10 Common Questions About Visian ICL

February 6th, 2021
visian icl to improve vision

Visian ICL is a refractive surgery alternative to the popular LASIK solution, using an implanted lens instead of corneal modification. Among other benefits, the implanted lens offers a much wider range of myopia vision correction.

1. How much does the Visian ICL procedure cost?

Visian ICL is a more complicated procedure than LASIK and therefore tends to be more expensive. It is approximately $4000 per eye. However, the cost depends on the eye surgeon’s experience level, the clinic location, and case-specific factors.

2. What is Visian ICL?

Visian ICL is a lens implantation procedure, rather than a laser-based corneal modification technique like LASIK and PRK. It differs, though, from cataract surgery procedures where the cloudy natural lens is replaced with a new one. In ICL, the natural lens remains and the additional collamer lens is implanted between the iris, the colored part of the eye, and the patient’s natural lens.

3. How long does Visian ICL last?

The collamer lens used in the Visian ICL procedure has an expected lifetime of about 90 years, effectively lasting for the rest of your life. Of course, other factors such as aging may produce changes in vision over time. Since most patients will still need cataract surgery sometime in their 50s-70s, the ICL lens can be removed along with the natural lens and replaced with an artificial intraocular lens. ICL has the advantage of allowing replacement of the inserted lens, rather than re-forming the eye itself as is done with LASIK and similar procedures.

4. Is ICL safer than LASIK?

LASIK has some advantages over ICL, in part because over 30 years of LASIK development have refined the procedure for a faster surgery time, less expense, and quicker recovery than other refractive surgery techniques. Not everyone is a good candidate for LASIK, though. ICL has advantages such as the treatment of very high degrees of nearsightedness that would involve excessive changes to the eye with LASIK-type procedures. ICL is more invasive than LASIK, and so involves more risk of infection.

5. Is ICL better than PRK?

Although ICL is more invasive than cornea-shaping laser treatments such as PRK or LASIK and so involves related risks, it also has notable advantages for some patients. While the healing time is longer than in LASIK, patients tend to recover faster from ICL than PRK. These include the degree of vision correction that it can provide, and the quality of the resulting vision correction. ICL tends to provide better vision quality, contrast perception, and night vision than cornea-based procedures. It also has the advantage of updated vision correction by lens replacement in the future if necessary. The ICL includes built-in protection for the inner eye from UV light as part of the implanted lens.

6. Can Visian ICL correct astigmatism?

Yes, the Visian ICL Toric lens can correct for astigmatism and myopia. This treatment was approved recently by the FDA, in 2018, and may not be reflected in some online information. If a patient has more astigmatism than the limit for toric ICLs, LASIK or PRK can be used as a means to touch up the vision after the ICL is palced.

7. Is Visian ICL reversible?

While Visian ICL provides vision benefits similar to LASIK, it is reversible and that’s a significant difference. LASIK modifies the cornea, but with ICL a lens is implanted that can later be removed. Of course, removal of the lens reverses the vision correction that it provided.

8. How is ICL surgery done?

Visian ICL is a short procedure that takes approximately 20 minutes, performed with the patient relaxed and comfortable. A small incision in the eye, typically smaller than that used for LASIK and similar procedures, is used to implant a tiny collamer lens in front of the eye’s natural lens. It’s placed behind the iris, the colored part of the eye. In addition, the surgeon will provide a small hole for the eye’s natural fluid to flow by the implanted lens. This procedure to make the hole is done with a laser in the office prior to the actual implantation procedure. Recovery and quality vision happen fairly quickly.

9. Can I wear contacts before ICL surgery?

No, soft contact lenses should not be worn in the seven days preceding the ICL procedure, or as specified by your eye doctor.

10. Is ICL good for Keratoconus?

An ICL can be an effective treatment for stable, mild keratoconus, including for patients who have received certain treatments to stabilize their progressive keratoconus condition. Most patients with keratoconus will not be candidates for ICL, but your eye doctor can tell you more about this encouraging development.

Our Knowledgeable Doctors Provide A Greater Range of Eye Care Options

An important benefit of selecting Kleiman Evangelista Eye Centers as your eye doctors is our broad background and experience. We offer refractive and cataract surgery, retina care, eye disease diagnosis and treatment, and aesthetic eye care along with general ophthalmology. We’re also your best choice for LASIK eye surgery in Dallas. If you’d like to rely on a team of highly-qualified eye care professionals, give us a call and make an appointment.