Are Implantable Collamer Lens an Alternative to LASIK for Patients with Moderate to High Myopia or Thin Corneas?

July 17, 2009

In a study published in the July issue of the Archives of Ophthalmology, researchers report that posterior chamber phakic IOLs were safe with stable refractive results in patients with moderate to high myopia over a four-year period.

Some patients with high myopia or thin corneas are not candidates for traditional LASIK surgery due to a risk of keratectasia. Moreover, extensive laser ablation can cause deterioration of superior intrinsic corneal optical performance.

An implantable IOL was designed for address the limitations of LASIK for these patients.  The IOL, made of biocompatible collagen copolymer, is a posterior-chamber phakic intraocular lens. The implantation surgery itself is reversible and the lenses are interchangeable. However, adverse events such as cataract formation and the development of glaucoma have been reported.

To evaluate the long term effects of the implantation, the researchers in this study looked at 56 eyes of 34 patients who underwent implantation of the collagen copolymer lens. Routine post-operative examinations were conducted one, three and six months and one, two and four years later.

At four years after surgery, 79% of the eyes were within 0.5 diopter of the targeted correction and 93% were within one diopter. No vision threatening complications occurred in any of the eyes during the four year follow-up period.

It is encouraging to see these types of results in phakic IOL implantation. For those patients who are not candidates for LASIK but are having various problems with their glasses or contact lenses, physicians can point to these results when discussing this option.

Read the abstract and full article here (log in required).




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