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.
"I had LASIK at Chu Vision last week and couldn’t recommend them highly enough. They provided a great consultation and advised on the best procedure for my eyes. Every detail (large and small) was planned for, and the whole process was very smooth. Best investment I’ve ever made!"- J.M. / Google / Apr 26, 2021
"I had LASIK performed by Dr. Chu and the entire experience was wonderful. All of the staff members were extremely nice and helpful - from the check in person who coordinated my visit to the tech who explained what all of the tests were and why they were needed during my evaluation appointment. Dr. Chu personally has a web call with you a few days before your surgery to ensure you do not have any other questions and are still comfortable with moving forward. The day of the surgery, Dr. Chu checks in with you right before you enter the laser room, performs the surgery himself, and then follows up immediately after by looking at your eyes to ensure everything went well. Chu Institute isn't the cheapest LASIK option, but it is clear why they are viewed as a leader in this field throughout the nation. From the knowledge and professionalism of the staff, to the attention that is received from Dr. Chu himself, to the best and latest technology to ensure the optimal results for your vision, they are worth the little extra. I personally wouldn't want my procedure done through a Groupon on a 10 year old laser system - your eyes are worth more than that."- P.P. / Google / Mar 11, 2021
"I cannot say enough! I got LASIK through Chu Vision and everyone was informative and friendly throughout the entire process. They still answer every question with a smile! 11 out of 10 experience!"- C.F. / Facebook / Feb 11, 2021
"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’m so impressed with Chu Vision!! Everything inside is totally sanitized and they have a state of the art filtration system. I have never felt safer! It’s so clean, you could eat off the floor. The entire staff is incredible! Everyone is so friendly, welcoming and professional. I have been going to Chu Vision for the past 10 years and I will never go anywhere else. Thank you for your wonderful service!"- J.T. / Google / Dec 19, 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.