An FDA-approved, reversible alternative to LASIK
Not everyone is a candidate for LASIK Laser Vision Correction. For those who cannot have LASIK, there may be alternative procedures better suited for their particular age, medical condition, or prescription.
Berkeley Eye Center is proud to offer a variety of state-of-the-art vision correction treatments. In addition to LASIK, they specialize in the implantation of Visian implantable collamer lenses (ICLs). Berkeley Eye Center has helped ICL patients achieve excellent vision through this procedure. Their reputation as a team of highly talented, experienced Visian ICL surgeons attracts patients throughout Texas including Katy, Kingwood, The Woodlands, Corpus Christi and the greater Houston metroplex.
What is an ICL?
ICL stands for Implantable Collamer Lens, commonly referred to as an ‘implantable contact lens.’ Collamer is an advanced collagen-based lens material. The collagen base makes it 100% compatible with your body’s natural chemistry. It also offers anti-reflectivity and UV protection for your eyes. The Visian ICL has been implanted in more than 450,000 eyes worldwide, including active duty military personnel.
Originally developed for patients who are extremely nearsighted, the incredible visual outcomes have prompted many surgeons to offer this option to patients who qualify for LASIK. The safety profile, the absence of dry eye, and the resulting “High Definition Vision” has prompted many patients to choose the ICL.
Some patients pick the ICL because the procedure is entirely reversible. While the Visian ICL is intended to be left in the eye indefinitely, if your vision changes or a complication develops, it can be removed or replaced by a trained ophthalmologist.
Other benefits include:
- Excellent night vision
- Safe for patients with thin corneas
- UV protection is built into the lens implant
- Accelerated visual results (most patients report significantly improved vision within hours)
- Leaves the natural shape of the cornea unaltered
The technique is performed with local anesthesia and recovery from the surgery is almost immediate. Many patients claim they achieve better vision than they ever experienced with glasses and/or contact lenses.
Patients with extremely thin corneas, dry eyes, or extremely high prescriptions are often not always good candidates for LASIK. LASIK can treat prescription ranges from a -1 up to a -9, so people with a prescription higher than a -9 are often not good LASIK candidates. Visian ICL can treat nearsightedness as low as -3 diopters and up to a -20.
ICL eye surgery is often a great alternative procedure for these patients who may be turned down for LASIK. The ideal candidate for a Visian ICL:
- Between the ages of 21 to 45.
- Nearsighted (myopic) with minor or no astigmatism
- Has a relatively stable prescription.
The Visian ICL is not for patients with farsightedness (hyperopia,) presbyopia or patients who are currently pregnant.
Our goal is to offer you the procedure that will be the best option for you.
The typical ICL candidate learns about the procedure and their eligibility when they come in for a free LASIK consultation and learn that they are not a candidate for LASIK. If ICL eye surgery is a better alternative for you, then information on the ICL will be presented to you at that time. Our goal at Berkeley Eye Center is to offer you the procedure that will be the best option for your particular age, prescription, medical condition and the visual outcome you desire.
The vast majority of our patients qualify for LASIK, PRK or the Visian ICL procedure. At your free consultation, we will discuss how each procedure relates to your specific visual condition and your personal goals. It is an exciting time in refractive surgery with new options becoming available every day.
About one to two weeks before the procedure, your surgeon will perform a YAG laser iridotomy. They will apply numbing drops to your eye and then use the laser to create two small openings near the edge of the iris (the colored part of the eye) to allow the fluid in your eye to circulate around the lens. They will then prescribe eye drops to use for the day(s) leading up to the procedure.
On the day of the procedure, a topical anesthetic will be administered to your eyes and you may be given a sedative. A gel-like substance will be placed in your eye to protect the eye during the procedure. The surgeon will create a micro-opening in the cornea and insert a lens customized to your individual prescription into your eye, placing it between the iris and the eye’s natural lens. The lens gently unfolds in your eye, and vision improvement is immediate. ICL eye surgery itself takes only about 15 minutes.
This implant is unlike an Intraocular Lens (IOL) used during cataract surgery or a refractive lensectomy, which replaces the eye’s natural lens. Instead, the ICL lenses are more like a permanent contact lenses. In fact, they are often called an Implantable Contact Lenses. Because the lens is foldable, it allows the surgeon to make a very small incision so that the procedure requires no sutures. The anesthetic minimizes discomfort during the procedure, but some patients say they feel some pressure.
Your eye will be covered with a patch or protective shield, and you will be given a prescription for drops or medication. You will not be able to drive immediately after the procedure, so you will need a responsible party to drive you home.
The Visian ICL cost can be higher than LASIK surgery for several reasons, including the cost of the lens implant itself and the laser iridotomy prior to the treatment. Berkeley Eye Center offers financing options (with approved credit) to make the ICL cost less daunting for patients. Flex Spending Accounts or Health Savings Accounts can also be used to pay for the procedure.