Visian ICL an insertable contact lens

Intraocular Lens Implant

A Lens-Based Vision Correction Option to Visual Freedom
by Craig Bindi, MD

The Visian ICL (Implantable Collamer Lens) is a lens implant, which is capable of correcting/reducing moderate to severe amounts of nearsightedness and astigmatism (ranging from –3.0 D to –20.0 D), which is well beyond the treatment range of LASIK (up to -12.0 D  of nearsigntedness and 4.0 D of astigmatism). The soft, flexible nature of the Visian ICL allows it to be inserted through a self-sealing micro-opening that measures only ~3 millimeters. The Visian ICL is designed to stay permanently, but it could be removed or updated, if necessary. The lens is made of a material called Collamer, which filters ultraviolet light and is very well-tolerated within the eye.

Like a soft contact lens: Visian ICL is soft & flexible

The U.S. FDA approved the Visian ICL in 2005 after reviewing the long term data since 1995. In the FDA clinical studies, 526 eyes underwent the lens implant procedure, averaging -10 D of preoperative nearsightedness. Three years after the procedure, nearly 95% of patients had “20/40 vision or better” without glasses, which is good enough to pass the DMV test (4). These are remarkably good results considering the extremely high level of nearsightedness that was treated.

Like LASIK: The Visian ICL procedure is painless

Lens Implant

Lens implants/inserts have been used for over half a century in various forms of eye surgery, such as cataract surgery. With the Visian ICL, the eye’s natural lens is left in place. The lens implant procedure is done as an outpatient procedure, under topical eye drop anesthesia. Most patients experience little to no discomfort during the actual procedure, which takes about 15-20 minutes. Most patients report a nearly instantaneous improvement in their vision within hours, similar to LASIK.

Like nothing: It doesn’t require any daily care, and can’t be seen or “felt”

ic-what1-21In the FDA clinical studies, 93.6% of patients (averaging -12.6 D nearsightedness) saw “20/40 or better” without glasses one year after the procedure. At three years after the procedure, 92% of patients had uncorrected vision of “20/40 or better”, and 61.7% were seeing “20/25 or better” without any glasses (1). In a recent study published in the scientific journal Ophthalmology, for the treatment of extreme nearsightedness (between – 9.00D and –19.50D), 72.2% of patients who received underwent lens implants in one eye and LASIK in the other preferred the vision in the lens implant eye over the LASIK eye because of the better quality of vision (3).

Visian ICL helps nearsighted people be able to simply wake up & see!


 Other Benefits of the Visian ICL

  • Sharp, clear vision5
  • 99% patient satisfaction6
  • Over 1 million procedures performed worldwide7
  • Immediate improvement in vision
  • Can be removed, if needed
  • Offers UV protection
  • Treats nearsightedness and astigmatism
  • May be an option for patients who are not candidates for LASIK8
  • Does not cause dry eye syndrome9
  • Provides excellent night vision10




1) Continued follow-up reinforces efficacy, safety of myopic phakic IOL. Ophthalmology Times, October 23, 2004. FDA Clinical Trials, Data on file, Ophtec USA, Inc.
2) El Danasoury MA, Maghraby AE, Gamali TO. Comparison of Iris-fixed Artisan Lens Implantation with Excimer Laser In Situ Keratomileusis in Correcting Myopia between –9.00 and –19.50 Diopters. Ophthalmology, 2002; 109:955-64.
3) FDA Clinical Trials, Data in file, Staar Surgical, Inc.
4) DR Sanders MD PHD, JA Vuchick MD. Comparison of Implantable Contact Lens and Laser Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis for Moderate to High Myopia. Cornea, 22 (4): 324-331, 2003.

5) Shin, JY. Ahn, H. Seo, KY. Kim, EK. Kim, TK. Comparison of higher order aberrations after implantable collamer lens implantation and wavefront-guide LASEK in high myopia. J Refract Surg. 2012; 28(2): 106 -111

6) MICL PMA data

7) Data on file. STAAR Surgical.

8) Parkhurst, G. Psolka, M. Kezirian, G. Phakic intraocular lens implantation in United States military warfighters: A retrospective analysis of early clinical outcomes of the Visian ICL. J Refract Surg. 2011;27(7):473 – 481

9) Naves, J.S. Carracedo, G. Cacho-Babillo, I. Diadenosine Nucleotid Measurements as Dry-Eye Score in Patients After LASIK and ICL Surgery. Presented at American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) 2012.

10) Parkhurst G. A Prospective Comparison of Phakic Collamer Lenses and Wavefront-Optimized Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis for Correction of Myopia. Clinical Ophthalmology 2013; 10: 1209-1215.