When it comes to choosing between LASIK surgery and Visian ICL, it ultimately depends on an individual’s unique factors. Some patients are generally better suited for one procedure over the other, depending on their particular needs. There are numerous differences between these two procedures.
LASIK is a procedure that can correct myopia, hyperopia, or astigmatism by reshaping the lasik eye cornea using an excimer laser. Visian ICL only works for nearsightedness. It is like having a permanent contact lens, so the cornea’s shape remains unchanged.
LASIK surgery can correct more refractive errors, but people with thin corneas or chronic dry eye may opt for Visian ICLs to avoid potential side effects. LASIK surgery is a less expensive, shorter procedureand has a faster recovery time compared to Visian ICL. The lenses used with Visian ICL could have a potentially lower risk of side effects, may offer better long-term correction, and can be removed if needed.
The decision of which procedure is optimal for you is ultimately up to you and your eye doctor. Your eye professional can advise you on which option will work best for your situation.
Visian ICL vs LASIK
LASIK and Visian implantable Collamer lenses (ICLs) are very different technologies that can correct your refractive error to 20/40 visual clarity or better in certain circumstances. Before deciding which works best for your needs, it is essential to understand both refractive procedures.
Although there are many types of laser eye surgery to restore vision impediments, LASIK surgery remains the most recognized and commonly performed variety. This outpatient operation can correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism to give you 20/40 vision.
The process takes about 20 minutes per eye, which involves preparing for the operation. The surgeon will administer eye drops to your eyes and a device from holding your eyelids open. Then, a microkeratome will cut a flap from the cornea’s top.
Next, an excimer laser will remove tiny tissue from strategic locations inside the cornea to change its shape. In addition, the flap will be put back in place, and you will go home to relax.
Many people have the excellent vision the next day, although you might experience dry eyes, glares or halos around lights, and some blurry vision for a few days. Most people experience a gradual decrease in these symptoms over six months as their eyes heal.
Although some surgery involves Visian implantable Collamer lenses, no lasers will remove tissue from the cornea to reshape your eye. Instead, Visian ICLs are new brands of phakic intraocular lenses (IOLs) like permanent contact lenses. Staar Surgical makes Visian ICLs, designed to be implanted in front of your natural lens but behind the iris. They were approved for adults use by the United States Food and Drug Administration in 2005 to treat nearsightedness.
Unlike LASIK surgery, Visian ICLs and other types of phakic IOLs do not treat other refractive errors, like farsightedness. If you have astigmatism and myopia, you may experience some improvement in your astigmatism, but they don’t only treat just astigmatism.
Like LASIK surgery, the implantation process for these flexible Collamer lenses takes about 15 minutes per eye, using a tiny incision from a laser. Recovery time after this procedure is slightly longer than LASIK, with vision returning to almost total clarity after seven days. Although healing takes more time, Visian ICLs come with fewer side effects.
Pros and Cons of LASIK and Visian ICL
Millions of people worldwide have improved vision thanks to this simple, well-tested laser-based procedure. Side effects can negatively impact your life, but these are generally minor and quickly improve during the healing process. Serious side effects are infrequent.
LASIK is quick and inexpensive. If you want to correct both eyes, you will be in your doctor’s office for about 30 minutes.
LASIK operation costs vary depending on where you live, but the average price is between $2,000 and $3,500 per eye. Since more people are pursuing LASIK surgery and the overall costs are reducing, your vision insurance may cover some part of the procedure.
Although you can’t drive home and should relax your eyes for the rest of the day after LASIK surgery, you should have a decent vision for most low-impact tasks the following day. It doesn’t require taking time off work.
There are side effects that can last up to six months. Side effects can include halos or glares around lights, dry eyes, and poor night vision, though these generally improve within the months following surgery. Serious complications are infrequent, with LASIK being considered one of the safest surgical procedures.
Certain medical conditions prevent you from getting LASIK surgery, such as some types of autoimmune diseases. After the surgery, you may have to wait for days or weeks to play sports, especially swimming. If your refractive error changes again, you might have lost much corneal tissue to get another LASIK procedure safely.
These lenses are not as prevalent as LASIK and are only suitable for nearsighted people. However, myopia is the most commonly known refractive error. If you have complications that make you an illegible candidate for LASIK surgery, Visian ICL may be your best option.
If you have thin corneas or a problem like chronic dry eye, Visian ICLs are a much better option than LASIK. If something happens to the lenses or your eyes, your surgeon can remove the lens, although it is not advisable. In contrast, you cannot reverse LASIK surgery.
The surgical procedure for Visian ICL takes less than 20 minutes per eye, slightly longer than LASIK, but it is still a fast outpatient procedure. Fewer side effects, especially dry eye, are associated with Visian ICLs.
Visian ICL is more expensive than LASIK — about $8,000 to $9,000 per eye compared to the fast, cheap laser procedure. That is because fewer eye surgeons specialize in ICL.
Your vision can still experience under-correction or overcorrection during a Visian ICL procedure, as with LASIK surgery. You may need additional refractive procedures to reposition the contact if they slide.
On a final note
Suppose you’re a good candidate for LASIK surgery. In that case, your eye doctor will likely recommend this procedure over Visian ICL simply because it is more accessible, more doctors have the experience and licence to perform it, and it’s less expensive.
If you are an eligible candidate for Visian ICL or prefer this treatment to LASIK surgery, discuss the option with your optometrist. They can advise you on the best option that will be optimal for your particular situation and give you the best long-term results.