When you think about vision correction surgery, you probably think of popular laser eye procedures like LASIK. Laser vision correction procedures like LASIK are very popular and effective. LASIK isn’t the only alternative to glasses and contact lenses.
Visian ICL is a vision correction procedure that doesn’t use a laser. It also doesn’t involve removing any tissue from the eye.
While laser surgeries like LASIK are safe and effective, the Visian ICL is even less invasive and can mean better results for certain patients. Keep reading to learn more about the Visian ICL, how it works, and if you may be a good candidate for this vision correction procedure!
What Does ICL Stand For?
ICL stands for Implantable Collamer Lens. Essentially, the Visian ICL is a permanent contact lens that sits inside your eye rather than on top of it.
It’s placed between your iris and your natural lens. It never needs removing or replacing. You can replace it by choosing to have a simple procedure if you decide you no longer want it or if your prescription changes drastically.
Having this ability to remove it at any time makes the Visian ICL unique. The Visian ICL won’t interfere if you need to have an intraocular lens put in during cataract surgery or refractive lens exchange.
Choosing to have your Visian ICL removed is rare. Some patients find peace of mind in knowing they can have the Visian ICL completely reversed, unlike something like LASIK.
What It’s Made Of
You may notice the “C” in ICL stands for collamer. Collamer is a collagen copolymer and is proprietary to the company that makes ICLs, Staar Surgical.
Because it’s made from collagen, a naturally occurring protein in the human body, collamer is highly biocompatible with your eye. Because collamer is biocompatible with your eye, when it’s in your eye, you’ll hardly be able to feel it as it integrates so well with your natural biochemistry.
It also means that you’re less likely to develop dry eye from the Visian ICL. Dry eyes are one of the most common side-effects of many other vision correction procedures.
How the Visian ICL Helps You See
Just like glasses or contact lenses, the ICL changes the way light bends before it goes through the natural lens of your eye. The ICL can correct nearsightedness, although it cannot correct farsightedness.
But it can correct nearsightedness to an even higher degree than LASIK. While LASIK can only correct up to -11.00 diopters of nearsightedness, the Visian ICL can correct or reduce up to -20.00 diopters. It also comes in a toric version that can correct up to an additional 4.00 diopters of astigmatism.
The Visian ICL Procedure
The Visian ICL procedure is quick and painless. It takes less than 30 minutes and doesn’t require any general anesthesia.
After you go through pre-op screening and receive approval for the Visian ICL, you can schedule your procedure. It’s an outpatient procedure, so you’ll go home the same day you have the surgery, although you’ll need someone to drive you home.
You won’t be able to drive right away and will need to wait until your eye doctor clears you.
When you come in the day that your procedure is scheduled, you’ll first be set up in the operating room. Your surgeon will begin by numbing and dilating your eyes with eye drops.
Once your eyes are completely numb, they’ll make a tiny incision in your eye. The ICL itself is then folded up and inserted through this incision. Once unfurled, it’s positioned precisely between your iris and natural lens.
That’s all there is to it since you don’t need any stitches. The incision is so small that it will heal on its own.
As soon as the ICL is in your eye, you’ll have improved vision that will only get better as your eye adjusts. While you’re recovering, you’ll take both antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eye drops to help your eyes heal and prevent infection.
Why Choose the Visian ICL?
There are several reasons to get the Visian ICL. It’s a popular alternative to LASIK, especially for patients who don’t qualify for LASIK.
To qualify for LASIK, one of the most important factors is having a cornea that is a certain thickness. If your corneas aren’t thick enough, getting LASIK can become unsafe or even result in unforeseen complications to your vision.
But the Visian ICL doesn’t have this restriction. It also presents a much lower risk for dry eye syndrome, which can be an issue for patients with a predisposition to developing dry eye symptoms.
Even if you qualify for LASIK and aren’t concerned about dry eyes, you may want the Visian ICL because it’s just a less invasive procedure and is fully reversible.
The Visian ICL also has some unique benefits. In addition to being biocompatible with your eye, it provides some degree of UV protection.
UV damage puts you at a higher risk of age-related eye conditions like cataracts and cancer. Anything you can do to improve your protection from this harmful radiation is highly beneficial.
How the Visian ICL Compares to Other Procedures
When compared to laser eye correction procedures, the Visian ICL also provides clearer, crisper vision. It doesn’t cause any potential aberrations that can occur when removing corneal tissue.
It can also correct a higher degree of nearsightedness, making it ideal for patients with prescriptions too high for laser eye surgery.
Just because you don’t qualify for LASIK doesn’t mean you can’t achieve your goals of visual freedom from glasses and contact lenses. It’s essential to realize you have options, including the Visian ICL.
If laser eye correction surgery isn’t an option for you, even if it’s only by choice, the Visian ICL can finally give you the ability to see clearly without anything holding you back. What’s not to love about that?
Learn more about the Visian ICL and determine if it may be right for you by scheduling an appointment at Herschel LASIK and Cataract Institute in Orlando, FL! What do you have to lose besides your dependence on visual aids?