ICL (Implantable Contact Lenses)

I was speaking to a fellow surgeon today on whom I performed bilateral ICL surgery last week. We’re used to our ICL patients being overwhelmed and delighted with their vision but she went even further than this. She remarked that the improved contrast, detail, and magnification she has gained with the ICL has made her a more confident surgeon! As a dermatologic surgeon, she is able to see the details and irregularities of the skin far better than ever before. You may be wondering- why and how a lens implanted in the eye can provide gains in visual acuity and vision quality? By taking the lens power from in front of the eye, as is the case with glasses and conventional contact lenses, and placing that lens power closer to the nodal point of the eye, we can realize several unique visual benefits for the nearsighted person. Among these are that image size is increased, and the effects of astigmatism and other higher order aberrations are minimized.

She mentioned that one of the reasons she chose to have the ICL performed was because she struggled in the past with dry eye which was exacerbated by the frequent use of her contact lenses. Since contact lenses rob the eye of oxygen and thus increase inflammation, it only serves to make dry eye progressively worse over time. She was attracted to the fact that ICL creates the least corneal nerve disruption of any refractive surgery procedure and thus it is the least likely to even transiently increase dry eye symptoms. Like many of my ICL patients, she also was drawn to the fact that ICL is also the only Refractive surgery that is reversible, though of course I’ve never had a patient who wanted it reversed! Her comments about the improved contrast sensitivity that the ICL has allowed her reminded me of the reports some of my US Army colleagues have brought to my attention regarding the special forces war fighters who see a great pop in their night vision acuity, especially when wearing night vision goggles.

As an eye surgeon I love what I do, but I especially love the ability to utilize cutting edge technology to bring our patients better vision than they’ve ever had before. Technologies like Visian ICL and customvue Intralase (iLasik) allow me to do just that!

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