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Refractive Lens Exchange / Phakic IOLs

LASIK laser vision correction is not suitable for everyone.  Due to age, previous eye surgeries and other eye conditions, other vision correction options maybe be a better fit.  Advancements in IOL (intraocular lens) technology, clear vision without the need for glasses and contact lenses is an option for more people than ever!  We encourage you to read about these options and schedule an appointment at Chicago Cornea Consultants™ to learn more!

Refractive Lens Exchange

Traditionally, presbyopia, which happens to all of us as we age, has always meant glasses are necessary for clear reading vision. Presbyopia cannot be corrected with vision correction surgeries such as LASIK. Luckily, there is an option – refractive lens exchange. Refractive lens exchange is allowing patients an alternative to reading glasses by using an advanced multifocal intraocular lens. Here at Chicago Cornea Consultants™, we use Alcon PanOptix trifocal IOL, AMO Tecnis, as well as the Bausch + Lomb Crystalens™, which replaces the eye’s natural lens during refractive lens exchange.

Intraocular Lens Examples

While LASIK concentrates on correcting the cornea, refractive lens exchange replaces the natural lens of your eye with an advanced multifocal or accommodating intraocular lens (IOL), allowing clear vision up close, far away and in between. Additionally, patients undergoing the refractive lens exchange procedure will never have to worry about cataracts as they age, since the advanced intraocular lens will remain clear.

Refractive lens exchange is best suited for older patients who are hyperopic (farsighted) or myopic (nearsighted) and want to lessen their dependence on reading glasses. To find out if a refractive lens exchange is right for you, contact us today!

The Refractive Lens Exchange Procedure

During the refractive lens exchange procedure at Chicago Cornea Consultants™, a small incision is made at the edge of the cornea. A special probe is inserted through the incision to gently break up and suction out the natural lens. An intraocular lens implant is then inserted into place. The entire refractive lens exchange procedure is completed in about 20 to 25 minutes, and visual recovery is rapid.

Cataract Surgery Chart

What are the Benefits of Refractive Lens Exchange?

There are several advantages to the refractive lens exchange procedure, including:

  • Quick visual recovery
  • Permanent results without the use of a laser
  • Eliminates the need for cataract surgery in the future
  • Eliminates the dependence on glasses and contact lenses

If you would like to learn more about the exciting opportunities refractive lens exchange has to offer, contact Chicago Cornea Consultants™ today in Chicago, Highland Park or Hoffman Estates to schedule a personal consultation.

Phakic IOL’s

Artisan Phakic Intraocular Lenses

In October 2004, the FDA approved the long-awaited Artisan phakic intraocular lens. The Artisan technology, now available from Chicago Cornea Consultants™, enables even the most nearsighted individual (up to –20D myopia) to enjoy freedom from dependence on glasses and contact lenses. The Artisan lens has been used in more than 150,000 procedures over the past 18 years by European doctors, so patients can be assured that the lens is safe and effective. Adding to this reassurance, though the Artisan procedure is meant to be permanent, it can be reversed if a patient prefers. The doctors of Chicago Cornea Consultants™, Ltd. have performed the Artisan procedure on numerous patients, and they and their patients have been impressed with the exceptional outcomes.

Click the following links to learn more about the Artisan Phakic IOL, known as  ArtiLens™ and how it is used.

Learn More

Click on the images below to read Time magazine features about the Artisan procedure now offered by Chicago Cornea Consultants™.

Cover of Time Magazine Cover of Time Magazine

Staar Visian ICL™ — A Solution to Nearsightedness

In addition to the Artisan lens, the FDA has recently approved the Staar Visian™ Intraocular Collamer Lens ( ICL). Chicago Cornea Consultants™, Ltd. is proud to be among the first practices in the area to perform the Staar Visian ICL™ procedure, featured recently in a Chicago Tribune news story.

Many vision correction procedures promise an improved level of vision, but few vision correction options offer the quality and features found with the Visian ICL.

Benefits of the Visian ICL

  • Does not induce dry eye syndrome
  • Sharp, Clear Vision
  • Excellent Night Vision
  • Great for those with thin corneas
  • Built in UV protection
  • A typically quick, 20-30 minute or less procedure and most people are able to resume daily activities in just a few short days with clearer vision
  • Treats moderate to high myopia (nearsightedness).
  • Removability for your peace of mind.

The advantage of the Visian ICL is that it can permanently correct your vision, yet no natural tissue is removed in any way during the procedure. If for the unlikely reason you need or wish to remove your Visian ICLs in the future, your doctor can accommodate you.

