Phakic IOLs: A Worthy Alternative to LASIK and PRK
Phakic intraocular lenses (IOLs) are tiny lenses surgically implanted into the eye to correct moderate to severe nearsightedness. They are a great alternative to laser vision correction procedures like LASIK and PRK. Phakic IOLs function similarly to contact lenses, except that instead of sitting on the surface of the eye, they work harmoniously with the natural elements of the eye for sharp, clear vision. Dr. Samer Khosrof offers phakic IOLs to Brooklyn patients that want visual improvement without undergoing LASIK or PRK surgery.
Phakic IOLs vs. LASIK and PRK
One of the key distinctions between laser vision correction procedures (e.g., LASIK, PRK) and phakic IOLs is that with phakic IOLs the eye is left completely intact (except for the insertion and positioning of the lens); no tissue is removed to create room for the IOL. Phakic IOLs are not known for contributing to dry eye symptoms, an occasional side effect of LASIK and PRK. While LASIK and PRK are not reversible, phakic IOLs can be surgically removed if needed. Phakic IOLs are also a great option for individuals with thin corneas that do not qualify for laser vision correction. Certain studies have shown that patients with phakic IOLs have better contrast sensitivity and higher satisfaction with their visual outcomes. Finally, certain IOLs even offer UV protection — something that LASIK and PRK do not.
More about Phakic IOLs
The FDA has approved two types of phakic IOLs for use in patients with nearsightedness.
The Visian implantable collamer lens (ICL) sits behind the iris and in front of the eye’s natural lens. The lens is composed of a soft synthetic material and cannot be felt or seen in the eye. It can correct nearsightedness in the range between -3.00 to -20.00 diopters. The manufacturers of the Visian lens are currently working on a toric version of the lens to correct astigmatism.
The Verisyse intraocular lens is positioned in front of the iris, and can correct nearsightedness in the range of -5.00 to -20.00 diopters. It is composed of a medical-grade plastic material and is more rigid than the Visian lens. The Verisyse is slightly more detectable than the Visian, but is not obvious to the naked eye.
The Phakic IOL Placement Process
The phakic IOL placement process is an outpatient procedure that takes approximately 20 to 30 minutes.
The eyes are numbed with special eyedrops prior to the start of the procedure. Oral medication may also be administered to relax the patient.
Dr. Khosrof makes a tiny incision in the cornea and inserts the folded-up lens. If he is using the Visian ICL, he positions it in the posterior chamber of the eye, behind the iris and pupil and in front of the natural lens. If he is using the Verisyse IOL, he positions it in the anterior chamber of the eye behind the cornea, and attaches it to the front of the iris. The Verisyse may require small stitches to close the incision, but the Visian ICL usually does not require any stitches. Afterward, antibiotic and anti-inflammatory eye drops are prescribed for the healing eyes.
Most phakic IOL patients notice an improvement in vision almost immediately after the surgery. In some cases, patients need two to four weeks for vision to stabilize. Side effects like blurry or hazy vision are common and may last a few days.
Learn More about Phakic IOLs
If you are interested in phakic IOLs as an alternative to laser vision correction with LASIK or PRK, Dr. Khosrof can explain the pros and cons. Please call 718-630-1070 to schedule an informational consultation with the doctor.
Please fill our appointment form, and one of our team members will contact you to schedule an appointment time.
We offer our patients the latest, most effective and virtually painless procedure with rapid results for your eye care needs .