If you are a poor candidate for LASIK surgery because you have thin corneas or extremely high degrees of myopia, our practice offers you the option of phakic IOLs. Phakic IOLs are lenses that are surgically implanted in the eye (between the cornea and the iris) in order to correct myopia. The implants look similar to contact lenses and correct vision in the same way, by altering the way light enters the eye. However, instead of refracting light from the eye's surface, phakic IOLs function from within the eye. Unlike LASIK surgery, placing phakic IOLs is a completely reversible process; if necessary, the implants can simply be removed.
Before placing a phakic IOL, your surgeon will first insert eye drops into your eye to reduce pupil size. He or she will then numb your eye with a local anesthetic and place an instrument to hold your eyelid open during the procedure. After making an incision in the eye, the surgeon will insert the phakic IOL and attach it to your iris (the colored portion of your eye). The wound will then be closed with tiny, dissolvable stitches. The entire procedure requires about 15 to 30 minutes. Afterward, you will be asked to wear an eye shield for a short period of time.
As with most procedures, there is a small risk of complications following the placement of a phakic IOL. These rare risks include an increased chance of retinal detachment, inflammation, infection, cataracts, and a possible loss of cells in the thin layer covering the cornea
Phakic IOLs vs. IOLs Used in Cataract Surgery
Phakic IOLs are somewhat similar to the IOLs used in cataract surgery. However, there is an important distinction. In cataract surgery, an IOL is used to replace a natural lens that has turned cloudy. Phakic IOLs, on the other hand, are placed into eyes that retain their natural lenses.
For more information about Phakic IOLs, contact New England Eye Center today.