Cross your fingers for me... its nearly time!
If anyone is interested, here is a little bit of info about the procedure I'm having tomorrow - Implantable Contact Lenses... tomorrow is the right eye - the left will hopefully be done a few weeks later.
What are implantable contact lenses?
Implantable contact lenses are similar to the lens implants used for cataract surgery patients, and they can correct very high degrees of myopia. These lenses are still considered investigational, and long term studies are not complete.
Who is a candidate for implantable contact lenses?
At the moment people who currently have prescriptions that fall between -23.00 and +12.00 can have their vision corrected by this treatment. Astigmatism can also be corrected, provided that the strength of the astigmatism falls between -7.00 and +7.00. It is strongly discouraged that anyone over 60 goes forth with the procedure, as the recovery process is not as quick and as straight forward.
Currently, doctors can only implant one lens at a time, and patients have to wait two weeks in between procedures. In a painless minor surgical procedure that extends roughly over a twenty minute period, a plastic corrective lens is carefully placed between the patient's iris and cornea. Once inserted, implantable contact lenses work like any regular lens - with the added benefit that they do not have to be continually removed, inserted and cleaned in the interim. Ideally the lens can remain inside the wearer's eye for life, but should a complication arise it can be easily removed with no adverse side effects to the patient. From here the patient can go back to wearing eyeglasses, regular spherical lenses or opt to have a new implant.
The reason this process is receiving such positive reviews is largely because of the advantages it has over LASIK. Firstly, an implantable contact lens can be used to correct the vision of any person who needs eyeglasses -whatever their level of short or near sightedness. LASIK, unfortunately, cannot be so bold in such claims. Secondly, the LASIK procedure can dry out the eye which can impose serious discomfort on those who already suffer from "dry eyes." Lastly the implantable contact lens procedure is also open to those who have thin corneas (LASIK is not suitable in such cases.)
Possible Side Effects
The procedure has been accredited with a 95% success rate. However there are a number of minor side effects linked to having the implantable contact lens. Some patients have been known to develop glaucoma, and in extreme cases there have been reports of cataract development. There is also the ever present risk of infection setting in - the risk of this is minimal, but it is none the less a possibility. Infection can cause eye inflammation that can prompt swelling of the retina, and finally lead to a loss of vision.
As soon as I can see again (LOL!) I will post to tell you all how gruesome it was!