Phakic Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL)

Phakic Implantable Collamer Lens or ICL refers to the special type of intraocular lens that is used for correction of moderate to severe myopia (near-sightedness). It is also recommendedfor correcting other refractive errors, such as hyperopia and astigmatism.

Phakic intraocular lenses are considered a better alternative to LASIK and PRK eye surgery. In this treatment, the eye’s natural lenses are not removed and new, clear implantable lenses are surgically fixed behind the iris, or in the middle of the cornea and the iris. The treatment eliminates the use of corrective eyewear as phakic lenses allow proper focus of light on the retina, thus providing a clearer vision.

Who all are recommended to get this treatment?
Anyone who has myopia (-4 to -20 sphere) with or without Astigmatism (1 to 4 cyl) can undergo this treatment. It is also suggested to those who have been wearing glasses for more than one year and have had a stable number. The eye surgeon would also gauge the anterior chamber depth and endothelial cell density to ensure the requirement and suitability of the treatment.

Who are unsuitableforICL?
A person who is currently affected with eye diseases like glaucoma, iritis, or diabetic retinopathy or have had them in the past are not advised to getICL. Pregnant women should also avoid the treatment as pregnancy may cause fluctuation in the eyes’ vision or power.

Is the procedure for implanting Visian ICL painful?
No, the surgical treatment for implanting Visian ICL is not painful. In fact, the process is very simple and quick.It starts with a detailed check-up of each eye. Measuring corneal and anterior chamber is an important step. The next to follow is thelaser peripheral iridotomy (LPI) procedure. The process includes the use of a laser for creating two tinyincisionsbetween the eye’s front chamber and the lens. It is done a couple of weeks prior to ICL to prepare the eye for the treatment. The step is important since it avoids the build-up of intraocular pressure and ensures smooth passage of fluids.

Is there a specific age to get ICL?
Anyone aged between 21 and 45 years can go for this treatment.

How long does ICL procedure take?
The entire ICL process takes just about 15 to 20 minutes. There is no need for the patient to be hospitalized overnight. However, it still requires some prior arrangements. The patient is given a light topical or local anaesthetic before the treatment. So make sure you are accompanied by someone who can drive you to and from the clinic after the surgery.The eye specialist may also prescribe certain oral medications or medicated eye drops for use. The recovery time is very less. But you will have to visit the surgeon for a follow-up session the very next day of the surgery, to be followed after one month.

Is Visian ICL removable?
Yes, it can be removed. If necessary, an experienced ophthalmologist can remove the implant from the eye.

ICL or Laser Refractive Surgery (LASIK). Which is better?
Dr Parul Sharma of MAX Eyecare says "A number of clinical trials have proved that Visian ICL procedure is much better thanlaser refractive eye surgery. A majority of ICL patients happily reported of more than 99% vision satisfaction".

However, LASIK treatment has certain side-effects. The ICL involves surgical implantation of lens over the eye’s natural lens, which means no part of the eye gets physically changed or reshaped. This cuts down greatly on the risks or side effects like halos and glare. Not to miss, the Visian ICL can be easily removed if there arises any problem or discomfort in the treated eye.

What if I get Visian ICL, but my vision still fluctuates?
One of the benefits of getting Visian ICL is that the treatment is flexible. The surgeon can remove the implant and replace it with a new one in case there is a considerable change in your vision after the treatment. The procedure to replace the lens can be done at any time.

Also, there is no restriction on using contact lenses or wearing glasses post the ICL. Those who have presbyopia can make use of reading glasses even after getting the Visian ICL. For more information,  visit-
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