Denver Visian Implantable Collamer Lens [ICL] for Non-LASIK Candidates

The Visian Implantable Collamer Lens [ICL] is a solution for patients with thick glasses or high amounts of nearsightedness.  For the first time, the Visian ICL offers freedom from the hassles of contacts and eyeglasses to those who would otherwise not be a refractive surgery candidate for LASIK or PRK.

Visian ICL


What is the “Phakic” Visian implantable collamer lens (ICL)?

Learn More About the Visian ICL

The Visian Implantable Contact Lens (ICL) is a unique wafer-thin, highly flexible lens made of bio-collagen. The ICL is placed inside the eye behind the iris [colored part of the eye] but in front of the natural lens making it invisible. It’s called a phakic [Latin for Lens] lens since the natural crystalline lens is not removed. It received FDA approval in 2004, and since then 700,000 ICLs have been implanted world-wide.

Visian ICL Placed Behind the Iris

What are the advantages of ICL surgery over LASIK?

ICL surgery has already overtaken LASIK or PRK for some patients with high myopia due to several reasons including:

  • Less Dry Eye
  • Shorter Recovery Times
  • Better Contrast Vision
  • Permanent Yet Removable [The ICL Can Be Replaced Or Removed If Necessary]
  • No Tissue Removal Necessary. All Laser Procedures, On The Other Hand, Irretrievably Remove Corneal Tissue.
  • Established Safety For Individuals Who Are Not Safe Candidates For LASIK [Dry Eyes, Thin Corneas, High Refractive Error]

No Dry Eye


What are the advantages over contact lenses?

Simply Your Daily Regimen


Enjoy the freedom of not worrying about daily contact lens maintenance and problems that can occur from everday activities such as swimming. There is also the potential to save $18,000 over 20 years due to recurring costs of contacts, solutions, back-up glasses, vision exams, and artificial tears for dry eyes, a common condition in Denver.

What does the Visian ICL Cost?

Cost of the Visian ICL


The Visian is an affordable alternative to a lifetime of wearing contacts. The cost of the Visian ICL in Denver starts at $2700 per eye.

What Quality of Vision Can I Expect After ICL Surgery?

ICL surgery has a long track record of safety and high patient satisfaction. The ICL was first developed in 1992 and reach worldwide use from 2005 onwards. An FDA study in 2005 showed there was a 0.6% dissatisfaction rate. A follow-up study found 99% of patients were very satisfied and would recommend the procedure. In comparison to LASIK, the quality of ICL vision is superior. Nighttime vision is superb with significantly fewer halos due to less induced aberrations and a larger optical zone.


  • 99% of patients were satisfied with their results
  • 97% of patients would be willing to have the procedure again
  • 94% of patients rate their quality of vision as excellent to good

Who are the best candidates for ICL surgery?

The Visian ICL is also known as the “high myopia lens” since it’s capable of correcting individuals with thick glasses or high amounts of near-sightedness beyond the range of LASIK. Astigmatism can also be treated at the time of surgery by using corneal astigmatic incisions. In some cases of high refractive errors and astigmatism, two procedures (eg LASIK + ICL) can be combined if necessary.

Treats Non-Lasik Candidates


Can I get this lens if I’m really active?

Yes! Since 2006 the US Military eye surgeons have implanted 10,000 Visian ICLs. This is a testament to how the lens functions in the harshest conditions. The Visian ICL is perfect for an active Denver lifestyle.


What Happens When I Need Cataract Surgery?

Reversible Option


An important benefit of the ICL is that it provides future treatment flexibility. Inevitably, vision changes with age and almost everyone will need cataract surgery. Because the Visian ICL is reversible and maintains natural eye anatomy, measurements required for cataract surgery are more precise. This ensures a positive cataract surgery outcome in the future.

What is the recovery from ICL surgery?

