By Dr. Jean Keamy
Phakic Intraocular Lens or Phakic IOL presents another option for glasses free vision. With over 10 years of history, hundreds of thousands of phakic IOLs have been performed worldwide. In 2009, Stephen Holcomb, member of the 2010 Olympic USA Bobsled Team, had Phakic IOL procedure with the Visian lens since he no longer could wear contact lenses and could not have LASIK. He went on to win the Olympics the following year.
The Phakic IOL restores vision with the insertion of a very thin lens inside the eye.
The lens is positioned behind the iris in front of the natural lens. The surgery takes only 15 minutes in an outpatient facility with local anesthesia. Only one eye is operated on at a time. Like LASIK, this procedure has a quick recovery of only 1-2 days. Unlike LASIK or PRK, it does not contribute to dry eyes or glare at night. It also is ideal for patients with thin corneas or large pupils. Unlike other refractive procedures, it is reversible.
Phakic IOL is a good procedure for patients with moderate to high degrees of myopia.
Patients with moderate to low degrees of astigmatism can still be corrected with ICL.
The FDA has approved the procedure up to age 45; however, patients over 45 can have the procedure if they understand it is off label. Phakic IOLs can be inserted in patients with thin corneas.
Patients with any retinal pathology, glaucoma, or cataracts are not good candidates for elective refractive procedures. All refractive surgical options should be discussed with a refractive surgeon.
Dr. Jean Keamy is a board certified ophthalmologist specializing in LASIK, PRK, refractive surgery, cataract surgery, eye lid surgery, diseases of the eye and routine eye exams. She owns Keamy Eye & Laser Centre on 24 Lyman St. in Westborough and can be reached at 508-836-8733. Learn more at www.seemedrkeamy.com or www.facebook.com/Keamyeye. Archives of numerous articles from previous issues can be read at www.fiftyplusadvocate.com.