Implantable Collamer Lens in San Antonio

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What is an Implantable Collamer Lens?

An implantable collamer lens, or ICL, is a small, injectable lens that is inserted behind the iris through a small 3mm incision. Also referred to as a phakic IOL, an ICL does not require the natural lens of the eye to be removed. Instead, an ICL implant is injected behind the iris (colored part of the eye), where neither you nor an observer will be able to detect it. The quick procedure takes less than five minutes and is performed on one eye at a time.

The ICL provides predictable outcomes, excellent quality of vision, and is designed to remain in place without maintenance. If there are any major changes in vision, the ICL can easily be removed and replaced. The biocompatible collamer used in the ICL helps maintain the natural chemistry of the eye and can help prevent dry eye syndrome. It also contains an ultraviolet light filter to help protect the eye and reduce the risk of macular degeneration. The ICL implant is a great alternative for patients who may not be candidates for LASIK, PRK, or Refractive Lens Exchange.

Visian® Toric ICL in San Antonio

At San Antonio Eye Specialists, we offer several vision correction procedures beyond LASIK surgery, such as the Visian® Toric ICL. Patients with a high amount of nearsightedness and astigmatism may benefit from the Visian® Toric Implantable Collamer Lens. Prior to 2018, FDA-approved ICL implants did not correct astigmatism. Refractive surgeons would have to perform two separate procedures: an ICL surgery for nearsightedness, followed by a LASIK or PRK laser surgery to correct astigmatism. With recent FDA approval of STAAR Surgical’s Visian® Toric ICL, patients can now have a single surgery to correct both nearsightedness and astigmatism. In fact, the majority of patients who receive the Visian® ICL achieve 20/20 vision or better and do not require contact lenses or glasses after surgery. It is truly revolutionary in the eye world.

EVO Visian ICL in San Antonio

STAAR Surgical introduced the FDA-approved EVO Visian Implantable Collamer Lens (EVO ICL) in the USA in March, 2022. To be clear, this is not a new technology as a million recipients have received it globally. ICL's have been successfully implanted since 1993, but what makes the EVO ICL unique is that this lens removes a once necessary step prior to surgery, the need for a peripheral iridotomy (YAG PI) which was needed to perforate the iris. The EVO ICL has a central lens perforation that does not impact the lens optics and allows the flow of aqueous fluid around the lens and anterior eye chamber without anatomically altering the iris. This is a long awaited technology.

The EVO Visian ICL is a biocompatible implantable lens designed to be used in phakic eye treatment for patients ages 21 to 45 with mild to severe myopia (-3D to -20D). EVO ICL is a viable and sometimes, only surgical vision correction option, for patients not suitable candidates for LASIK. Unlike LASIK, the EVO lens can be implanted in a reasonably quick surgical procedure lasting about 15 minutes per eye involving no removal of corneal tissue. Furthermore, the lens is removable by a surgeon. Patients seeking visual freedom with thin corneas and not ideal LASIK candidates can still enjoy a physically active lifestyle and find solace in this effective EVO ICL technology that provides UV protection and ease of living.

Friendly SAES staff examining a patient's eyes

Am I Candidate for ICL?

The best candidates for ICL are patients between the ages of 21 and 45 with moderate to severe nearsightedness, as it can generally treat myopia between -3.00 to -16.00 diopters. The Toric ICL can treat myopia between -3.00 to -15.00 diopters with 1.00 to 4.00 diopters of astigmatism. Patients with higher amounts of myopia or astigmatism may benefit from a bitoric procedure that combines ICL and LASIK. Additionally, patients should not have had any previous ophthalmic surgeries and should not have a history of eye diseases, such as glaucoma, iritis, or diabetic retinopathy. If you are nearsighted with astigmatism, then an ICL may be a viable option for you. Contact our office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Iskander and discuss your treatment options.

Find Out If You're a Candidate
Smiling Dr. Iskander

Why Choose San Antonio Eye Specialists?

Our founder, Dr. Nader Iskander, is a board-certified ophthalmologist with over 25 years of experience performing thousands of refractive vision correction procedures. As one of the few fellowship-trained refractive surgeons in South Texas, Dr. Iskander is highly regarded in his field and is often sought out by colleagues as an expert in complex cases where a solution is needed. Dr. Iskander’s experience with the Visian® ICL started more than 20 years in 1999 during his fellowship at the Gimbel Eye Centre in Canada prior to its FDA approval in the United States. He was also one of the first surgeons in the country to implant the innovative Visian® Toric ICL. By staying up to date with revolutionary technologies and innovative surgical procedures, Dr. Iskander and his esteemed team at San Antonio Eye Specialists provide their patients with the highest quality of care.

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See What Our Patients Are Saying

"I had the Toric ICL performed by Dr. Iskander and couldn’t be happier with my results. The overall experience was wonderful! From the initial consultation, Dr. Iskander took the time to ease my concerns and explained all the options available and the best treatment for my vision. His team is knowledgeable and delivers excellent customer service. Thank you all for making this such a wonderful experience! For your eyes, don’t compromise!!! Thank you again!"

- Crystal D.

"I recently had a Toric ICL implant and it has been a great experience. It’s truly life changing. I have worn glasses for 12 years and I had a really high prescription and astigmatism, which was able to be corrected with this procedure. I am 18 years old and my prescription had stabilized. I can wake up now and see, I no longer have to worry about putting on contact lenses or wearing glasses. The office faculty are really nice and understanding. They never let you leave with questions and explain everything thoroughly. Throughout my whole time at the office I always felt welcomed, comfortable,  and confident that I was in good hands. I recommend! Dr. Iskander and Dr. Urbina are the best!"

- Abigail G.

Paying for ICL Implants in San Antonio

Implantable Collamer Lens, or ICL implants, are elective procedures and are not covered by insurance carriers. At San Antonio Eye Specialists, we believe patients should have the option to upgrade to a premium lens and reduce their dependence on glasses, if possible, so we proudly offer financing options with our partners, ALPHAEON Credit and CareCredit. We also accept FSAs and HSAs to help offset the cost of ICL’s. To learn more about our payment options, visit our Financing page or contact our office.

Frequently Asked Questions About ICL Implants

What are the benefits of an ICL?

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The Visian ICL™ is used to correct a wide range of myopia without the need to remove corneal tissue, like an IOL implant procedure. The ICL is a small, foldable lens that is injected through a tiny 3mm incision that does not require sutures. The ICL provides excellent quality of vision and optical performance due to its placement inside the eye. The lens is made of collamer, which provides unparalleled biocompatibility.

Do ICLs dry out or get dirty?

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No, unlike a contact lens, the Visian ICL™ is designed to remain in place within the eye without requiring maintenance. Dr. Iskander recommends an annual eye examination to ensure everything is fine, but generally we see little to no change in the ICL’s placement or performance over time.

Is the ICL visible?

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No. Because the ICL is positioned behind the iris, neither you nor an observer will be able to detect its placement with the naked eye.

Have additional questions? Visit our FAQ page or contact San Antonio Eye Specialists to learn more about ICL implants in San Antonio.

Improve Your Vision With Implantable Collamer Lenses

If you’re tired of dealing with the hassle of contacts or glasses, ICL implants may be the solution you’re looking for! Contact the refractive specialists at San Antonio Eye Specialists to schedule a complimentary consultation and discuss your options.