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Vision Correction Lenses

For a variety of reasons, some patients are not good candidates for laser vision correction. Fortunately, a number of promising alternatives are currently available or likely to be FDA-approved in the near future.

All of these alternatives involve the placement of an artificial lens inside the eye. There are two types of lenses available:  Phakic intraocular lenses (phakic IOLs / pronounced "fay-kick"), which are placed inside the eye in addition to the natural lens, and pseudophakic IOLs, which replace the natural lens.

Phakic IOLs

The phakic IOL that is already FDA-approved is called the Verisyse by AMO. This lens is inserted through an incision in the cornea and clips onto the colored iris for stabilization and positioning:

An alternative lens is the Visian by Staar Surgical. It is likely to receive FDA-approval in the near future. The Visian is also inserted through a small incision in the cornea, but it is placed behind the colored iris, instead of clipping onto its front surface:

Dr. Hale has already taken the certification course for the Visian lens and we are awaiting its FDA-approval. We are also considering working with the Verisyse, but due to concerns over its iris fixation, we intend to observe the results of its use in the general public before adopting it for our own patients.

Pseudophakic IOLs

Traditionally, pseudophakic IOLs have been used to replace the natural lens during cataract surgery. However, with the March 2005 FDA approval of the ReSTOR lens, which has the ability to correct both near and distance vision, pseudophakic IOLs are now an excellent alternative to laser vision correction in select patients, especially those over 40 who would benefit from improved near and distance vision.

Please see the Cataract Surgery Lenses section for a thorough discussion of pseudophakic IOLs.

All intraocular lenses have potential complications that are different than those of laser treatments, as they are placed inside the eye and laser treatments are performed on the surface or under a thin flap of corneal tissue. We will discuss these differences with you in detail at the time of your examination.