Phakic lenses (ICL): The implantable contact lens

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What are the characteristics of an implantable lens (ICL)?

Treatment with an implantable collamer lens (ICL) enables excellent corrections even with extremely poor eyesight or a very thin cornea. Short-sightedness (up to -20 diopters), long-sightedness (up to +10 diopters) and astigmatism up to 6 diopters can be compensated by the ICL lens implantation. 

In contrast to multifocal lens implantation, no lens exchange takes place here. This means that the phakic intraocular lens is implanted in addition to the natural lens. The artificial lens remains permanently in the eye and thus enables good vision without glasses and contact lenses. Patients between the ages of 18 and 45 who suffer from severe ametropia or have a very thin cornea are suitable for this method.

It is important to note that the ICL cannot replace reading glasses when presbyopia occurs.

1. Naturalness

The ICL is implanted in the posterior chamber of the eye in addition to the natural lens. This ensures a harmonious interplay between the artificial lens in the eye and the natural condition of the eye.

2. Individual manufacture

The EVO Visian ICL used by CARE Vision is manufactured individually for each person. Because every eye is different and needs a tailor-made treatment for the optimal correction of the eyesight. In this way, several ametropia can be corrected using a uniform procedure.

3. UV protection

The unique collamer material that makes up the ICL contains a UV filter that reliably protects the lens and retina from harmful solar radiation. At the same time, the permeability for visible light is retained.


This is how an ICL treatment works

1

Anesthesia

The eyes are anesthetized thanks to special drops during the treatment.

2

Preparation

In preparation, the ophthalmologist will make a tiny opening at the edge of the cornea (about 3mm) to insert the ICL lens.

3

Lens insertion & positioning

The small and very soft lens is gently placed in the eye in a folded form with an injector by the treating specialist within seconds through the small opening, where it unfolds and takes its position.

4

Healing

At this point the procedure is complete. Some patients report an immediate improvement in their vision.

It is a minimally invasive procedure that only takes about 10 minutes per eye. When it comes to both eyes, we usually treat them on two consecutive days. Anesthetic eye drops are administered beforehand for pain-free treatment. 

The artificial lenses are inserted by the doctor directly in front of the natural lens of the eye. The phakic intraocular lens was specially designed to be fixed in the eye. The lens is implanted at the outer/upper edge of the cornea, the edge is opened a few millimeters and the rolled lens is placed inside the eye with a fine injector. The lens then unfolds and is then placed in the correct position by the doctor. Due to the pressure inside the eye, the small tunnel incision closes by itself. The artificial lenses can remain in the eye for a lifetime. If, unexpectedly, there is a reason for removal, the intervention can be reversed.

After treatment

After the treatment, which only lasts about half an hour, the eye is covered with a patch and you can go home after a final check-up and further information for the following days. The day after the treatment, you can remove the eye patch yourself when you visit our ophthalmologist and immediately start putting the eye drops in your eyes as instructed by the doctor. You should be able to see with the treated eye by this point, but not very well. In the weeks that follow, your vision should steadily improve. In order to ensure an optimal healing process and to prevent complications, you must follow the behavioral recommendations given to you by your doctor in the first period after the treatment.

Frequently asked questions about ICL / Phake lenses (FAQ)

What are phakic lenses?

Phakic lenses can be thought of as contact lenses inside the eye. They are custom-made and implanted in front of the natural lens in the eye.

Who are phakic lenses suitable for?

Phakic lenses are suitable for people aged 18 to 45 with a very thin cornea or with high ametropia. Short-sightedness up to -20 diopters, long-sightedness up to 10 diopters and astigmatism up to 6 diopters can be compensated by lens implantation.

How does the treatment work?

After the eyes have been numbed with eye drops, the folded artificial lens is inserted into the eye through a tiny opening at the edge of the cornea. The lens then unfolds and assumes its position. The treatment only takes a few minutes.

When can I see again after the treatment?

After the treatment, your vision will continuously improve. It may take a few days for your vision to fully recover. Some patients report an improvement immediately after the treatment.

When can I go back to work and exercise after the treatment?

You will usually be able to go back to your usual activities the day after the procedure. But give yourself some rest to give your eyes time to get used to the new view. In any case, strenuous activities should be avoided for the time being.

Can you feel the ICL lens in your eye after the operation?

No, you will not feel the lens.

How long do phakic lenses last?

Phakic lenses usually last a lifetime.

How much do ICL lenses cost?

A phakic lens implantation costs around €2.900 per eye. Billing according to GOÄ after completion of the treatment.