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Visian ICL updates

posted Feb 21, 2012, 7:36 PM by Jen Weigel   [ updated Feb 22, 2012, 3:48 PM ]
STAAR Surgical recently announced some major updates to their line of Implantable Collamer Lenses (ICL).  Their recent press release noted two major updates:

First:  "The Visian ICL and TICL V4c, with STAAR's CentraFLOW proprietary technology, received CE Mark approval in April 2011. CentraFLOW eliminates the need for the surgeon to perform a YAG peripheral iridotomy procedure days before the ICL implant. The result is more comfort for the patient and a more convenient, efficient ICL experience for both the patient and the surgeon.  The Company launched sales of the Visian ICL V4c in Europe in the fourth quarter of 2011."

Currently, patients have three rounds of surgical treatment when they are preparing for bilateral ICLs.  They must first have PIs OU one week, and then each ICL is done like traditional cataract surgery, one eye at a time.  Here's a really good article on why they currently do PIs to prevent pupillary block and angle closure with ICLs.

The introduction of CentraFLOW technology seems to reduce the amount of time needed to get ICL patients to successful vision.  Less down time for the patient is a nice benefit to them.  I wonder how not having to do the PIs will affect the price point of the ICL procedure.

Second:  "In November, the Company received approval to market its Visian Toric ICL in Japan.  This was an important milestone for STAAR, providing access to a very large market for myopia and astigmatism solutions.  In Japan, approximately 40% of the population has myopia as compared with 15% to 28% in the rest of the world.  In addition 50% of these patients experience some degree of astigmatism as compared to 30% in the rest of the world.  Only 445 of the 11,200 ophthalmologists in Japan perform laser refractive surgery. The Visian ICL allows surgeons in Japan to participate in the refractive market with a procedure that does not require an investment in capital equipment." 

I can't wait until this Visian Toric ICL comes to the States!  Currently, ICLs only come in spherical corrections for myopia in the US.  Often times, small amounts of refractive astigmatism become negligible when vertexed back to the plane of the ICL.  For patients with larger amounts of astigmatism, they would have to consider an LRI or LASIK to correct their residual prescription.  Having the Toric ICL would be a great option for these patients.

Poor hyperopes ... I wonder when their ICL is coming to the US also.  Hyperopic ICLs are only available outside of the US.  - jw

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