Implantable Contact Lenses for Myopia

June 8, 2009

A recent story on Voice of America News related how some patients with myopia are opting for lens implants rather than LASIK to correct their vision. The so-called implantable contact lenses are really phakic IOLs, but rather than being implanted “in the bag” to replace a cataractous lens, these lenses are implanted in front of the natural lens to permanently improve vision.

There are two FDA-approved implantable lenses used in the United States: the Verisyse (Abbott Medical Optics, Santa Ana, CA), a PMMA IOL implanted in front of the iris; and the Visian ICL (Staar Surgical, Monrovia, CA), a collamer collagen IOL implanted just in front of the natural lens and behind the iris. The latter lens is foldable, allowing for a smaller incision in the eye and potentially faster recovery. (It is probably the lens used in the VOA story above.)

The Verisyse lens is marketed as the Artisan lens outside the United States by Ophtec, Groningen, The Netherlands.

Both the Verisyse and the Visian ICL are FDA approved only for treating myopia. Clinical trials for the two lenses are continuing for potential approval for treating hyperopia.

A version of the Visian ICL (toric) also is also being studied for correction of higher levels of astigmatism.

A third lens, still in clinical trials in the U.S. is the AcrySof phakic IOL, a soft acrylic IOL from Alcon. The company is expected to submit this lens for FDA approval sometime in 2010.

References:
Contact Lenses Can Be Implanted In The Eye
Voice of America News

Implantable Lenses (Phakic IOLs)
All About Vision

 

 



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