Phakic Intraocular Lenses
Phakic intraocular lenses are used when Excimer laser treatment is unsuitable due to the extent of the patient’s short- or long-sightedness or because the cornea is too thin or irregular. When a patient’s prescription is particularly strong, the Excimer laser must remove a thicker elevated layer of the cornea meaning that the structure of the cornea is altered, the quality of vision impaired and that there is a risk of complications. Phakic lenses offer sharper vision than the Excimer laser for patients that have a strong prescription.
Phakic lenses are both very fine and flexible and made from a biocompatible material. They are placed inside the eye to correct short-sightedness, long-sightedness and/or astigmatism. The phakic lens is inserted without touching the eye’s natural crystalline lens. Depending on where they are located in eye, phakic lenses are classified as the following:
Posterior chamber phakic lenses or ICLs (Implanted Contact Lens) placed behind the iris.
Anterior chamber phakic lenses, Cachet lenses or Artiflex lenses placed in front of the iris.
Another advantage that phakic lenses have is that the procedure is completely reversible. If, for whatever reason, it was necessary for lens to be removed then the patient’s sight would return to how it was before the operation. In some cases, Lasik and Phakic intraocular lens procedures can be combined to correct errors in vision that cannot be solved with just one procedure.