Phakic Lenses – A Laser Eye Surgery Alternative

Vision correction has come a long way since the invention of eyeglasses in the 13th century – Conrad vonSoest, ‘Brillenapostel’ (1403)

Since eyeglasses were first invented in the late 13th century, they have been a useful treatment for people who needed vision correction. In the 20th century, contact lenses added another effective option to the eye doctor’s toolkit. Now, phakic lenses are providing a 21st century solution to both near and far-sightedness.

Phakic lenses are a little bit like a microscope or telescope. When you need to see close-up or far away, those tools add another, more powerful lens to your existing eye, giving you the ability to see when your eyes’ focusing power can’t manage the task on their own. Phakic lenses are also additive – surgically inserted into your eye, in addition to the existing lenses. This is an important difference between laser eye surgery and a phakic lens.

LASIK and PRK procedures use a laser to carefully reshape your eye’s lens, removing corneal material to improve vision. With phakic lenses, your cornea is left untouched. For some people this is a crucial consideration. For one thing, it means a phakic lens procedure is reversible. If necessary, the artificial lens can be removed and your natural lens remains as it was before the surgery. There is also less risk of long-term corneal decompensation (corneal swelling leading to decreased vision) with this type of implant.

So, who is a typical candidate for this procedure? Phakic lenses are indicated when the patient’s cornea is too thin to undergo the ‘ablative’ (removal) process that characterizes the laser eye surgery procedures. In itself, that’s great news for people who are tired of the hassle of prescription eyewear, but aren’t suitable candidates for LASIK and PRK. But phakic lenses have some other benefits:

  • If your level of myopia or hyperopia (near or far-sightedness respectively) is outside the range that can be treated by laser eye surgery, phakic lenses are often a viable alternative
  • They are ideal for people under the age of 35. Phakic lenses can be removed later in life, if the onset of cataracts requires the replacement of your existing, natural lenses.
  • It’s fast. The procedure usually takes less than 45 minutes. Recovery time is a few hours
  • When necessary, phakic implants can be combined with laser eye surgery.

At Boydvision we use the Visian ICL lenses. This lenses is inserted behind the iris, in front of the natural lens. One of the advantages of the Visian ICL is that the lens is invisible, unlike some phakic lenses that are inserted in front of the iris and can be noticeable in some situations. So, if it you thought you were stuck with glasses or contacts because laser eye surgery wasn’t a suitable procedure for your vision correction needs, why not consider a phakic lens implant? Book a free consultation and see if this procedure is the right solution to your near or far-sightedness.


Learn more about the Visian ICL lens with this short video: