Phakic intra-ocular lenses, or ICL'S, are the newest and most exciting advance in refractive surgery. Within the next 3-6 months, the FDA is expected to approve these lenses for correction of near and farsightedness, as well as astigmatism.
For the past 30 years, eye physicians have been implanting intra-ocular lenses at the time of cataract surgery in the elderly. The results and quality of vision have been so spectacular, that this has become the most common surgery performed in the U.S. today, with over 500,000 procedures performed anually.
Because of the high quality of vision with these lenses, the search and research for an implantable lens in younger patients not undergoing cataract surgery has been very active.
As a result, a lens has finally been designed, and will soon be approved, for implantation for correction of vision errors.
This surgery will have almost no learning curve for surgeons, as it is very similar to cataract/implant surgeries they have been doing for years.
The range of correction with this lens is far greater than any other procedure, including Lasik, and the visual quality is expected to be much greater as well, especially at higher levels of correction.

The following is the "propaganda" from the company producing the lens, for your review.


General Information

The Visian ICL

The STAAR Collamer ICL? is a refractive lens also known as a phakic IOL. ?Phakic? meaning that the natural lens of the eye is in place, and ?IOL? meaning intraocular lens, or a lens inside the eye. The ICL is a posterior chamber implant that is situated behind the iris and in front of the natural crystalline lens. The ICL is considered an alternative to corneal refractive surgery such as LASIK, PRK or incisional surgeries.

Although the Collamer ICL? is available in many countries, it is currently not approved for use in the United States (but likely will be in the next 3-6 months). The FDA clinical trial for nearsightedness concluded in 1999 and the Company is currently enrolling candidates in the clinical trial for the Toric ICL?, as well as candidates for hyperopia. The Toric ICL is capable of correcting nearsightedness with astigmatism while the hyperopic ICL is capable of correcting farsightedness. Unlike laser refractive surgery, the ICL is removable and does not permanently alter the shape or structures of the eye.

The ICL exhibits the following features:

Small Incision / Foldability ? 3.0mm Incision
Posterior Chamber Implant ? Invisible in the Eye
Sulcus Locating - Allows for a Toric Option
Made of Collamer ? a proprietary biocompatible material
Experience - 5 Lens Designs and 34,986 Implants
Wide Treatment Range

The ICL is made with Swiss precision from Collamer. Collamer, a collagen copolymer is a proprietary biocompatible material formed from pure collagen and a hydrophilic copolymer with a UV absorbent chromophore.


Q. Am I a candidate for the ICL?

A. The best candidates for the Collamer ICL? are between the ages of 21 and 50, with moderate to severe myopia or hyperopia with or without astigmatism.
It is best if the candidate has not had any previous ophthalmic surgery and does not have a history of ophthalmic disease such as glaucoma, iritis or diabetic retinopathy.

Q. What are the advantages of the ICL?

A. The Collamer ICL? and Toric ICL? are capable of correcting a wide range of myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism without the removal or destruction of corneal tissue. The ICL is a small, foldable, injectable lens that is inserted through a tiny, 3 mm incision that does not require sutures. The ICL provides predictable refractive outcomes and excellent quality of vision due to its placement inside the eye, as well as its optical performance. The lens is made of a superior lens material called Collamer, which provides unparalleled biocompatibility.

Q. What if a patient?s vision changes?

A. If there are major changes in ones vision the Collamer ICL? can easily be removed and replaced, or another procedure can be done at any time. With the ICL, one can still wear glasses or contact lenses if necessary. The ICL does not help presbyopia, or the need for reading glasses due to age. The ICL is available for different treatment ranges depending on what country you live in.

Q. Can they dry out or get dirty like a contact lens?

A. No. The Collamer ICL? is designed to remain in place within the eye without maintenance. An annual examination done by your ophthalmologist is recommended to make sure that everything is fine.

Q. Can the ICL be seen by the naked eye?

A. No. Because the lens is positioned behind the iris, neither you, nor an observer will be able to identify the lens in place. The cosmetic appearance of the Collamer ICL? is perfect, and there is no way for a non-professional to notice that a visual correction is in place.

Q. What are ICLs made of?

A. The material is called Collamer, a collagen co-polymer that contains a small amount of purified collagen. It is very biocompatible (doesn't cause a reaction inside the eye) and stable. It also contains an ultraviolet light filter. This material is proprietary to STAAR Surgical.

Q. What is involved in the ICL procedure?

A. The ICL surgery is performed on an outpatient basis, which means that the patient has surgery and leaves the same day. Please note that someone will have to drive the patient to and from surgery. A light, topical or local anesthetic is administered and there is very little discomfort and normally no pain associated with the procedure. Some drops or perhaps oral medication may be prescribed and a visit is usually scheduled the day after surgery.

A tiny incision is made under topical anesthesia

The lens is injected into the eye.

The ICL gently unfolds and is placed behind the iris.

The ICL immediately after placement.

Q. How long does the ICL stay in the eye?

A. ICLs are intended to remain in place without maintenance. If it becomes necessary, for any reason, they can be easily removed by a trained ophthalmic surgeon.

Q. Can the ICL be felt once they are in place?

A. The Collamer ICL? is not typically noticeable after it is implanted. It does not attach to any structures within the eye and does not move around after is placed.