What Is The Visian ICL?
Also known as the Implantable Collamer Lens, Visian ICL is the FDA approved new technology in vision correction. Think of it as an implantable lens that works with your natural eye lens to correct your vision.
The Visian ICL procedure creates options for a much wider range of prescriptions that can free you from glasses and contacts. Visian ICL offers benefits which people suffering from nearsightedness or high myopia should consider.
Watch this short video explaining what the Visian ICL is:
Advanced Visian Collamer Lens Technology
Collamer is a proprietary material used exclusively by STAAR Surgical in the Visian ICL and other corrective lenses.
The name comes from a combination of “collagen” and “polymer”. The material is biocompatible which means the lens is made to naturally be in harmony with your eye.
Visian ICL Collamer lens technology has some unique characteristics that make it an ideal material for a vision correction lens:
Soft And Pliable
ICLs are easy to implant in the eye because of the soft and flexible structure. And they feel natural in the eye.
The unique Collamer material provides UV protection while visible light passes through unaltered.
Collamer is a collagen based material which means the lens is made to naturally be in harmony with your eye.
Visian ICL Candidates
It is preferable that you have had no previous ophthalmic surgery or history of ophthalmic disease such as glaucoma, iritis, or diabetic retinopathy. 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 patients with refractive error as low as -3.00 diopters up to as high as -20.00 diopters.
An interesting note from when I had the Visian ICL procedure: My refractive error was -12.75 diopters and Southwestern Eye Center told me they actually had recently done a Visian ICL procedure on someone with a -20.00 diopters, and they were very happy with the high definition vision results.
Having thin corneas makes you a good candidate as well. The cornea is the curved surface on the front of the eye. The Visian ICL does not have any effect on the cornea and may be appropriate if you have thin corneas, unlike LASIK procedures that actually remove part of the cornea.
If you wear contact lenses, you should stop wearing them one week prior to your scheduled YAG laser iridotomy. You will need to schedule the YAG laser iridotomy at least one week prior to your actual Visian ICL surgery.
An iridotomy creates a small opening at the outer edge of your iris, allowing fluid to circulate and helps to prevent a possible increase in intraocular pressure after the lens implantation.
The iridotomy procedure typically is performed in-office and is relatively quick, taking only a few minutes for each eye. This procedure, for me, was the worst part of the whole Visian ICL process but the end result makes it well worth the hassle.
Right before the Visian ICL lens implantation surgery typically numbing eye drops will be applied to your eyes to alleviate any discomfort during the procedure. Some surgeons may give you some medication to help you relax and sometimes, like in my case, even administer minor anesthesia.
During the implantation surgery, an instrument called a lid speculum is used to keep your eyelids open and a tiny incision is made in the cornea. The incision lenght is as little as 3.2mm due to the flexible and foldable material of the lens.
The lens is positioned in the posterior chamber of the eye behind the iris and pupil and in front of your natural lens.
Once inserted, the artificial lens unfolds to its full width and typically does not require any stitches.
An eye shield is then placed over your eyes which needs to be worn for a day or two after the procedure. The whole procedure typically takes 15-30 minutes to complete.
Completion And Follow Up
Since the incision opening is microscopic, it will recover natrually in a very short period of time without needing any sutures.
Most people notice improved vision immediately following the procedure but vision may be hazy or blurry with an increased sensitivity to light for the next few days. A few hours after the procedure you will be able to leave the clinic.
Your vision could take a week or two to fully stabilize and for the halo/glare effect to completely dissipate. People with a higher degree of refractive error may experience a longer halo/glare effect.
But as the swelling of the eyes dissipates as will the halos and glares. The vision will be 20/20 and in some cases even better than that!
You will need to return for a follow-up visit with your doctor the next day. It’s essential that you follow your eye surgeon’s post-operative instruction carefully and attend frequent check-ups to help avoid any complications.
Try to refrain from rubbing or squeezing your eyes, lifting heavy objects and participating in strenuous activities until your eyes have completely healed.
Remember to keep up with any eye drop prescriptions as instructed by your surgeon. But most of all, live your life as a new Visianary!