The recovery for the Visian ICL is quick due to the small size of the opening needed to implant the lens. There is usually minimal discomfort, and many times you can go back to work within 1-2 days. You’ll be back to enjoying all of Denver’s many activities in a few days.

Quick Surgery And Recovery


Can the Visian ICL surgery fix astigmatism?

Astigmatism up to 2.5D can be treated at the time of surgery. There is a new Visian Toric ICL that is currently undergoing FDA trials.



Can ICL surgery fix presbyopia?

Pentacam Image Shows Safe ICL Positioning


Unfortunately, the ICL cannot correct presbyopia. A prerequisite for ICL surgery is that implantation takes place before the onset of presbyopia. This ensures there is enough space in the eye so that the ICL can be safely positioned. A great way to correct presbyopia is refractive lens exchange with the use of a premium intraocular lens [Symfony IOL]

Is there an age limit for ICL collagen lens implantation?

The best results are expected for the ages between 18 and 45 years.

How long does the ICL last?

The “lifetime” of the ICL collagen lens is estimated to be around 90 years. It’s guaranteed for your lifetime.

Soft But Durable Lens


When should I stop wearing my contacts?

Stop wearing soft contact lenses one week before and hard contacts three weeks before the first eye examination. Between the exam and surgery, contact lenses can be worn until three days before surgery.

What are the ICL procedure steps?

Implantation of the VISIAN ICL in 4 steps


The implantation takes about 7 to 10 minutes per eye. Due to the necessary preparations, your stay in the OR is about 60 minutes. Both eyes are operated on the same day. The Steps of the surgery are:

  • Mild anesthesia by mouth with Xanax to make the procedure more comfortable
  • Introduction of the ICL lens through a small corneal incision with no suture
  • Placement of the ICL lens behind the iris so that it is not visible from the outside.

Comparsion chart: ICL vs LASIK vs PRK

Visian ICLLasikPRK
Vision Quality
Sharp, Clear visionYes1YesYes
Patient Experience
Outpatient procedureYesYesYes
20-30 minute procedureYesYesYes
Contributes to dry eye syndromeNo, does not induce
dry eye syndrome2
Long term historyYesYesYes
Safety Features
Removable or reversibleYes, RemovableNo, Not ReversibleNo, Not Reversible
Biocompatible lensYesNA, Laser basedNA, Laser based
UV protectionYesNoNo
Patient Types
NearsightednessModerate to severeMild to moderateMild to moderate
Thin corneasYes5LimitedLimited
  1. Sanders D. Vukich JA. Comparison of implantable collamer lens (ICL) and laserassisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) for Low Myopia. Cornea. 2006 Dec; 25(10):1139-46
  2. Naves, J.S. Carracedo, G. Cacho-Babillo, I. Diadenosine Nucleotid Measurements as Dry-Eye Score in Patients After LASIK and ICL Surgery. Presented at American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) 2012.
  3. Shoja, MR. Besharati, MR. Dry eye after LASIK for myopia: Incidence and risk factors. European Journal of Ophthalmology. 2007; 17(1): pp. 1-6.
  4. Lee, Jae Bum et al. Comparison of tear secretion and tear film instability after photorefractive keratectomy and laser in situ keratomileusis. Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery, Volume 26 , Issue 9, 1326 - 1331.
  5. Parkhurst, G. Psolka, M. Kezirian, G. Phakic intraocular lens implantantion in United States military warfighters: A retrospective analysis of early clinical outcomes of the Visian ICL. J Refract Surg. 2011;27(7):473-481.

Schedule an Evaluation with Dr. Anderson to Determine if the Visian ICL is Right for You

Feel free to contact Dr. Anderson with any questions about the Visian ICL. Refractive surgical procedures are rapidly evolving with several new options available for vision correction other than LASIK. Dr. Anderson is a leading Denver Visian ICL Surgeon and ICL surgery is one of the many refractive surgery procedures that Dr. Anderson offers to correct your vision.

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