Visian ICL Surgery
What Is Visian ICL?
One of the most recent and innovative technological advancements within the vision correction industry, the Visian ICL (Implantable Collamer® Lens) is made from Collamer, a 100% biocompatible material created and used exclusively by STAAR Surgical.
It is FDA approved to correct myopia ranging from -3.0D to -15.0D with less than or equal to 2.5D of astigmatism at the spectacle plane in adults. It can reduce myopia in adults ranging from greater than -15.0D to -20.0D with less than or equal to 2.5D of astigmatism at the spectacle plane. It is able to treat a large range of refractive error varying by region.
The Visian ICL Procedure
The Visian ICL surgical procedure is delivered on an outpatient basis and typically takes around 15 minutes from start to finish. Before the lens is inserted into the eye patients will receive a small dose of anaesthetic eye drops to remove any discomfort. The surgeon will then create a micro-cut in the surface of the eye through which the folded lens is inserted in a cartridge. The lens then slowly unfolds in the patient's eye and the effects on vision are immediate. This technology has now been used to implant lenses in over 300,000 people worldwide.
Suitable Candidates For Visian ICL
If you are nearsighted, have had stable vision for a year and are between the ages of 21 and 45, you are a brilliant candidate for the Visian ICL. You may also be deemed to be a suitable candidate if you:
- Are not currently pregnant.
- Have dry eyes, severe myopia, or a thin cornea (non-LASIK candidate).
- Have no other contraindications including no known allergies to medications used during refractive surgery.
- Are nearsighted, including those with mild, moderate, and severe myopia (as low as -3D to as high as -20D prescription) with minor or no occurrence of astigmatism.
- Have sufficient anterior chamber depth and acceptable endothelial cell density (this will be determined by an ophthalmologist after a comprehensive eye exam).
- Have not had a change in your eyeglass prescription of more than 0.5D in a year.
Aftercare With Visian ICL
After the surgeon has completed the lens insertion they will provide the patient with eye drops to be used for several days to reduce the risk of infection and inflammation. They may also provide an eye patch or shield to help protect the eye. After 24 hours a follow up visit should be arranged where the surgeon will monitor the internal pressure of the eye. Patients will not be able to drive straight after the procedure so will need to arrange for someone to take them home.
Benefits Of Visian ICL
There are a number of benefits to be derived from choosing Visian ICL including:
- Sharper, clearer vision than traditional LASIK surgery with 98.3% of patients achieving at least 20/40 vision.
- Recovery is swift and virtually pain free, with many patients going back to work the following day.
- Whilst it is a permanent solution it is reversible, so if negative side effects are experienced the lens can be taken out or replaced.
- No corneal tissue is removed or reshaped.
- There is no increased incidence of glare or difficulties with night driving following the procedure. Indeed, over 99% of patients who have undergone Visian ICL were satisfied with the results.
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Side Effects Of Visian ICL
Patients that undergo procedures such as LASIK, PRK and corneal refractive procedures may be prone to side effects including dry eye and thinning of the cornea. As the LASIK procedure involves the removal of tissue from the cornea, there can be complications that are more difficult to correct than the potential complications of the Visian ICL.
All surgical procedures carry some risk due to the nature of surgery itself, however, the complications related to Visian ICL can in most cases be corrected by your own surgeon. These side effects include infection, increased intraocular pressure, and the possibility of accidental damage to the crystalline lens during the procedure. It is, therefore, imperative that you go to a surgeon that is fully qualified.
Costs Of Visian ICL
The cost of the Visian ICL treatment varies between providers but typical costs range between £1,400 and £2,995 per eye. This cost includes the first consultation, which is usually around £175 and the cost of manufacturing the bespoke lenses (around £500 per eye). As these lenses have to be made to order most firms require a deposit to be paid prior to the surgery commencing. Some surgeons also recommend that after surgery patients have an epithelial cell count test every couple of years to monitor the suitability of the implant, and this costs around £25 a time.
Where Can I Have The Procedure?
There are a number of providers of Visian ICL surgery across the UK.
In London the Advanced Vision Care clinic on Harley Street claim to be the market leaders in this procedure with more patients treated with Visian ICL than in any other clinic.
Optimax are a nationwide provider of Visian ICL with 28 clinics from Glasgow to Canterbury. They have a call back option on their website so you can discuss the procedure before committing to a consultation.
For prospective patients in the North of England another option is the Viewpoint Vision Clinic based in the grounds of the Allen Day Unit at St Helen's Hospital in Merseyside. The clinic offers fixed price treatments to include all aftercare for up to 12 months following surgery.