USAEyes Lasik grant application.
 
How to Choose
A Lasik Doctor
Find Certified Surgeon
50 Tough Lasik Questions
 
Ask Lasik Expert
Lasik Q&A Forum
 
Lasik
Top Articles
What is Lasik?
Lasik Cost
Lasik Results
Wavefront Custom iLasik
Bladeless Lasik
Lasik Patient Survey
 
Lasik Alternative
Top Articles
Monovision Lasik
PRK, LASEK, Epi-Lasik
RLE Lens Exchange
 
Lasik Groupon
$1,500 Off Lasik
 
 

Image of Lasik doctors certification logo.

 
 
This website is accredited by Health On the Net Foundation. Click to verify.   The USAEyes.org website complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information: verify here.
 
 

Phakic Intraocular Lens (P-IOL) Implants

Lens implant alternative to Lasik, Bladeless Lasik, PRK, LASEK, RLE, or Epi-Lasik.


Image of Verisyse P-IOL  
The Verisyse-Artisan phakic intraocular lens (P-IOL) is implanted inside the eye immediately below the cornea and is attached directly to the top of the iris.  
lasik p-iol visian icl lasik p-iol visian icl  
The Visian ICL is implanted behind the iris and immediately in front of the natural lens of the eye.  
   

A phakic intraocular lens (P-IOL) is an artificial lens placed within the eye either immediately in front or behind the iris. P-IOLs are designed to correct refractive error without reshaping the cornea or interfering with accommodation.

Correct High Myopia

P-IOLs are approved by the FDA to fully correct up to 15.00 diopters (D) of myopia. People with more than 15.00 D of myopia may use a P-IOL to reduce their refractive error, but will not achieve full correction. P-IOLs can be used for low amounts of myopia correction, but are commonly not as appropriate for less than 10.00 diopters of correction. Lower myopia may be better corrected with techniques like conventional or wavefront Lasik, Bladeless Lasik, PRK, LASEK, and Epi-Lasik.

P-IOLs tend to be better for people with high myopia than Lasik and similar laser eye surgery techniques because the laser assisted techniques require greater amounts of corneal tissue to be removed to correct high refractive error may make the cornea too thin and unstable. P-IOLs do not thin the cornea.

P-IOLs are not currently approved for hyperopic correction and the nature of a P-IOL tends to make them less ideal for hyperopic correction.

Astigmatism

P-IOLs approved in the United States do not directly correct astigmatism, however the process of surgery may reduce astigmatism. If the patient has moderate to high astigmatism, a second procedure, such as conventional or wavefront-guided Lasik, PRK, LASEK, or Epi-Lasik may be recommended for the correction of only the astigmatism.

Younger Patients Are Generally Best

P-IOLs are generally not ideal for persons over age 45 or anyone who is presbyopic. Presbyopia is when the natural crystalline lens of the eye is no longer fully able to change focus from items distant to items near (accommodation). This is when reading glasses or bifocals become necessary. If the patient is young, not presbyopic, and has a high refractive error, then a major advantage of P-IOL lens-based refractive surgery is that the natural crystalline lens remains untouched. This means that the high myopia can be corrected without limiting the ability to accommodate.

When fully presbyopic, the natural lens is fixed in its shape and replacement of the natural lens with  an artificial lens (RLE) should be considered, however RLE has its own set of limitations and risks. Some intraocular lenses used for RLE have the ability to provide near and distance vision as well as the ability to correct refractive error. It may be possible to reduce or resolve both presbyopia and myopia/hyperopia with RLE. A person at or over age 45 should also consider presbyopia surgery as an option.

Two Types

There are two primary types of P-IOLs. Both are placed behind the cornea and in front of the crystalline lens, but one type is placed in front of the iris and the other is placed behind the iris. The Verisyse-Artisan P-IOL is placed in front of the iris. The Visian ICL is placed behind the iris. Each have distinct advantages and disadvantages.

Temporary and Removable

At some point P-IOLs must be removed. As we mature, the natural lens of the eye becomes cloudy. This is called a cataract. The process of cataract correction requires the removal of any P-IOL. Everyone will eventually develop cataracts if they live long enough. This issue directly affects both types of P-IOLs.

The Verisyse-Artisan lens that is placed in front of the iris can and usually does disrupt the endothelial cells on the back of the cornea. This disruption should be regularly monitored to determine if or when the issue becomes critical. At that point the Verisyse-Artisan must be removed to ensure the health and integrity of the cornea. This condition does not affect the Visian ICL.

If for any reason the P-IOL becomes problematic or undesired, it can be surgically removed in a process essentially the reverse of implantation.

Short But Steep Surgeon Learning Curve

The implantation of P-IOLs is significantly different surgery than Lasik, Bladeless Lasik, PRK, LASEK, or Epi-Lasik. P-IOL implantation is much more like cataract surgery than laser assisted refractive surgery. For this reason a doctor who has greater practical knowledge with cataract surgery may be a better choice than a Lasik doctor. Ideally, the P-IOL doctor would be well versed in both cataract and laser eye surgery.

The learning curve for P-IOL surgery is relatively short, but very steep. Trauma induced cataracts and significant loss of the endothelial cells are two complications often related to inexperience. It would probably best to select a doctor who has implanted at least 25 P-IOLs of the type being considered, and more is always better. Extensive cataract surgery experience may make this restriction less important.

