While laser vision correction procedures, like LASIK and PRK, can be ideal to address refractive errors, some people do not qualify. This is commonly due to astigmatism, extreme nearsightedness, abnormally thin corneas, or a history of dry eye. Implantable contact lenses (ICLs), also known as phakic lens implants, can work as a solution for these patients. ICLs are implanted on the natural lens of the eye, behind the cornea and iris, and work to provide clear vision for patients with moderate to severe myopia (nearsightedness). These noninvasive lenses work much like traditional contacts except they are implanted by a surgeon and designed to stay in place either permanently or over the long-term. They are generally very well-tolerated and compatible with the eye chemistry. At Chu Vision Institute, board-certified ophthalmologist Dr. Ralph Chu offers multiple types of ICLs to fit your unique vision needs. To find out if you're a good candidate, reach out to our office in Bloomington, MN.
"Bare with my lengthy review but if you’re like me, I wanted to know what others true thoughts were and I scoured as many reviews as possible to make sure I was making the best decision for me and my eyes. I am SO, SO thankful for Dr. Chu and Dr. Heckman’s expertise and honesty. I decided it was time to get Lasik and went in for my consultation. From check-in to my latest follow up, everyone at the Chu Vision Institute was friendly, warm, and helpful. Due to some past corneal scarring, Dr. Chu recommended that I get Lasik on one eye and PRK (ASA) on the other. I was extremely nervous about PRK because of the slightly longer recovery time and I really just wanted to wake up and have 20/20 vision like my friends who have had Lasik. The day of my procedure, they made sure I had all my questions and concerns answered before they let me in to have my surgery. That was extremely comforting to me and Dr. Heckman explained why PRK was recommended over Lasik. Simply put, I wouldn’t have had a good outcome if Dr. Chu had performed Lasik on both eyes. Both procedures went well and Dr. Chu confirmed his right decision during the procedure which took all of maybe 10 minutes for both eyes. As instructed, I went home and rested and could literally see 20/20 the next day with my Lasik eye. The PRK eye takes a little longer to heal but can already see better! (I was worried my blurry eye would affect my vision, but it did not). Recovery has been great and will continue to get better in the next few weeks. Now my husband wants to get his eyes done. Chu Vision Institute has exceeded my expectations and I am very happy with my results!"- E.M. / Google / Oct 20, 2020
"I had cataracts removed from both eyes. Dr. Chu and his staff were wonderful to work with. From the exam to the surgical procedure and recovery, everyone was very professional and pleasant . I had a perfect outcome and would highly recommend the Chu vision Clinic."- B.S. / Google / Oct 02, 2020
"I’ve been going to Chu vision for about three years now and and I’ve had excellent service each and every time. They follow me yearly for my dry eye condition. They are extremely thorough and take the time to answer all my questions. Highly recommend them."- C.S. / Google / Jul 31, 2020
"Exceptional. I felt like family as soon as I walked through the front door. Staff was extremely knowledgeable and friendly and my LASIK procedure went flawlessly. Like most folks, I did extensive research for months before my consult (word of mouth and online) I highly recommend Chu Vision for your procedure."- C.M. / Google / Mar 19, 2020
"I want to thank everyone at Chu Vision for the remarkable care we received recently. The clinic has an immaculate protocol to prevent Covid exposure for all of its patients. One might think that all the masks would prevent a warm, caring environment but not at Chu Vision! To a person, everyone was warm and welcoming. Dr. Chu was terrific and extremely thorough. The clinic was able to assess my husband’s acute vision change using a remarkable variety of tests and tools. What would have taken weeks at another clinic took only hours at Chu Vision. We won’t ever go anywhere else. Thank you so very much!"- K.D. / Yelp / Jul 13, 2020
BEST CANDIDATES for ICLs
If you have a high degree of myopia (nearsightedness) but have been told you don't qualify for LASIK or PRK, you are likely a good candidate for ICLs. These vision solutions are intended for patients who:
- Are generally healthy
- Want a vision correction alternative to glasses or traditional contacts
- Have a high degree of myopia, with or without astigmatism
- Are between the ages of 21 – 45
- Have had a stable eye prescription
To fully determine if you are a candidate for this procedure, Dr. Chu will perform a thorough eye examination and review your medical history. Patients with glaucoma, cataracts, or keratoconus may not qualify for ICLs.
Our Lens Options
We are pleased to offer two options for our patients who want to correct their vision with implantable lenses.
- Visian ICL: The Visian ICL (implantable collamer lens) is inserted behind the iris so your natural lens will stay in place. This innovative lens is used to correct vision in patients with astigmatism and nearsightedness. With the Visian ICL, you can have clear, sharp vision without glasses or traditional contacts. The lens is designed to stay in place comfortably and permanently, but it is removable should you change your mind in the future.
- Verisyse Phakic IOL: The Verisyse Phakic IOL is an implantable lens made of medical-grade polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA). This is the same material used in cataract surgery IOLs and hard contact lenses. This intraocular lens implant is placed in front of the iris to provide enhanced eyesight for individuals with a high level of nearsightedness (myopia). With the Verisyse IOL, the natural lens does not need to be removed.
What to Expect with Implantable Lenses
We will place your implantable lenses during an outpatient procedure performed at our facility in Bloomington, MN. Before starting your surgery, we will numb your eyes to keep you comfortable, and we may also give you light anesthesia. Dr. Chu will utilize advanced technology to create a very tiny incision on the outer portion of your cornea before folding the lens and situating it in the proper place in your eye. The procedure is relatively quick, lasting about 20 – 30 minutes total. ICLs are done one eye at a time, unlike with other refractive laser surgeries.
After your implantable lens procedure, you should be able to quickly return to your normal activities. Our staff will review any important follow-up instructions, such as not rubbing your eyes for several days. We will prescribe eye drops that you'll need to use for the next week or so. Over the next 48 hours, you can expect your vision to improve as your eyes recover and adjust to the new lenses. It could take four weeks to see your full outcomes. With ICLs, patients are able to experience long-term clear vision without needing traditional contact lenses or eyeglasses. As an added benefit, there is virtually no risk of dry eye symptoms with ICLs since no corneal tissue is removed.
SOLUTIONS FOR Vision Correction
If you have been told you cannot have laser vision correction and would like to explore your alternatives, contact our team at Chu Vision Institute in Bloomington, MN. We would be happy to share more about implantable lens options to improve your quality of sight and sharpen your vision. Both Visian ICL and the Verisyse Phakic IOL are minimally invasive lenses that have helped many patients become less dependent on prescription eyewear. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Chu.