Procedures such as LASIK and PRK reshape the cornea by removing microscopic amounts of tissue. In order for these procedures to be effective, the cornea must maintain a certain thickness after reshaping. As it turns out, the higher your prescription, the more your cornea must be thinned.
Phakic Intraocular Lens Surgery
Patients who are very nearsighted, or who have corneas that are relatively thin, may not have enough remaining thickness after LASIK or PRK, and are therefore not candidates for laser vision correction. Until recently, these individuals had no choice but to continue wearing their contact lenses or glasses, suffering from eye irritation or vision distortion. Now, there is an alternative that can not only free you from glasses and contacts, but that can provide you with vision that may be even better than you had with them on!
Phakic intraocular lenses (P-IOLs) are thin, prescription implants that work like contact lenses to correct your distance vision. These lenses sit inside the eye, and provide excellent focusing power for patients with prescriptions as high as -20D. Because P-IOLs correct your prescription from inside the eye, the cornea does not need to be reshaped, which tends to provide you with sharper vision. In addition, any remaining prescription after the procedure is so small that the cornea is usually thick enough should any minor fine tuning with laser be necessary. P-IOLs are designed to remain permanently in place, but they can be readily removed to meet any future changes in your visual needs.
There are several phakic implants in use. The two FDA-approved implants are the Artisan and Visian ICL. Additionally, Dr. Shatz has been able to provide individuals with hyperopic (farsighted) – and astigmatism-correcting Artisan P-IOLs under the FDA’s compassionate use exemption. If you or someone you know is not a candidate for LASIK or PRK, we may be able to offer and excellent treatment alternative!
The Visian® ICL™ is a removable lens implant that treats nearsightedness (myopia) ranging from -3.00 D to -20.00 D, and astigmatism as high as 4 D. The ICL is an attractive alternative to LASIK and other refractive procedures because it is permanent yet replaceable, and since the procedure does not remove corneal tissue it does not lead to dry eye the way laser surgery does. The procedure usually takes less than 20 minutes, and once in place the Visian ICL is virtually undetectable to the naked eye. With over 1,000,000 lenses implanted worldwide, the ICL has a proven track record for providing amazing visual results!
The Artisan Phakic IOL is an intraocular lens used for the correction of refractive errors. The lens provides patients with high-quality vision and reduces or avoids the need for glasses or contact lenses.