VISIAN IMPLANTABLE CONTACT LENS SURGERY (ICL)
Implantable contact lens (ICL) surgery can give better outcomes for vision correction in young patients with high prescriptions, dry eyes or corneal abnormalities. The implantable contact lens works from within your eye, instead of sitting on the surface of your eye. It enables light to focus properly on the retina for clear vision without corrective eyewear. Visual recovery is very quick, with near-normal vision within a few hours after surgery.
Who Is Suitable for ICL Surgery?
Young patients who are not in the reading glasses age group with high prescriptions which are out of the range for laser eye surgery (myopia greater than -10.00 D or astigmatism greater than 4.00 D) are the best candidates for ICL surgery. This is because there is a limit to the amount of corneal tissue that can be removed safely during LASIK, and visual quality can be compromised when a large amount of corneal tissue is removed. ICLs can also work well if laser surgery is not appropriate because of dry eyes or corneal abnormalities.
For patients with a very high spectacle prescription, laser vision correction and ICL implantation can be combined in a staged procedure to correct vision, called Bioptics.
What are ICLs made of?
The Visian ICL used by Ms Saw is made from a soft,revolutionary pure collagen copolymer material called “collamer” which is 100% compatible with the human body. It is similar to the material used in heart valve replacement surgery. Collamer transmits light with sharp, clear vision, and has unique anti-reflective and UV-blocking properties
Why are Implantable Contact Lenses mainly for young patients?
ICLs are preferred to refractive lens exchange (cataract surgery) in younger patients because the natural crystalline lens of young patients is still able to focus (a process called accommodation) to allow reading close work without glasses. An ICL allows the natural crystalline lens to continue to work for reading.
In patients older than 50, the natural crystalline lens does not focus well for reading (also known as presbyopia). In these patients, refractive lens exchange (RLE) and multifocal intraocular lens implants work best to give clear reading and distance vision without glasses.
What happens during ICL surgery?
ICL surgery is performed under local anaesthetic through a keyhole incision and takes about 20 minutes. Surgery is not painful, recovery is quick, and the aftercare is straightforward. You can normally go back to work a few days after surgery. There is usually an interval of 1 week between each eye for ICL implantation; you can normally manage well at work in the week between, by using a contact lens in the un-operated eye.
During ICL surgery the flexible ICLis folded into an injecting device and injected into the eye via a keyhole incision. Specialised instruments are used to position the lens correctly. The ICL is inserted between the natural lens and the iris. Once implanted, the ICL does not cause any change in the appearance or colour of your eye. Unlike contact lenses, you can’t feel an ICL in your eye.
The latest model of Visian ICL (Aquaport) has a built –in hole to allow free movement of fluid inside the eye. The advantage of this is there is no need to create a peripheral iridectomy (little hole in the iris).
How many people have had ICL surgery?
The first Visian ICL was implanted in 1993. Since then, over 500,000 ICLs have been implanted, with a 99% patient satisfaction rate.
Why choose Valerie Saw as your surgeon?
Valerie Saw is a leading UK expert in Visian ICL (implantable contact lens) surgery. As a Member of the Council of the British Society of Refractive Surgeons, and an invited Examiner for the Royal College of Ophthalmologists’ Certificate for Laser Refractive Surgery in the UK, she is recognized by her peers for her expertise in cornea, lens and laser eye surgery. She has been voted amongst the top 10 Laser Eye Surgeons in the UK by patients, for her outstanding surgical skills.