for me. Then I heard him say he was ready, and the anesthesiologist came to my side and asked, “You ready for the juice?” and I replied, “Let’s do it”.
Next thing I know they’re telling me they’re done and I’m getting into a wheelchair and being wheeled back out to a post op waiting room.
I have some weird gauze bandages around my eyes but I can see things. Time got really weird and I was talking to my girlfriend in the waiting room saying things over and over again just repeating myself.
The juice got me loopy! 1 hour after the surgery, they checked my visual acuity and I could see 20/30 out of both eyes. Next thing I know we’re leaving, I’m headed home.
Image right after Visian ICL surgery.
Once home, I pretty much just slept/rested for the rest of the day and night. I was able to look at things and watched some TV, my vision wasn’t blurred but a little foggy and there were slight glares on lights. For the most part though, I could see! I had some special goggles I had to wear while sleeping to protect from bumping or rubbing my eyes.
June 5th, 2013 Next Day Visian ICL Checkup
Woke up and I could see even better! Went back to Southwestern Eye Center for my next day checkup and I could see 20/20 in both eyes. There was definitely some minor pain from the swelling in both eyes but not too bad.
There were also still a lot of glares and halos that they said would subside as the swelling goes down. I had two different prescription eye drops I was to put in 4 times a day. They said the lenses look perfect, and sent me home as I was to come back in 1 week for another checkup.
Image two days after surgery with eye shield.
June 11th, 2013 One Week Visian ICL Checkup
Everyday for the next week the halos and glares were very present at night. But during the day, no glares or halos and my vision seemed to get better with each passing day.
Such crisp, quality vision and acute depth perception. It was really pretty amazing. With the glares and halos at night being so bad, I could not drive at night.
I show up to my one week checkup and see 20/20 out of my right eye and 20/15 out of my left eye, when using both eyes together I could see 20/15! Super human high definition vision! The doctor reassured me as the swelling subsides in my eyes so will the glares and halos at night.
I was already saying this Visian ICL procedure was so totally worth it! They said to come back in around a month for another checkup.
July 17th, 2013 One Month-ish Visian ICL Checkup
Over the month I really didn’t notice much subsiding of the glares and halos. They were still pretty bad, but only at night. My checkup produced the same outcome as my one week checkup at 20/15 overall. They still assured me the glares and halos would eventually disappear, but they want me to return in 2 months for another checkup.
The next checkup is scheduled for September 17th, 2013, so I will update after that checkup.
Since the one month checkup, the glares and halos have reduced quite a bit, but still pop up every once and awhile only at night. Maybe the glares and halos last so long with me because of my ridiculously high myopia going into the surgery?? Who knows..
They are definitely not as significant as they were before and I don’t really have a problem driving at night now. Overall, this Visian ICL procedure was a resounding success, and I am so happy I decided to go through with it.
I love just going outside and looking far off into the distance, the detail I can see is incredible! My quest for becoming a Visianary has been accomplished.
I hope this chronicle of my Visian ICL experience is helpful to you if you are contemplating the Visian ICL procedure. I highly recommend it. If you are on the fence about whether to go with the LASIK procedure or the Visian ICL procedure, I will be working on a new post covering LASIK VS. Visian ICL.
Look forward to that. If you have your own story about your Visian ICL experience that you would be interested in sharing with the Visian ICL Community please email them to me.
Please post any questions or comments you may have and I will try to help as much as possible.