Visian and EVO ICLs are two types of “implantable Collamer lens” aka Implantable Contact Lens (ICL). ICL surgery is an alternative procedure for patients who may not be ideal candidates for LASIK or other alternative corrective eye surgery. Visian and EVO ICLs are typically used for patients who do not want to remove portions of their cornea (laser refractive surgeries), have thin corneas, or have excessively high levels of nearsightedness (myopia). The EVO ICL has the added benefit of a central port design which eliminates the need for a peripheral iridotomy procedure (a hole in the iris) prior to implanting the lens. During ICL surgery, the surgeon makes a small incision and then implants a personalized prescription lens inside the eye to correct vision. The lens can be removed, if needed, making the procedure reversible providing patients added peace of mind.
Candidacy for ICL is assessed on a case by case basis. However, there are certain parameters that your surgeon will use to decide if ICL is a suitable corrective procedure for you. These include, but are not limited to:
Age. Most ICL patients are between the ages of 21 and 45. This is because around the age of 45 many people begin to develop a condition known as presbyopia which is a progressive condition that interferes with near-vision.
The severity of your refractive problems. ICL’s can correct certain degrees of myopia and if you are outside the recommended treatment range, then they might not provide the right solution for your vision problems.
The stability of your prescription. ICL’s are significantly less effective for people whose eyesight is changing regularly. Your surgeon will want your prescription to have been stable for greater than 12 months.
The health of your eyes. Your eyes need to be healthy in order to support the new lens. This means not having any diseases such as glaucoma or macular degeneration.
The amount of space in your eyes anterior chamber. This is the part of your eye that is between your iris and cornea and needs to be big enough to fit the ICL into.
ICL is considered an outpatient operation and only takes about 20-30 minutes to complete. This means that you will be in and out of your chosen surgical facility on the same day. Patients are given some numbing drops for their eyes and individuals that are more hesitant or uncomfortable may also be given a sedative.
The surgeon will make several micro-incisions in the eye to insert and place the lens. When the lens has been inserted, it will be unfolded, and the edges of the lens will be placed behind the iris. After this, the operation is considered complete. Your surgeon will give you some eye drops for postoperative care and then send you home. You will have follow-up appointments scheduled with Dr. Kubota 24 hours later, as well as 1-week, 2-weeks, 1-month, 3-months, 6-months and then one year later.
After your operation, you will be required to have somebody else drive you home. Anytime that you have an operation that may impair your vision or ability to operate a vehicle, you should plan to have someone else drive you home. Surgery results are typically noticeable 24 hours after the operation.
Recovery time is minimal, and some patients experience mild discomfort or a gritty feeling in their eyes. For about a week, you will be advised to stay out of swimming pools and avoid activities that make you heavily perspire because when sweat gets into your eyes, it may aggravate the micro incisions and cause additional discomfort.
While there are some potential complications both during and after the operation, they are typically minimal. The chances of impairing your vision or causing long-term damage are very low with this operation, however, you should make sure to talk about potential side effects with Dr. Kubota and your surgeon. If you experience any abnormal symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately.
If you are looking into options for correcting your vision, ICL may be a good choice for you. Patients with reduced corneal thickness or myopia are typically ideal candidates for Visian ICL. This operation can be a better avenue for patients who have issues that disqualify them from other vision correcting procedures.