Phakic Lens Implants
Some patients are better suited to have an additional lens implant, without removal of their own natural lens. This type of procedure may be suitable for those who are not suitable for laser vision correction surgery (e.g. very short-sighted individuals) and who do not wish to have their own natural lens removed, e.g. because they are young and their own lens can still accommodate.
Phakic lens implants are of two main types, those that are placed behind the pupil, just in front of the natural lens, and those that are placed in front of the pupil, in the anterior chamber. They are also, sometimes, referred to as piggyback lenses.
Each lens type has its own limitations, with those in front of the pupil implicated in possible damage to the cornea and glaucoma, whilst those behind the pupil may possibly touch the natural lens and induce cataract formation.
The Visian ICL by Staar is an Implantable Collamer Lens which floats just in front of the natural lens.
Alcon’s Cachet phakic lens is an example of a lens designed to sit in front of the pupil.
There are also lens implants which can be fixed to intraocular structures such as the iris.
This photo shows an Artisan iris clip lens implant, positioned in front of the pupil.