Implantable Contact Lens FAQs

Peninsula Laser Eye Medical Group offers treatment with Visian ICL™to patients in San Jose, Mountain View, and surrounding areas.

What is the Visian ICL™ ?

The Staar Visian ICL™, now available at our Mountain View practice, is the most advanced implantable contact lens available today. It is placed inside the eye to replace glasses or contact lenses for patients with nearsightedness. The Visian ICL™ is made of a unique blend of polymer and natural collagen, a substance found in the body. Because of its composition and design, it is foldable, to fit through a smaller incision, and can be placed behind the iris, for a completely natural appearance. The Visian ICL™ also offers our patients a higher level of biocompatibility than ordinary ICLs, which reduces the risk of complications after surgery.

Who can benefit from an ICL?

Implantable contact lenses are best suited to patients between 21 and 45 who have moderate to severe myopia (nearsightedness). The best candidates are those who have not had any previous eye surgery and who have no history of eye diseases such as glaucoma, iritis, or diabetic retinopathy.

Why is the Visian ICL™ better?

An implantable contact lens can correct nearsightedness without removing corneal tissue, as is done in LASIK surgery. The Visian ICL™ is foldable, so that is can be inserted through an incision only 3.0 mm (1/8 inch) long, and normally requires no stitches. Since it is inside the eye, the Visian ICL™ provides our patients more consistent vision enhancement than external eyewear.

Are there risks associated with ICL surgery?

Any elective surgical procedure presents some risks. In ICL surgery, a small percentage of patients (1 in 200) risk developing a small cataract. If this occurs, an annual follow-up visit is recommended to check on progression or vision changes. A more remote possibility (1 in 2,000) is that of developing an infection immediately after the procedure.

What happens if there are vision changes?

Patients over 45 may have to supplement the Visian ICL™ with reading glasses or contact lenses as their near vision declines with age. This is a result of the normal process of presbyopia. In a case of major vision change, the Visian ICL ™ can be replaced with a higher strength prescription.

Will Visian ICL™ require maintenance, like an external contact lens?

Since it is designed to stay in the eye, an ICL does not require maintenance. Dr. Beers and Dr. Liu recommend an annual examination for Visian ICL™ patients at their Mountain View office.

Can others see the Visian ICL™ in place?

One of the advantages of the Visian ICL™ for our patients is that is foldable, and, therefore, can be inserted and unfolded behind the iris, where it cannot be seen by others. Ordinary ICLs must be placed in front of the iris, causing a very unnatural appearance.

What is the Visian ICL™ made of?

The Visian ICL™ is made of a proprietary material called Collamer. It is a blend of polymer and natural purified collagen, a substance found in the human body. The collagen content makes Collamer very biocompatible, eliminating the risk of infection or tissue rejection for most patients. The Visian ICL™ also filters out damaging ultraviolet light.

How are ICLs implanted?

ICL implantation is an out-patient procedure; the patient goes home immediately following surgery. The patient must have a ride to and from the surgery, since medications applied before and after temporarily affect vision. For the surgery, anesthetic eye drops are used to numb the eye. There is minimal discomfort and no real pain for most patients. Eye drops to guard against irritation and infection are prescribed after the procedure, and the patient normally has a check-up the day after surgery.

Is the ICL permanent?

Rarely, changes in vision may require removal of the ICL and the use of an alternative procedure to correct vision. Barring such an event, the ICL is intended to remain in place, never requiring maintenance of any kind.

Can the ICL be felt once it is in place?

Since the ICL is not attached to any internal eye parts and is completely stationary, only in rare instances does a patient notice that it’s there.

How can I find out if I am a candidate for the ICL?

Please call our office for a complimentary consultation at 650-961-2585.

If you have other questions or concerns about Visian ICL™, visit our Mountain View center. We will be happy to provide more details about this revolutionary procedure that provides a new alternative to patients who want to rid themselves of glasses or contact lenses. Contact Peninsula Laser Eye Medical Group today.

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