Implantable Lenses

If you've ever wished for a permanent contact lens – one that you never had to change – your wish has been granted. Lens implantation offers all of the benefits of contact lenses without the hassle, discomfort, or maintenance. At Pacific Eye's 8 Central Coast locations, we offer this advanced vision correction option to our patients from throughout Santa Maria and San Luis Obispo county. The Implantable contact lens, sometimes called an implantable collamer lens (ICL) or Phakic intraocular lens (PIOL) is a true innovation in refractive vision correction, and is a very good option for many patients with common vision errors such as nearsightedness (myopia).

If you would like to learn more about phakic IOLs, request an appointment online, or call (805) 545-8100.

Your Implantable Lens Choices

Pacific Eye offers Santa Maria and San Luis Obispo area residents two contact lens implant choices, both approved by the FDA for use in nearsighted patients: Verisyse™ Phakic IOL and Visian ICL™. The Visian ICL is unique in that it is made of collamer, a material that contains collagen and is biocompatible. The Verisyse PIOL is made of an innovative plastic called PMMA.

How Do Implantable Lenses Compare?

  • To Traditional Contact Lenses: Implantable lenses resemble contact lenses, but are surgically inserted in the eye. Unlike contacts, you cannot feel the implanted lens in your eye, and PIOLs require no maintenance.
  • To Cataract IOLs: Implantable lenses resemble the IOLs used in cataract surgery. However, during lens implantation surgery, patients receive a new, artificial lens and keep their own natural lens. During cataract surgery, the eye's cloudy lens is removed.
  • To LASIK: Like LASIK, PIOLs help you achieve sharper vision by altering the way light rays enter your eye. LASIK does this by removing tissue from the cornea to change its shape. Implantable lenses, on the other hand, are inserted in the eye and compensate for anatomical imperfections that lead to refractive errors. Neither procedure requires further maintenance, but the LASIK procedure yields permanent results, while implantable lenses can be removed if necessary. For some of our patients in and around San Luis Obispo, LASIK may not be the best choice, and PIOLs are an effective alternative.

The Procedure

Your surgeon will begin by placing numbing drops in your eye and making a precise incision with a laser. For each lens type, he will follow with a slightly different procedure:

  • Verisyse Phakic IOL is inserted and attached to the colored iris. Tiny, dissolvable stitches close the incision.
  • The folded Visian ICL is inserted just behind the iris, where it unfolds to its full size. No sutures are required.

Following Surgery

After your 15 to 30 minute procedure, your vision should improve immediately. After someone drives you home, you will be advised to rest for the remainder of the day. To avoid complications, follow your surgeon's post-op instructions closely and attend all scheduled follow-up appointments. Most lens implantation patients resume driving and return to work within 24 hours.

A qualified Pacific Eye ophthalmologist can help you determine whether implantable lenses are an option for you. Request an appointment online, or call (805) 545-8100.

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