Phakic Intraocular lenses (Phakic IOL’s) are lenses microscopically placed behind your cornea. These lenses are surgically implanted in highly nearsighted patients to reduce their dependence on thick glasses or contact lenses. This is often the procedure of choice for those patients who have been told their prescription is too severe for LASIK or their corneas are too thin to have LASIK.
Unlike LASIK or PRK, the Phakic IOL does not change the shape of the cornea. Rather, the lens is placed inside the eye, leaving the cornea untouched. Other names you will often hear for these lenses is “implantable contact lens” or “permanent contact lenses.” The natural crystalline lens is left in the eye (not removed like in cataract surgery or refractive lens exchange). Phakic IOL’s are designed to remain in the eye permanently, but can be removed if necessary.
What to Expect on the Day of Surgery:
Phakic IOL surgery is an outpatient procedure. The treatment takes about 15-20 minutes. Topical eye drops or local anesthesia is used along with mild sedation (twilight) to prepare you for surgery. A small incision is made in the cornea and the lens is gently placed inside the eye (you feel nothing). The lens is centered to the pupil of the eye. Typically, no sutures are needed to close the microscopic incision. Surgery is usually performed one eye at a time, but the fellow eye can typically be scheduled the following week.
Read more about Phakic IOL after the age of 40.
We will advise you on the use of eye drops after your surgery. The surgeon will see you in the office the next morning for a post-op visit. Most patients are able to return to a full schedule within a few days.
Cost and Financing:
The Phakic IOL procedure is an elective surgery. As a result, insurance companies typically do not cover this, however flex spending dollars can be allocated for the procedure. The typical costs that the patient will be responsible for are the cost of the surgery center facility fee, anesthesiologist, surgeons fee, phakic implant, eyedrops and postoperative care. The cost of a Phakic IOL procedure is approximately 50% higher than LASIK and can be completely reviewed by our surgical counselors. In addition, there are several financing options that allow you to fit the costs of this procedure into your monthly budget.