Intraocular ICL lens implantation
The essence of refractive vision correction using an intraocular lens is to place an artificial lens over the natural eye lens through a thin incision that is just several millimetres wide and made in the front area of the eye. This corrects the refractive error. During refractive vision correction with intraocular ICL contact lens implantation, the ICL is placed behind the iris, directly on the natural eye lens, which enables the preservation of the natural eye lens and its accommodation. This lens can also be used in patients with a shallow anterior eye chamber and a lower density of endothelial cells on the posterior corneal surface.
Using tested lens materials
Intraocular lenses are made of plastic polymer that has already been used in cataract surgery for over 50 years and that is proven to be well tolerated by the eye. The most modern lenses are manufactured from a flexible material that allows us to insert them into eye bent. This means that the size of the incision required for insertion is even smaller and measures approximately three millimetres, which ensures even faster recovery after surgery and also contributes to diminished risk of postoperative complications.
Advantages and disadvantages
The advantage of refractive vision correction surgery with intraocular lens insertion is that corneal tissue for remodelling the surface of the eye is not removed and the natural eye lens remains intact. Due to its small size, the intraocular lens is not noticeable without magnification and does not change the eye's appearance. A disadvantage lies primarily in the fact that this surgery does not correct age-related farsightedness, so it is suitable only for younger people with preserved eye accommodation. After the age of 40, age-related farsightedness begins to appear in all people so that individuals with an inserted intraocular lens later also need glasses for visual acuity. If cataracts develops, the intraocular lens must be removed and replaced with a multifocal lens.
Surgery and recovery
The procedure of intraocular lens insertion is an outpatient surgery that is performed under local anaesthesia. The entire procedure takes about 20 to 30 minutes and is entirely painless. It is usually first performed on one eye and two to three weeks later, also on the other eye. Recovery from the procedure is rapid and eyesight is usually already entirely normal on the day after surgery. Recovery from this surgery is similar to recovery from refractive vision correction laser surgery. Reading for a long period of time, working on the computer and watching television must be avoided in the first days after surgery. It is possible that the patient temporarily becomes slightly more sensitive to strong light, experiences glare from light and that the operated eye is more teary than usual.
The LASEK method, which we use to correct refractive error in nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, is used in patients who have a very thin cornea. This applies to approximately 5 percent of our patients. The essential advantage of surface smoothing techniques is that they are technically less demanding, while the disadvantage is that the restoration of visual acuity is slower after surgery.
It sounds complicated, and if we wanted to explain all the details, it is, but the basic principles of this technique can also be described in a relatively simple and comprehensive manner. The word Wavefront can literally be explained as a frontal wave, a principle that is well known in the field of optical physics, a science that is concerned with the bending of light. Wavefront analysis measures changes in the wavelength of light as it is sent through a type of medium.
Age-related farsightedness can successfully be treated with the insertion of a special, multifocal lens that enables good near and far visual acuity. The best results of this type of surgery are achieved in patients in which age-related farsightedness appears alongside an already present refractive error, regardless of whether this is nearsightedness or farsightedness.