With today’s technology, there are many options that individuals could look into when it comes to refractive surgery; however, the most common procedure is that which involves reshaping the cornea using laser (PRK, lasik, etc). Unfortunately, not everyone can undergo laser eye treatment because there are strict requirements that need to be met. The individuals who cannot have laser eye treatment still have other options for vision correction.

One alternative are implanted contact lenses. These are pre-made plastic contact lenses that are specially designed to sit between the iris, which is the colored part of the eye, and the natural lens within the eye. Compared to the traditional contact lenses which people use on a daily basis, implanted contact lenses are molded with wings so they are securely placed within the eye. In its round shape, it is equipped with the necessary power to improve vision, the power which is determined during the measurement of the prescription prior to the operation.

Before inserting the implanted contact lenses into the eye, first, a local anesthetic is placed. Another eye drop is placed to dilate the pupils and enlarge the hole where the lens is inserted. The hole is located between the iris and the lens. Patients who want to be calmed down can take mild sedatives during the quick operation.

After all the necessary precautions are done to ensure a painless operation, two minor incisions are cut around the periphery of the cornea, approximately 3mm in length for each. A device is used to inject the implantable contact lenses into the eye, rolling it up as it is placed between the iris and the lens. As the lens is inserted, unfolded, of course, into the eye, a metal prong is inserted into the second incision to correct the orientation and maneuver the lens so it sits where it should be. The entire process only takes roughly 30 minutes.

The eyes will heal without stitches, as the corneal incisions can heal on their own quickly. Clear plastic shields, however, will be placed over the eyes after the operation but can soon be removed the following day.

Why should people get implantable contact lenses? There are actually many reasons for doing so, especially if compared to Lasik, PRK, and other forms of refractive surgery. For example, those who have thin corneas would be more suited to implanted contact lenses than Lasik for the sole reason that this form of laser eye treatment would require reshaping the cornea, which means that layers of the cornea will be removed, getting thinner over time. The same reason applies to people who are rejected because they have moderate to high amounts of myopia or short-sightedness .

For people whose prescription changes after the surgery, the implantable contact lenses can be easily removed and replaced with a pair with the right prescription – a process that can be done many times. This certainly cannot be said for laser eye treatment as the cornea becomes thinner with each reshaping procedure.

It is safe to assume that implanted contact lenses are quickly becoming mainstream because more and more visually-challenged individuals choose this as an alternative to laser eye treatment. Who’s to say that this won’t be the standard in vision correction in the future?



Implanted or Implantable Contact Lenses
Credit: Vision Eye Center