Understanding ICL Surgery

Vincenzo Maurino is a world renowned  implantable contact lens surgeon.  He is an official trainer for ICL surgery and has has been teaching ICL surgery for many years.

For patients with higher prescriptions (typically -8.00D and above; +4.00D and above and high Astigmatism +/- 6 D) and others unsuitable for laser surgery (such as thin cornea, mild and stable forms, abnormal corneal shape) of keratoconus, alternative techniques based on lens implantation are more appropriate. A number of different lens implants have been developed for correcting high refractive errors but the Visian Implantable Contact Lens (ICL) produced by STAAR has had FDA approval and CE mark and is proven to be the safest.

Unlike LASIK  that  permanently changes the eye, one of the important advantages of the Visian ICL is that while it can permanently correct the vision, in the unlikely event that an ICL patient experiences negative side effects after surgery, the ICL lens can be removed and/or replaced if necessary.

During surgery, the flexible ICL is folded and inserted into the eye through a 2.5 mm corneal incision. Specialised instruments are used to unfold the lens and position it correctly between the natural lens and the iris.  The ICL effectively builds your contact lens or spectacle correction into the eye. The ICL is made from a soft gel material, based on natural and artificial collagen. Because the lens is implanted within the eye, no cleaning is required. There is no need of a peripheral iridectomy (little hole in the iris) to allow normal movement of fluids in the front of the eye since the latest ICL model (Visian Aquaport) does have a built in hole that allows free fluid movements in the eye.

For higher astigmatism (>1.50D)  toric ICL (TICL), which incorporate an optical correction for astigmatism are readily available. The angle at which these lenses are implanted determines the accuracy of correction, and minor revision procedures to rotate the lenses may be required in some patients for the best results.

Patients previously ineligible for laser eye surgery prior to ICL implantation may find that any residual short- or long-sight after ICL implantation would normally be well within the safe range for treatment. Surface laser treatments such as LASEK can be performed safely, if further correction is desired, from 3 months after ICL surgery. LASIK can also be combined with ICL implantation to correct very high refractive errors.

Visian ICL surgery is safe and predictable, but like any sort of surgery carries a small risk of complications. The risk of a serious infection within the eye is smaller than in cataract surgery . In some cases the ICL may need to be exchanged if it does not fit well once it is in the eye. A small percentage of patients may also develop cataract or high pressure after surgery.

As with any surgical procedure choosing an experienced consultant eye surgeon significantly reduces risks.

Mr Maurino is a recognised authority in implantable contact lens surgery and has pioneered the use of toric implantable lenses to correct high astigmatism after corneal transplant surgery in young patients.  If you would like further information please visit the Visian ICL website.

See Mr Maurino latest research publication on Visian ICL