Visian ICL

The Visian Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL - it is not an implantable contact lens) and the Verisyse-Artisan are both phakic intraocular lenses (P-IOL). A P-IOL is a "helper" artificial lens implanted inside the eye to reduce refractive error. P-IOLs are an alternative to conventional or wavefront Lasik, Bladeless Lasik, PRK, LASEK, and Epi-Lasik for patients with very high myopic (nearsighted-shortsighted) vision.

The procedure involves placing the Visian Phakic IOL behind your cornea between your iris and the natural lens of your eye. Before surgery the doctor must measure the depth of the anterior chamber of the eye to verify that there is enough room to add the Vision. An estimated one-third of candidates are disqualified because the anterior chamber is too shallow.

Implanting the Visian Phakic IOL is an outpatient procedure that takes approximately 15 to 30 minutes. Usually, one eye is treated at a time.

Drops will be placed in your eyes in order to enlarge the pupil size. For better access to your eye, your doctor will use an instrument to hold your eyelids open during the procedure. A local anesthetic is given to numb the eye, so the procedure is virtually painless. A small incision is made in the cornea for the Visian ICL to be placed in the space between the iris and the natural crystalline lens. The Visian ICL is centered behind the pupil, and supported by the inside walls of the eye. The small incision is closed with stitches that dissolve over time. A temporary shield will be placed over your eye to protect it for a few days after surgery.

Outside the United States the Visian is called the "Implantable Contact Lens". The FDA rightfully determined this name to be misinformative of the true nature of the surgery involved to implant the Visian. A P-IOL is not, by any stretch of the imagination, a contact lens. For the US market, the manufacturer adopted the name "Implantable Collamer Lens" to reflect the material used to make the P-IOL. It is inappropriate to call the Visian ICL an implantable contact lens.

Verisyse

Implanting the Verisyse Phakic IOL is an outpatient procedure that takes approximately 15 to 30 minutes. Usually, one eye is treated at a time.

Before surgery the doctor will create peripheral iridotomies. A laser makes one or two small holes through the iris. This is to allow fluid to flow freely between the front and back of the iris. The procedure takes about 5 minutes. The patient will have blurry vision for the first few hours.

Drops will be placed in your eyes in order to reduce the pupil size. For better access to your eye, your doctor will use an instrument to hold your eyelids open during the procedure. A local anesthetic is given to numb the eye, so the procedure is virtually painless. A small incision is made in the cornea for the Verisyse Phakic IOL to be placed in the space between the iris and the cornea. The Verisyse Phakic IOL is centered in front of the pupil, and is attached to the iris to hold the lens in place. The small incision is closed with stitches that dissolve over time. A temporary shield will be placed over your eye to protect it for a few days after surgery.

Looking For Best Lasik Surgeon?

If you are ready to choose a doctor to be evaluated for conventional or custom wavefront Lasik, Bladeless Lasik, PRK, or any refractive surgery procedure, we recommend you consider a doctor who has been evaluated and certified by the USAEyes nonprofit organization. Locate a USAEyes Evaluated & Certified Lasik Doctor.

Personalized Answers

If this article did not fully answer your questions, use our free Ask Lasik Expert patient forum.


Recent P-IOL Medical Journal Articles...

Related Articles

Quadruple Procedure for Visual Rehabilitation of Endothelial Decompensation Following Phakic Intraocular Lens Implantation.

Am J Ophthalmol. 2014 Sep 6;

Authors: Nahum Y, Busin M

Abstract
PURPOSE: To evaluate the clinical outcomes of combined phakic intraocular lens (Phakic IOL) explantation, phacoemulsification, posterior chamber intraocular lens implantation and Descemet Stripping Automated Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSAEK) performed for phakic IOL related endothelial decompensation.
DESIGN: Retrospective, interventional case series.
METHODS: Setting: Private Hospital. Study population: Ten eyes of 7 patients who developed endothelial decompensation after phakic IOL implantation, and were treated with a combined procedure of phakic IOL explantation, phacoemulsification, PCIOL implantation and DSAEK. Main Outcome Measures: Best spectacle-corrected visual acuity (BSCVA), manifest refractive error, endothelial cell count, intraoperative and postoperative complications.
RESULTS: Mean postoperative follow-up was 25.2±28.6 months (range 3-84 months). BSCVA at last visit was 7/10 or better in 6 eyes, 4/10 in 1 eye and 2/10 or worse in 3 eyes of which all had myopic maculopathy or deep amblyopia. Mean postoperative spherical equivalent was -3.4D±1.2D. Mean endothelial cell loss in comparison to preoperative donor endothelial cell density was 21.3±7.7%. Minor PCIOL decentration was seen in one patient, and IOL exchange was required in another patient due to high postoperative refractive error. One graft rejection leading to graft failure was seen, and was excluded from endothelial cell loss calculation.
CONCLUSION: An operation combining phakic IOL removal, DSAEK, cataract removal and PCIOL implantation can offer fast visual rehabilitation with good visual results and graft survival.

PMID: 25205558 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

 


Last updated

"Consider and Choose With Confidence"TM

A few of the communities where Lasik doctors are certified by USAEyes :