The Staar Visian ICL (an abbreviation for Implantable Collamer Lens) received FDA approval in 2005. This lens has been used successfully outside the US since 1992 and has been implanted in more than 40,000 eyes worldwide. It is approved for use in 41 countries.
Dr. Anita Nevyas-Wallace of Nevyas Eye Associates was the first surgeon in the Delaware Valley region certified for implantation of the Staar Visian ICL, and she has the most experience with the lens in the region. She lends her expertise to Staar as a consultant for other surgeons in the Eastern United States who are using this lens.
The ICL offers a premium option for those seeking reduced dependency on glasses and contact lenses. It is suitable even for many patients who are not good candidates for LASIK for reasons including thin corneas, very high corrections, excessive dry eye and irregular corneas. The patients who may benefit the most from the ICL are often those with the greatest dependence on contacts and glasses. The ICL offers superb quality of vision and rapid recovery.
The best candidates for the Visian ICL are between the ages of 21 and 50 , with moderate to severe nearsightedness. It is best if the patient has had no previous eye surgery and does not have a history of eye disease such as glaucoma, iritis or diabetic retinopathy.
Pre-Treatment for ICL
One to four weeks prior to the surgery, an in-office laser treatment is performed in each eye. This is a preventative measure done to insure that the ICL does not interfere with the flow of fluid through the pupil. Dr. Anita Nevyas-Wallace performs the ICL surgery on an outpatient basis. A topical anesthetic is used, which means that you are awake during surgery but will not feel any pain. (This is the case in almost all refractive surgeries.) The surgery itself takes between fifteen and thirty minutes. During the surgery, a small incision about 3 mm wide is made, through which the ICL will be inserted. The lens rests behind the iris, which is the colored portion of the eye, and in front of the natural crystalline lens. The ICL is well tolerated and cannot be seen or felt once placed in the eye.
Eye drops and perhaps oral medication may be prescribed and a visit to the office will be scheduled for the next day.
The ICL is intended to remain in place without maintenance, however, should the need arise, it can easily be removed and replaced, or another procedure can be done at any time. With the ICL, you could still wear glasses or contact lenses if necessary, and the ICL does not affect presbyopia, or the need for reading glasses due to age. If cataract surgery should later become necessary, the ICL can be removed through the incision made for cataract surgery with intraocular lens implantation.
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Refractive lens surgery is another way to reduce your dependency on glasses. The common vision problems of nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism can be corrected either by reshaping the cornea (the front clear window of the eye) , or by changing the power of the lens inside the eye. If your surgeon’s examination reveals that you are not a good candidate for corneal surgery, we are able to then evaluate your candidacy for lens surgery.
Refractive Lensectomy is very similar to cataract surgery, in that your surgeon is removing the current lens and replacing it with a new, synthetic lens. The difference is that with cataract surgery, the lens is being replaced because it has become “cloudy”. In the case of a cataract, you are unable to see clearly through the clouding of the lens; therefore, even glasses cannot correct the vision problem adequately. In refractive lensectomy, the lens is being removed and replaced because it is not of proper strength to allow you to see clearly without having to rely on glasses.
The refractive lensectomy procedure is performed in our Ambulatory Surgery Center under mild sedation. Each eye is done separately, about one to two weeks apart. We typically use the Crystalens® implant for our refractive lensectomy procedures. There are two special benefits of having refractive lens surgery. You’ll never need to worry about having cataract surgery, because your new lens will never become cloudy. More important, your new lens will never change in power as your eye ages, and consequently your outcome will remain stable for the rest of your life. After your thorough eye examination, your surgeon will be able to determine which of our many surgical options would be best suited for you.
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