LASIK Alternative: ICL

Posted By Key-Whitman Eye Center || 12-Apr-2013

iclIndividuals ranging in ages 18-40 who have moderate to severe nearsightedness may benefit from ICL (Implantable Collamer® Lens), as a LASIK alternative. ICL, a lesser-known vision correction option, involves the placement of an artificial intraocular lens into the eye. The FDA approved the procedure in 2005 for the reduction and treatment of nearsightedness (myopia). For patients who may not otherwise be a good candidate for LASIK, ICL provides another alternative to glasses and contact lenses.

The phakic intraocular lens used during ICL is different from the lens implanted during cataract surgery in that the ICL does not replace the eye’s natural lens, but is placed between the iris and the natural lens to correct nearsightedness. Because the phakic IOL does not replace the lens, but supplements it like a prescription contact lens, it is sometimes referred to as an implantable contact lens.

Benefits of ICL

The primary benefit of ICL is that the implanted lens is removable, so this type of vision correction is not as permanent as laser vision correction, such as LASIK. “ICL is removable so if something better comes along down the line, we can take the ICL out,” said Key-Whitman Dr. Jeffrey Whitman in this video.

The Visian ICL used by Key-Whitman doctors requires a smaller incision than other phakic intraocular lenses because it is foldable. Because it requires a smaller incision, it is considered less invasive and does not require sutures.

A 2010 study evaluating ICL versus LASIK found that the two procedures provide almost equal odds of attaining 20/20 vision following surgery. The same study found that ICL patients were more satisfied and experienced better contrast sensitivity than patients undergoing LASIK eye surgery. Another benefit of ICL is that patients undergoing this procedure will not experience irritating and painful dry eye that is commonly experienced by LASIK patients.

ICL is a low-risk and effective alternative to LASIK eye surgery for patients who have moderate to severe nearsightedness and are not otherwise a candidate for LASIK. To find out if you are a candidate for the Visian ICL procedure to correct nearsightedness, contact the eye surgeons at Key-Whitman Eye Center.

Categories: LASIK
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