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Flaum Eye Institute / LASIK / Procedures / Visian® Phakic Intraocular Lens Implant

Visian® Phakic Intraocular Lens Implant

For extremely nearsighted people, -10 to -20 diopters of myopia (nearsightedness), the Flaum Eye Institute Advanced Vision Correction team offers an excellent procedure: A lens implant that is intended for patients who are not suitable candidates for cornea-based refractive surgery like LASIK and PRK.

Depending upon the architecture of the eye, the size of the pupil and the thickness of the cornea, LASIK and PRK can be used to correct up to approximately -10 diopters of nearsightedness. Patients with higher degrees of nearsightedness often are not safe surgical candidates. In September of 2004, the Food and Drug Administration approved the first implantable lens designed to help people who are too nearsighted for LASIK and PRK.

What is the Visian® Lens?

The Visian Phakic Intraocular Lens is a small microlens implant placed into the eye in an attempt to reduce the impact of very high degrees of nearsightedness. Called "one of the most amazing inventions of 2004" by Time magazine, Phakic Intraocular lens implants have been used in South America and Europe for more than a 20 years with over one-half million lenses having been safely implanted worldwide.

Intraocular lens implants have been used in the United States for decades to restore vision following cataract surgery. A cataract is a clouding of the eye's natural lens. In cataract patients, lens implants are placed in the eye behind the iris after the cloudy lens is removed to restore clear vision. The Visian lens is placed into the eye behind the iris without removing the natural lens. The lens insertion is done through a small opening made at the edge of the cornea. The surgery is done on an outpatient basis under local or general anesthesia and takes less than one hour to complete. The recovery after implantation is quick with most people returning to their normal activities within one to two days.

Is the Visian® Lens For Me?

Verisyse in eye

The Visian® lens shown attached to the irisbehind the cornea

The Visian implant has been approved for patients 21 years of age and older with stable prescriptions of up to -20 diopters of myopia and astigmatism less than -2.50 diopters. 98.3% of patients receiving the Verisyse lens implant are capable of seeing 20/40 or better without glasses or contact lenses.

It is important to understand that the Visian lens does not correct astigmatism which can cause blurry vision. Patients with symptomatic levels of astigmatism may still need thin glasses after Visian lens implantation. Many patients may also have the option of having LASIK to address their astigmatism and fine tune their vision after Verisyse lens implantation. As the implant corrects distance vision only, patients over the age of 40 will still need reading glasses after Visian lens implantation. It does nothing to alter the natural aging process of the human lens whereby we lose the ability to focus up close. This aging process, known as presbyopia, causes everyone to need reading glasses at some point in their early to mid-40s.

Can Anyone Who Is Highly Nearsighted Have the Verisyse™ Lens Implant?

To be eligible for implantation of the Visian lens, your eyes need to be healthy and have best corrected vision of at least 20/40 with glasses. Patients who have cataracts, glaucoma or a retinal disease such as macular degeneration are not suitable for the Verisyse lens. The FDA recommends that Visian be implanted in eyes 45 years and younger.

Visian® at Flaum Eye Institute Refractive Surgery Center

Dr. Scott MacRae served as a consultant to Staar Surgical, Inc., the manufacturer of the Visian lens, while they were applying for FDA approval. He was also the first surgeon in Western New York to implant Phakic Intraocular Lenses lens implant and the Flaum Eye Institute Refractive Surgery Center team is actively screening patients for this innovative technology. If you think this form of vision correction surgery might be appropriate for you, or if you have any questions, please call us. Our Patient Education staff can review your prescription numbers with you and schedule a full evaluation with one of our doctors if it is indicated.