Implantable Collamer Lens
The truth is that there’s no single type of vision correction that offers the best possible vision. It’s equally true, however, that there is usually a procedure that offers the best possible vision for you. With today’s laser and lens technology, you don’t have to struggle with the possibility of having to settle for the second best option. It can be a wonderful revelation to those who are the best candidates for an ICL; there’s a possibility of vision for you that is even better than you could have had with LASIK. You should never have to worry whether you will get your best option, because in the right hands, that will be the only option.
Implantable collamer lenses, also often referred to as implantable contact lenses, were introduced a few decades ago as an astounding leap forward in refractive surgery. For the first time, people with exceptionally thick glasses could improve their vision to better than they’d ever seen. The only problem was, well, it felt like surgery. Today’s ICL procedure has the revolutionary ability to deliver the results of that surgery, but in a procedure that takes 10 minutes in our office and clears your vision so quickly that you can count stars that night.
You shouldn’t have to wonder if a procedure that is being recommended is safe, and part of that is knowing that we have the same definition of safety that you do. We consider a procedure safe if it is statistically on par with or safer than contact lenses. ICLs have fewer infections per decade than are associated with contact lenses per month, but they aren’t as widely known. But just like flying in a commercial airplane vs. riding in a car, there exist options for those who need them that are not only more convenient to get where you want to go, but oftentimes even safer — even if our familiarity with our daily habit makes it seem safer than it is.
Most people have never heard of ICL, so we get our fair share of questions about this groundbreaking procedure. We’ve got in-depth answers to your burning questions — and helpful explanations for questions you didn’t even know you had. When you’re done reading, there’s a good chance you’ll be 99.99% more knowledgeable about ICL than all of your friends combined.
Let’s call a spade a spade and agree up front that when people hear “lens” instead of “laser” there is usually a certain worry about the unknown. That’s okay because whether you’re hiking a new trail or getting an ICL, all you need in order to get away from the stress over the unknown to the comfort of predictability is a guide who can lead you through it. Your biggest surprise should be how easy it all was.
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As a general rule, the thicker the glasses, the higher the chance you’ve heard about implantable collamer lenses, usually referred to by the shorthand “ICL.” If we could have one wish based on people’s research into ICL-based vision correction (which would be an oddly specific wish), it would be they never heard of it. That’s mainly because it is like making a choice on a cell phone based on what was true of cellphones in 1998. Basically, the current technology will knock your socks off.
ICL technology has evolved at an incredibly rapid pace and now no longer looks anything like what it used to. It is no longer typified by large incisions, sutures, and a waiting for recovery between each surgery. It’s now a surgery that can be done in about 15 minutes, on both eyes, to rapidly improve the vision to 20/20 or better—sometimes even later the same day. The procedure is now so good we have some patients who choose ICL over LASIK when they are candidates for both because it’s better for their lifestyle—which we’re pretty sure was a sentence no one imagined saying 10 years ago.
If you are between the ages of 21 and 45, and suffer from a moderate to severe degree of nearsightedness, then you may be a candidate for this great procedure and the advantages it provides. These include:
The surgeon choice matters a tremendous amount. While all of the above features of ICL surgery can be true, they are only true for some centers. The technology has improved for everyone, but the full benefit of that improvement is something only unlocked by a few of the best surgeons in the country. Dr. Brinton performed more ICL surgery than anyone in the state of Florida last year—or anyone east of the Mississippi, for that matter. The reason isn’t that he’s careless and does ICL surgery on just anybody; it’s actually the opposite. He’s the type of surgeon that’s so meticulous and exact some people end up traveling from out-of-state for Dr. Brinton to perform their ICL surgery.
The Visian ICL is an amazing piece of technology few of us could have imagined until recently, and while it’s an “only option” for some LASIK non-candidates, the truth is that it’s a better option for many folks who are also candidates for LASIK. It’s part of the reason that we want you to visit Hunter Vision as you search for the best place to help your eyes. It’s really nice to have all the options on the table when you’re making a choice on something you’ll use every minute for the rest of your life. Ideally, those options feel like freedom instead of stress. That’s our entire goal for your LASIK consultation, which, by the way, you could set up whenever you feel like it.
Feel free to contact us at Hunter Vision with any questions that you may have, or to schedule an eye exam to discover if the Visian ICL or an alternative vision correction procedure is right for you.