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The Visian ICL™ Vision Correction Procedure

The implantation procedure for the Visian ICL (Implantable Collamer® Lens) is refractive eye surgery that involves a procedure similar to the intraocular lens (IOL) implantation performed during cataract surgery. The main difference is that, unlike cataract surgery, the ICL eye surgery does not require the removal of the eye's crystalline lens.

The Visian ICL procedure is a relatively short outpatient procedure that involves several important steps.

Deciding on Refractive Surgery

Schedule an appointment with Dr. Cheng. After a comprehensive eye examination, Dr. Cheng will discuss various refractive surgery options including the implantation of a phakic IOL (like the Visian ICL) and/or laser refractive surgery.

Based on your level of refractive error, eye health, medical history, and desired outcome for refractive surgery, Dr. Cheng will determine if you are a good candidate for the Visian ICL.

One to Two Weeks before the Visian ICL Eye Surgery

About one to two weeks prior to the insertion of the Visian ICL Dr.Cheng will perform a YAG laser iridotomy. During this procedure, Dr. Cheng will use a YAG laser to make one or two small openings near the edge of your iris, which is the colored part of the eye. These openings serve as outlets that will allow the fluid in your eye to circulate around the lens.

Prior to creating the small openings in the eye with the laser, Dr. Cheng will apply numbing drops to make the procedure more comfortable. Dr. Cheng will then prescribe eye drops for you to use during the weeks leading up to the Visian ICL procedure.

Day of the Visian ICL Surgical Procedure

The entire surgical procedure will take about 15 to 30 minutes and most patients say it is relatively painless because of the numbing agents used. Someone will need to drive you home following the procedure.

Topical Anesthesia

On the day of your procedure, prior to surgery, Dr. Cheng will administer topical anesthesia to minimize discomfort, however you may still feel pressure in your eye. Additionally, you may or may not be given a sedative.

Lens Positioning Openings

Once you are comfortable, your surgeon will begin the procedure. First, the doctor will create one or two small openings at the base of your cornea that will be used to position the lens.

Gel-like Solution

Next, a gel-like substance will be placed inside your eye to protect the eye during lens placement. This gel will be removed at the end of the procedure.

Lens Incision

Following placement of the gel, a small incision will be made, through which the lens will be inserted.

ICL Insertion

Prior to the Visian ICL procedure, your ICL lens was selected based on your individual prescription. The lens was folded and loaded into a small cartridge which will now be placed through the incision. As the lens is injected, it will gently unfold in your eye. Special marks on the lens ensure proper positioning. Once the lens has fully unfolded, the four corners of the lens will be placed behind your iris. This makes the lens invisible to both you and others.

Removal of Substance

Once the lens is in place, your surgeon will remove the gel-like substance.

Eye Drops

To complete the procedure, the surgeon will instill eye drops to help prevent infection and inflammation. You will continue to use these drops for several days after your procedure.

Because the incision made during surgery is so small, sutures are typically not needed following the Visian ICL eye surgery. For comfort and protection, the doctor may cover the eye with a patch or shield and prescribe drops or medication.

You will not be able to drive immediately after the Visian ICL eye surgery, so it is important that you arrange for transportation home.

Follow-Up Care after the Visian ICL Procedure

Within 24 hours of undergoing the Visian ICL eye surgery, the patient should have a follow-up visit with Dr. Cheng. The doctor will monitor the eye's intraocular pressure and will discuss your progress.

Patients need to follow physician instructions, especially regarding the needed use of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications during the week following the refractive surgery.

Patients should contact their eye surgeon immediately if they experience severe eye pain or a sudden decrease in vision