Q. Am I a candidate for the STAAR Visian 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 (please note that the ICL is not approved in the United States and the approved treatment range varies by country).
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 nearsightedness and farsightedness without the removal or destruction of corneal tissue. The ICL is a small, foldable, injectable lens that is inserted through a tiny, 3 mm (less than 1/8”) incision that does not require sutures. The ICL provides predictable refractive outcomes and excellent quality of vision due to its placement inside the eye. The ICL 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 unless monovision is chosen, 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 topical eye drop 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 a day or two after surgery.
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 your ophthalmologist.
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.
A tiny incision is made under local anesthesia.
The lens is injected into the eye.
The ICL gently unfolds and is placed behind the iris.