Hospiten Blog

What are phakic intraocular lenses and when are they used?

Posted on 30-03-2022

If you have vision difficulties linked to refractive errors with a high number of diopters, you may find phakic intraocular lenses interesting.

Phakic lenses are designed to be implanted into the eye without replacing other structures. This lens is inserted inside the eye for the patient to focus correctly and to correct intermediate to high diopters in conditions like farsightedness and astigmatism.


Types of phakic intraocular lenses

There are different types of phakic intraocular lenses, let's look at some of the most commonly used:


  • ICL lenses or epicrystalline (posterior chamber phakic) lenses

This type of lens is inserted into the space behind the iris, in front of the lens, in the chamber behind the eye. The material they are made of is a derivative of collagen and they consist of a central part and haptics (loops). They are suitable for correcting myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism.


  • Iridian fixation lenses

This type differs from the previous type in that it is placed in front of the iris, in the anterior chamber of the eye. The material used in the optics of this lens is a flexible silicone. Using iridian fixation lenses, myopia and astigmatism can be corrected.


  • Angle-supported intraocular lenses

As in the case of iridian fixation lenses, they are inserted in the anterior chamber of the eye, they also consist of a central part and haptics (loops).

The choice of the type of lens is made based on the characteristics of the individual patient, depending on their visual problems and needs. The procedures vary depending on the type of phakic lens to be implanted, but in no case is the lens or other ocular structure removed. The lens is added to obtain proper vision.


When is this type of lens indicated?

Phakic lenses are recommended when diopters are very high. Other solutions, like laser, are indicated for low to moderate diopters, but in cases where vision is highly compromised due to the high number of diopters, the option of phakic lenses provides better results.

The ideal profile of cases in which the use of phakic lenses is recommended is characterized by:

  • Suffers from high or intermediate myopia, ranging between -8 and -25 diopters
  • Suffers from hyperopia, ranging between +5 and +10 diopters
  • Has astigmatism, up to 6 diopters
  • Is between 21 and 50 years of age
  • Does not suffer from severe eye disease like glaucoma or diabetic retinopathy

Sometimes, phakic lenses are the alternative to laser due to problems that make the application of laser difficult.


Request a consultation to treat your cataracts at Hospiten.


Advantages of this type of lens

The main advantages of phakic lenses are:

  • the type of surgery: outpatient, with a usual duration of between 20 minutes and less than an hour
  • anesthesia is local, the patient remains conscious throughout the procedure and only a minor sedation is applied
  • it is an alternative to the laser procedure for patients with high diopters
  • recovery is faster than for other techniques, it is completely painless and does not require stitches
  • recovery of vision is maximum, even in the most complex cases
  • lenses are made for each individual patient
  • various visual defects can be corrected with a single procedure
  • the lenses contain a UV filter to protect the eyes from the sun
  • after the procedure, the use of glasses or contact lenses will no longer be necessary to carry out everyday activities

Postoperative care

Postoperative care is simple and speeds up the recovery process:

  • application of medication in the form of anti-inflammatory drops and to prevent infection
  • attend check-up appointments
  • rest after surgery
  • avoid immersing your head in hot tubs and swimming pools during the recovery process
  • avoid rubbing your eyes or putting pressure on them
  • do not wearing makeup around the eyes
  • do not drive until medically discharged
  • eat a healthy diet
  • do not smoke
  • control your weight and do not do sport in the weeks following the operation

The symptoms for which you should consult the doctor or go to the medical center are:

  • severe pain
  • high temperature
  • generally feeling unwell and having chills
  • vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • extreme redness or swelling of the eyes

If you have vision problems, you have been diagnosed with cataracts and you are thinking about the different types of procedure to solve the condition, you may be interested in making an appointment with the Hospiten ophthalmology team. Our ample experience, our facilities and medical staff are prepared to give you extraordinary care and a recommendation suited to your particular case.


Request a consultation to treat your cataracts at Hospiten.