Implantable Contact Lenses

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Dougherty Laser Vision was the first vision correction center in the Western U.S. to offer the remarkable STAAR Visian ICL (Implantable Contact Lens) for the treatment of mild to severe nearsightedness and the first surgeon in the U.S. to perform the Visian ICL procedure on both of a patient’s eyes during the same office visit.


What is the Visian ICL?

Approved by the FDA in December 2005, the Visian ICL is an implantable contact lens made of a biocompatible material called Collamer that allows the lens to be rolled into a tiny cylinder for insertion into the eye. As the lens is inserted, it gently unfolds behind the iris, where it remains virtually undetectable to an observer. The Visian ICL is self-cleaning and needs no maintenance, unlike traditional contact lenses.

The Visian ICL can provide clear vision for nearsighted patients who demand a higher quality of vision than LASIK or who do not want a flap. Visian ICL is also an excellent option for patients who are not good candidates for LASIK due to thin or irregular corneas, dry eyes, or prescriptions that exceed the acceptable range for LASIK.

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Did you know?

  1. Dougherty Laser Vision is one of the first Visian ICL centers in the nation to offer the Sonomed UBM (ultrasound bio-microscopy), which measures the precise area for lens insertion to improve sizing of the lens.
  2. Dr. Dougherty helped pioneer the Visian ICL technology and was one of just a handful of surgeons in the U.S. to serve as a principal investigator for the Visian ICL FDA clinical study.
  3. In December 2005, Dougherty Laser Vision hosted the first post-approval ICL training session for U.S. ophthalmologists from across the nation and many continue to come to our centers to observe Dr. Dougherty performing the Visian ICL procedure.
  4. Up to date, Dr. Dougherty has performed over 4,000 ICL surgeries

Why Visian ICL?

  1. No Dry Eye Syndrome: Visian ICL’s biocompatible Collamer maintains natural eye chemistry and won’t induce dry eye syndrome
  2. Permanent procedure, yet removable if vision needs change
  3. Quick procedure and recovery
  4. UV blocking properties of the lens
  5. Visian ICL can treat anywhere from a -3-diopter nearsightedness patient to a -20 diopter patient
  6. May be an ideal option for patient for thin or unusually shaped corneas

What are the benefits of the Visian ICL procedure?

The Visian ICL Procedure benefits patients by reducing the surgery from four separate surgical procedures into a single surgical session and speeds up the visual recovery time so that the patient experience with Visian ICL implantation is just like LASIK. In fact, in our practice, we refer to the Visian ICL procedure as “LASIK with a lens”. Like LASIK, most patients have significantly improved vision the day after surgery with minimal discomfort and most patients are back to work or school within 48 hours.

Who is a good candidate for Visian ICL?

  1. Have low, moderate, or extreme nearsightedness
  2. Have a stable prescription
  3. Are looking for a procedure that does not create dry eye

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the ICL lens made of?

ICL lens is made of Collamer, an advanced plastic lens material that is highly biocompatible. Collamer does not cause a reaction inside the eye and contains an ultraviolet filter that provides protections to the eyes.


Can the ICL be felt once it is in place?

ICL is placed behind the iris and in front of the eye’s crystalline lens. The lens does not touch any internal eye structures within your line of vision and is designed to stay in position, so you will not feel it.


How long does the ICL stay in my eye?

ICL is intended to remain in place in the eye without maintenance – it is self-cleaning. Should it become necessary, the lens can be removed by your surgeon later in life when you develop a cataract.

Will I be able to see the ICL in my eye?

No. The lens is positioned behind the iris where it is invisible to both you and observers. Only your doctor will be able to tell that vision correction has taken place.


How soon can I return back to my daily activities after having ICL surgery?

Most patients can return to their full daily routine activities the next day. However, we ask that you do not go swimming, bend past the waist or lift more than 20 pounds for 1 week after surgery.

What is Visian Toric ICL?

Visian Toric ICL is and implantable contact lenses used to correct myopia (nearsightedness) and astigmatism. Visian Toric ICL can safely and effectively correct nearsightedness from -3 diopters up to -20 diopters along with treatment with of astigmatism from 1 diopters to 4 diopters.

Receiving FDA approval in 2018, the Visian Toric ICL is a variant of the existing Visian ICL technology. The Visian Toric ICL has the same unique design as the original and can be implanted using the same personally developed technique created by Dr. Dougherty. The Visian Toric ICL is an appealing new treatment option for patients affected by both nearsightedness and astigmatism.

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