Visian ICL

LASIK is a well known, successful, and accurate laser vision correction procedure which has been FDA approved in the U.S. for 15 years. The majority of patients with normal eyes have nearsightedness and astigmatism which can be corrected with LASIK. However, some patients are not LASIK candidates for various reasons, but can still enjoy vision correction with a different technology called VISIAN ICL. VISIAN ICL has been successfully used worldwide as long as LASIK, and was FDA approved in the U.S. in January 2006. More than 200,000 ICL procedures have been successfully performed worldwide from ‐3.00 D to ‐20.00 of myopia. Dr. Jonathan Christenbury has performed more than 1,000 procedures and is one of the most experienced VISIAN ICL surgeons in the U.S.


What is the Visian ICL?

Visian ICL

The Visian ICL is called a “phakic IOL” (intra‐ocular lens,) or an “internal contact lens.” It is inserted in the eye in the space behind the pupil and in front of the crystalline lens of the eye. Since the ICL is internal, you cannot feel the ICL and it is invisible. The ICL is very thin, made of a collamer material that is very resilient, inert and has a sharper focusing material than spectacles, a contact lens, and one’s own cornea. VISIAN ICL also filters Ultraviolet (UV) light. The satisfaction rate is extremely high, more than 99%. The vision recovery is quick and is extremely stable at 1 to 4 weeks. Most patients are legal to drive and the eye is comfortable the next day. Although the ICL is meant to be a permanent vision correction, it can be removed which makes this procedure reversible, when LASIK is not. If the vision changes over time the ICL can be replaced, which is very rare, and any mild vision changes are usually treated with a small LASIK touch up.


Who is a Candidate?

Visian candidates must be over the age of 18 with a spectacle correction between ‐3.00 D and ‐ 20.00 D and desire to be free of glasses or contact lenses. Most patients choose VISIAN ICL if they are not a candidate for LASIK for various reasons. The eye must be otherwise healthy. ICL does not correct a lot of astigmatism, and if you have residual astigmatism a LASIK touch up can be performed a few months later. VISIAN ICL may be recommended to you if:

    • You are too nearsighted for LASIK or not a LASIK candidate for various reasons.
    • You have normal eyes and mild to moderate nearsightedness and astigmatism.
    • You have a large pupil with a moderate to high correction.
    • Your cornea is too thin or too irregular for LASIK.
    • Your eyes are too dry for LASIK. There is no association with dry eye after VISIAN ICL.
    • LASIK correction would flatten the cornea beyond the normal range and Visian ICL would provide better quality of vision than LASIK.
    • You desire a reversible procedure, compared to LASIK.


High Definition Vision

Side view diagram of where the Visian ICL is Placed

Imagine excellent quality of vision that is sharper, clearer, and more vivid. In moderate to high vision corrections, distortions such as glare, halos, and poor night vision are proven to be far less common than with LASIK. We call this High Definition Vision.TM  The collamer Visian ICL is made of an advanced, soft, flexible material, designed to provide a lifetime of clear vision. The material transmits light and reduces reflections that can interfere with vision, so you see clearly. The material is made of a copolymer and collagen, is highly biocompatible, is invisible, and it rests quietly in the eye for a lifetime. The VISIAN ICL is approved for the U.S. military, and has been shown to provide better vision contrast sensitivity at night compared to LASIK.


What Can You Expect From The Procedure?

The day before the procedure you will start an antibiotic drop, which will be continued for several weeks. The day of the procedure you will be given a sedative and anesthetic drops. Most patients are not aware during the procedure, and have little or no memory of the procedure the next day. The procedure takes approximately 10 minutes per eye, and both eyes can be corrected the same day. This allows a quick vision recovery.

By utilizing a microscope, a 2 to 3 mm incision is made at the edge of the cornea. Then the VISIAN ICL is folded and inserted through a small tube and placed behind the pupil. It naturally takes its position based on your own pre‐operative measurements, and it centers each VISIAN ICL that is custom designed for you. Since the incision is so small, it heals without any stitches! The procedure is associated with very little discomfort, and most patients take no pain medication except Tylenol if needed. You will notice vision improvement that same afternoon, and the next day. Most patients return to normal activities in 1 to 2 days.

If you desire freedom from glasses and contact lenses, have moderate to severe myopia, and have been told you are not a LASIK candidate, consider the excellent vision results of VISIAN ICL.

For more information from Staar Surgical, the VISIAN ICL manufacturer, go to:

  1. 1. American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, San Diego, 2011.
  2. 2. American Academy of Ophthalmology, Chicago, 2010