Visian Intraocular Contact Lens
Some patients are not candidates for LASIK or PRK. This might be because of a prescription that is too strong, the anatomy that is not compatible with a laser procedure, or significant dry eye syndrome. Other patients prefer to avoid LASIK and PRK because they do not like the idea of removing natural tissue and permanently reshaping their eyes. For all of these patients, there is an alternative: the Visian ICL.
The Visian ICL is an implantable contact lens that goes inside of your eye. It is positioned between the iris (the colored part of the eye) and the natural lens, and it is totally undetectable by you or any observers. The lens is made of a biocompatible Collamer material, and while it is designed to be permanent, it is completely removable.
Unlike LASIK and PRK, which involve laser surgery on the surface of the eye, the implantation of the Visian ICL is a more serious surgery that involves going inside of the eye. For this reason, a greater amount of preparation is needed before this procedure.
The first step is to meet with Dr. Saipe and undergo a thorough examination. He will review your history of eye problems, your medical history, and the medications that you are taking. He will then perform a complete and detailed evaluation of your eyes, take multiple measurements, and perform several scans on your eyes to determine if you are a good candidate for the Visian ICL implant.
If you are a candidate for the Visian ICL and decide to proceed with surgery, the next step is to undergo a laser procedure to prepare your eyes for the implant. This laser procedure is called a YAG peripheral iridotomy, and it is performed to ensure that the fluid inside of your eye flows properly after the Visian ICL is inserted. Typically, the YAG laser is performed on both eyes the same day, and it is usually scheduled to take place two to three weeks before your surgery to implant the Visian ICL.
The final step is surgery in the operating room to implant the Visian ICL. On the day of your surgery, you will be given drops to dilate your pupil and an I.V. will be placed in your arm. Before going into the operating room, your eye will be numbed, and you will receive relaxing medicine to help you feel calm during the surgery. For safety reasons, you will not be completely asleep during the procedure; however, almost all patients report feeling very comfortable throughout the surgery.
In the operating room, Dr. Saipe will make a small incision into your eye and implant the Visian ICL. In most cases, the entire surgery lasts only 20 minutes and no stitches are needed.
After surgery, a bandage will be placed over your eye. You will spend approximately 1-2 hours in the recovery room, and then Dr. Saipe will evaluate your eye in the office to make sure that the Visian ICL is positioned correctly. The next day, you will return to Dr. Saipe’s office again for another examination. If everything looks appropriate and there are no complications, your second eye will then undergo the same surgery one day later.
You will likely see some immediate improvement in your vision once the Visian ICLs are implanted into your eyes, and most people are able to return to their normal activities within 2-3 days of surgery; however, it will take weeks to months for your vision and your eyes to completely stabilize. During this time, it is essential to use all of the eye drops that you have been prescribed and to attend all of your follow-up appointments. This reduces your risk of complications and offers you the best chances for a safe and smooth recovery.
Implantation of the Visian ICL is a very successful surgery, with a 99% patient satisfaction rate and over 95% of patients seeing 20/20 or better without glasses or contact lenses by three months after surgery. However, this intraocular procedure also carries significant risks, and only you can decide if the benefits of surgery outweigh the risks.
The risks of Visian ICL surgery include (but are not limited to) bleeding, infection, inflammation, increased eye pressure, damage to the cornea, damage to the iris, development of a cataract, retinal detachment, light sensitivity, double vision, need for additional surgery, persistent need for glasses or contact lenses, reduction of vision, loss of the eye, and problems with anesthesia.
The Visian ICL is an incredible technology that offers options and alternatives to people who may not have thought they had any. If you’re ready to imagine life without your glasses or contact lenses, schedule a Visian consultation today at New England Vision!