Know Your Options, Visian ICL Brochure Understanding the Visian ICL Brochure

The Staar Visian ICL™ presents a way for patients who struggle with up to –15D myopia to forego the nuisance of contact lenses and clumsy glasses and attain excellent vision. The Visian ICL™ is made to strict specifications from Collamer. Collamer is a proprietary, highly biocompatible material derived from pure collagen and a hydrophilic copolymer with a UV absorbing chromophore. Used for more than 15 years in thousands of procedures in Europe and the United States, the Collamer-based Staar Visian ICL™ has an excellent safety profile.

Visian ICL Comparison Chart

The Staar Visian ICL™ Surgery

The Staar Visian ICL™ surgery is performed in a Chicago Cornea Consultants™, Ltd. operating room, with local anesthesia, on an outpatient basis. The procedure is relatively painless and causes little postoperative discomfort. Like the Verisyse™ lens, the Staar Visian ICL™ is a phakic intraocular lens that sits on the natural crystalline lens in each of your eyes. In the Visian ICL™ procedure, your Chicago Cornea Consultants™, Ltd. eye surgeon performs the following steps:

1. About two weeks before performing the Staar Visian ICL™ procedure, your Chicago Cornea Consultants™ surgeon will perform a laser iridotomy on each eye. A tiny hole is made by a laser in the iris to allow fluid to move between the front chamber of the eye and the Visian ICL™.

2. Prior to performing the Staar Visian ICL™ surgery, your Chicago Cornea Consultants™ surgeon will numb each of your eyes with eye drops. No other anesthesia is necessary. Then the actual surgery proceeds. Your surgeon will make three microscopic incisions, one central and two side port, where the iris (the colored part) meets the white part of the eye.

3. Next, a gel-like substance is injected into the eye. Your surgeon then injects the Staar Visian ICL™ into the central incision so that it sits on the eye’s natural crystalline lens.

4. After it is placed in the eye, the Staar Visian ICL™ gently unfolds, and your Chicago Cornea Consultants™ surgeon aligns it perfectly over the crystalline lens. The surgery is now complete! Because the incisions are so small, they heal quickly. There is no need for stitches of any kind.


The Staar Visian ICL™ surgery takes about 15 minutes from beginning to end. After completing the procedure, your Chicago Cornea Consultants™, Ltd. surgeon will prescribe some eye drops for you, and a return checkup visit will be scheduled for you the following day. A friend will drive you home so that you can rest for a few hours, and then you will begin your new life with excellent vision.

Who is a Candidate for the Staar Visian ICL™ Procedure?

The Staar Visian ICL™ procedure is an excellent choice for patients aged 21 to 45 who are nearsighted or who have thin corneas. In addition, if you have been denied LASIK surgery because of chronically dry eyes or oversize pupils, Staar Visian ICL™ may be able to provide the vision correction you desire. If you have had previous eye surgery, including LASIK, you may be unable to have the Staar Visian ICL™ procedure. Likewise, those who have had an ophthalmic disease such as glaucoma may not be able to have Staar Visian ICL™.

Staar Visian ICL™ and Artisan — Quick, Safe, and Effective

The Staar Visian ICL™ and Artisan procedures truly offer our patients a quick, pain-free, and highly safe and effective way to correct myopia. If you are nearsighted and have been turned down for LASIK or other vision correction procedures, Staar Visian ICL™ or Artisan may be just the answer you’ve been seeking. Call or come to any of our offices (Chicago, Highland Park, and Hoffman Estates) to see how you can benefit from these amazing advancements in ophthalmic technology. To learn more about the Staar Visian ICL™, click here.

To learn more about the exciting possibilities offered by the Artisan and Staar Visian ICL™ vision correction procedures, contact Chicago Cornea Consultants™, Ltd. today.

For more information visit the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS), and the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO).


LASIK eye surgery is a procedure that is designed to reduce your dependency on eyeglasses and contact lenses. Here at Chicago Cornea Consultants™, our LASIK surgeons and eye doctors use the latest in laser vision correction technology to ensure each patient receives optimal results.
Woman going for a run after LASIK
Laser Eye Surgery
As leaders in the field of ophthalmology, we were among the first in the area to offer the advanced Alcon LenSx laser platform for cataract surgery. This exciting new technology allows our skilled ophthalmologists to make incredibly precise modifications, enhancing the patient experience.
Elderly couple relaxing after Cataract Surgery
Advanced Cataract
Traditionally, presbyopia, which happens to all of us as we age, has always meant glasses for clear reading vision. It's a condition not even correctable by laser vision correction. Luckily, there is an option. Refractive lens exchange allows patients a clear alternative to reading glasses and is capable of reducing or eliminating presbyopia by using an advanced multifocal intraocular lens.
Refractive Lens Exchange
refractive lens
exchange/phakic iol's
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