Refractive Surgery Options: Phakic IOL – Eric D. Donnenfeld, MD, FAAO
Phakic IOLs are implantable lenses for patients who are not good candidates for LASIK due to a thin cornea or high myopia (nearsightedness). Phakic IOLs cannot be used to correct farsightedness and are not currently available for astigmatism. However, phakic IOLs offer excellent uncorrected distance vision. Another advantage of phakic IOLs is that the eye's natural crystalline lens remains in the eye.
Eric D. Donnenfeld, MD, FAAO, is a leading Long Island eye surgeon offering phakic IOLs to patients in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
Please read the paragraphs below to learn more about phakic IOLs.
Types of Phakic IOLs
There are two types of phakic IOLs, characterized by the location of the lens implant in the eye:
- Anterior chamber phakic IOLs (Verisyse)
- Posterior chamber phakic IOLs (Visian ICL)
The anterior chamber phakic IOL is attached to the front of the iris (colored part of the eye) and resides in the space between the back surface of the cornea and the front surface of the iris.
The posterior chamber phakic IOL is implanted in the space between the back surface of the iris and the front surface of the eye's crystalline lens.
Phakic IOL: The Procedure
The phakic IOL procedure is performed under anesthetic eye drops and differs based on the type of IOL being implanted.
When implanting the Verisyse IOL, Dr. Donnenfeld makes a small incision on the surface of the eye. The IOL is then attached to the iris and the incision is closed with tiny, sutures. An eye shield is worn during the healing process. The procedure lasts anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes.
During the Visian ICL procedure, the implant lens is folded and inserted behind the iris through a self-sealing micro-incision in the eye, which does not require any stitches. After being placed, the implant unfolds and positions itself in its permanent place. The procedure lasts less than 10 minutes. Unlike Verisyse, the Visian ICL is invisible to the naked eye due to its position behind the iris.
Phakic IOL Recovery and Results
The phakic IOL recovery process greatly depends on the type of implantable contact lens. Individuals who receive the Verisyse lens may require longer recuperation time as the stitches dissolve. After the procedure, patients are provided with detailed aftercare instructions and anti-inflammatory eye drops. One advantage of phakic IOLs is that they can be removed from the eye. Following phakic IOL surgery, distance vision tends to improve instantly and most patients are able to achieve 20/40 vision or better. Almost half of the patients who receive phakic IOLs see better than they did with glasses.
Phakic IOL Candidacy
The best candidates for phakic IOLs are individuals who are nearsighted and have had a stable prescription for an extended period of time. Individuals who suffer from cataracts, glaucoma, keratoconus and similar eye conditions may not qualify to receive phakic IOLs. Dr. Donnenfeld, who served as an FDA investigator for the Verisyse phakic IOL, can help you determine whether this procedure will provide you with the best vision correction results.
For more information on phakic IOLs and to find out if you are a candidate, please schedule a consultation with Dr. Donnenfeld. In addition to offering phakic IOLs, Dr. Donnenfeld is a skilled Long Island cataract surgeon who provides multifocal and accommodating IOLs. He is also a leading laser eye surgery Long Island provider.