Surgical implantation of a phakic intraocular lens can help to correct a person’s refractive error (shortsightedness, astigmatism, hyperopia and presbyopia). The operation involves inserting an artificial lens into the person’s eye.
The most widely established phakic intraocular lens is the Visian phakic implantable collamer lens (ICL). The lens is made from Collamer, which is a polymer with collagen. As it is made with collagen, the ICL is very biocompatible. Once implanted, the lens is invisible to the naked eye.
Lang Eye Centre is one of the first centres to introduce the new and improved version of the Visian ICL with CentraFLOW, which provides the better refractive outcomes and patient comfort. The previous version of the ICL required an additional laser procedure known as a peripheral iridotomy which creates 2 small holes in the iris. The innovative design of the Visian ICL with CentraFLOW has a central port (Aquaport) which eliminates the need for any laser procedure so that the procedure time is shortened and the overall patient experience enhanced. With the addition of this central port, IOP remains stable and refractive outcomes are excellent.
ICL can correct a wide range of refractive errors. It can correct refractive errors from 1,000 degrees of long-sightedness to 1,900 degrees of short-sightedness with up to 500 degrees of astigmatism (+10.00 D to -19.00 D). It is particularly useful for people with high refractive errors (e.g. those above 900 degrees), or people who are not suitable for LASIK due to high degrees or very thin corneas.
The surgery is a simple and painless procedure and takes about 15 minutes. The lens is inserted through a small incision at the edge of the cornea and is placed behind the iris and in front of the natural crystalline lens. The wound heals on its own without stitches.
Advantages of ICL surgery
- For people with very high degrees, ICL surgery can give patients high-definition vision in the day and night. The quality of vision tends to be better and the night vision phenomena (e.g. haloes and starbursts) tends to be less noticeable in patients with ICL surgery compared to LASIK.
- Recovery after the ICL procedure is relatively fast with minimal discomfort. Most patients are able to return to work or school within a few days of the procedure.
- This procedure does not cause any alteration to the shape and structure of your cornea, thus providing an advantage for people with high myopia and thin corneas.
- The surgery does not cause dry eyes.
- The surgery is reversible and the lens can be removed if necessary.