Although LASIK is still the most common form of elective surgery, a new treatment has received FDA clearance which, in some cases, provides even better results. Known by some as implantable contact lenses, Visian ICL Lenses are opening a new world for many patients considered as poor or borderline candidates for LASIK. LASIK is most effective for patients with low amounts of near-sightedess, thick healthy corneas, and small pupils. Larger pupils, higher glasses prescriptions, and thin or abnormal corneas make the effectiveness of LASIK less certain.
Implantable contact lenses might even be the wave of the future. Unlike LASIK, it requires no decrease in corneal thickness. In fact, the Visian ICL “implantable contact lens” is placed inside the eye between the lens and iris and can even be removed if necessary. This makes the procedure reversible as well, another benefit that LASIK does not allow.
Advances in LASIK, however, have made the popular surgery very safe so it is unlikely that patients and surgeons will immediately switch to implantable contact lenses. Most patients have the Visian ICL treatment will likely be borderline candidates or non-candidates for LASIK. Studies show that in many of these cases, patients are much more satisfied with the results of the implantable contact lenses over the LASIK treatment.
Patients with suspect corneal health or thin corneas are especially good for the implantable Visian ICL. LASIK can be risky for these patients as it can lead to future complications, possibly even needing a corneal transplant in the most severe cases. At Turner Eye Institute, patients who have undergone the implantable contact lens treatment have been very satisfied. Many of them start with severely reduced vision and find that the next day they can drive a car or even read tiny print that before was impossible to them. It is very satisfying to provide a change of lifestyle for these patients, giving them increased confidence and satisfaction with life.
Turner Eye Institute is the first eye care provider in the Bay Area and San Francisco to provide Visian ICL treatment. So far results have been excellent for the patients selected who were judged to not be good candidates for LASIK eye surgery.