About this service
Phakic intraocular lenses (or implantable collamer lenses) are a well established alternative for patients who are not suitable for laser eye surgery. We have performed over 1,500 such surgeries at Mater Private, more than any other ophthalmology centre in Ireland.
Some patients are so short sighted (myopia) or long sighted (hyperopia) that they cannot be treated safely by laser eye surgery. Often these are the people who are troubled the most by their glasses prescription and with wearing glasses or contact lenses.
Another reason why patients might not be suitable for laser surgery is their corneas are too thin.
At the eye centre in Mater Private, we offer such patients a safe and extremely effective alternative to laser eye surgery, namely the implantation of phakic lenses inside the eye. They are called "phakic" because the eye's natural lens is left untouched.
The lens is placed in front of the natural lens. It is like having a contact lens inside your eye, negating the need for glasses or contact lenses. These lenses can correct shortsightedness up to – 23 Dioptres and long sightedness up to +12 Dioptres. They can also correct a high level of astigmatism. The procedure is also reversible.
In comparative studies phakic lens implantation has been shown to be as safe as laser eye surgery whilst possibly offering a better quality of vision, particularly at higher levels of correction. In addition this sort of surgery is not associated with dry eyes, glare or halo after surgery and may be better suited to patients with pre-existent dry eyes. Visual recovery is also rapid, with near normal vision just a few hours after surgery.