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Implantable Collamer Lens - New Implantable Contact Lenses

Wish you never have to change your contact lenses? The U.S. Food and Drug Administration have approved a second implantable contact lens. The first lens approved by the FDA, known as Veriseye which became available in late 2004. Now, the FDA has permitted a new lens - known as Implantable Collamer Lens or ICL.

What is Implantable Collamer Lens?

Implantable Collamer Lens is an intraocular lens that is made from Collamer (a technology advanced lens material). It is an implant designed to be permanently implanted inside the eye behind the iris but resting in front of the crystalline lens. It is helpful for correcting vision problems including myopia (moderate to high nearsightedness) and farsightedness in patients. Because of the collagen based on Collamer, it is biocompatible with the eye that provides a better-quality optical performance. Similar to a contact lens but implantable Collamer lens is placed inside the eye by your surgeon in an operating room. This painless surgery takes only about 10 minutes.

After surgery, the eye never feels the lens and there is no need for removal and replacement. Implantable Collamer Lens corrects the person's vision thus reducing or eliminating the patient's need for eyeglasses.

Benefits of Implantable Collamer Lens

Versatility is one the great benefits that Implantable Collamer Lens offer. Eye surgeons can fold the Implantable Collamer Lens and insert it using a smaller incision, leaving the patient with lesser problems and complications that may arise from this surgery. Implantable Collamer Lens is a "state-of-the-art" technology which is much safer and displays much greater stability than the previous lens launched in 2004.

Implantable Collamer Lens has an added advanced lens material feature that contains a UV blocker which prevents harmful UV-A and UV-B rays from entering the eye, preventing the growth of UV related eye disorders. Also, patients using ICL reported that they experience an elevated quality of life and satisfaction rate with the new Implantable Collamer Lens.

Who is a good candidate?

The best candidates are the ones who have moderate to high myopia or hyperopia. They must be above 21 years old and in good health condition physically.

Laser Eye Surgery vs. Implantable Collamer Lens

Implantable Collamer Lens is used as a substitute for refractive surgery to correct nearsightedness. How does one decide whether an implant or refractive surgery is best for you? The answer always depends on you.

For many years, laser correction or refractive surgeries have been used by surgeons. Over time, the techniques have improved increased the types of surgeries available to patients. Laser correction provides more accurate results than the traditional Lasik surgery. But unlike other surgery, there are risks involved. Dry eye/s, blurry vision, irritation and over or under correction which can lead to infection.

While Implantable Collamer Lens has not been around for a long time compared to laser eye surgery, it's considered to be a more acceptable choice for patients that are not perfect candidates for Lasik procedures. People who have severe nearsightedness can have better success when opting to undergo Implantable Collamer Lens as compared to Lasik surgery. ICL's are not permanent, so when something goes wrong the surgeon can simply remove the implant and replace if necessary. For people who are hesitant to have the more permanent Lasik surgery, Implantable Collamer Lens may be a more practical alternative.

Advantages of Implantable Collamer Lens

  • Patients experience significant improvement in quality of vision after the Implantable Collamer Lens is implanted.
  • Gives superior vision quality with fewer higher order aberrations.

Disadvantages of Implantable Collamer Lens

Side effects such as: experiencing double vision, seeing halos or having problems with night vision may be experienced.

Companies and Clinics offering Implantable Collamer Lens

  1. STAAR Surgical Company - High Definition Visian or Visian ICL provides vision correction that goes beyond Lasik surgery. Helps one enjoy a sharper, clearer and more vibrant vision with greater strength and dimension.
    • -   Visian Implantable Collamer Lens is made from Collamer, exclusive to STAAR Surgical Company
    • -   has a proven track record of providing good improvement quality of vision and short, painless recovery
    • -   considered the best choice for patients with an active lifestyle who need and expect high quality results
  2. Laurel Eye Clinic - has performed many "firsts" such as IOL implementation, first refractive . surgeries and laser treatments
    • -   their practice is continued to be recognized on a national and international level and considered as one of the finest practices and industry leaders in surgical modernization and ophthalmic education
  3. Eye & Retina Surgeons - a specialist eye practice which brought together 5 of Singapore's established ophthalmologist's with over a century's combined experience in giving quality eye care

Because Implantable Collamer Lenses are new, there are no long-term studies that determine its safety and effectiveness of the implants. Since this is new procedure and is still being fully developed, it is more expensive than Lasik surgery. This may seem a good choice for now, only time can tell whether it is a better choice than any surgeries or if they are just about the same.


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