The New Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL)

By Charles Blotnick MD

Metrolina Eye Associates is very excited to announce the next generation of ICLs that was recently approved by the FDA. ICL stands for Implantable Collamer Lens but is commonly used to describe an Intra-ocular Contact Lens. Think of this as a specially designed contact lens that can be easily placed in the eye for nearsighted patients with or without astigmatism.

STAAR Surgical has improved on its Visian ICL which was first approved in the US in December 2005. The new EVO ICL has 3 laser holes in the lens which allow for the flow of aqueous fluid from the back of the eye to the front. In the past, a patient would need to have a laser PI (peripheral iridotomy) placed in their iris prior to the surgery. Now this step, which most patients considered the most painful part of the surgery, is eliminated.

In the past, many patients were excluded from having LASIK or PRK because their cornea was too thin to safely have surgery. Also, many patients were too nearsighted to safely have corrective surgery. Now, these patients will be excellent candidates for the STAAR EVO ICL. LASIK is only approved for myopia up to -12.00 diopters. But now this ICL can treat myopia up to -20.00 diopters and astigmatism up to -4.00 diopters.

The surgery for this ICL is a quick and painless procedure that is done in the office. The surgery takes about 15 minutes per eye and both eyes are performed on the same day. The patient takes a small pill just before the surgery and there is no need to change clothes or have an IV. After the surgery, the patient goes home without a patch and uses a combination eyedrop for a few weeks. Usually, there are 3 follow-up visits at 1 day, 1 week, and 1 month. Often the next day after surgery, the patient can shower and drive and return to work.

Metrolina Eye Associates is proud to be the premier practice in the Charlotte NC / Indian Land SC area to offer this new technology. Please call our office to schedule your free consultation.