Contact Lenses in Billings, MT

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About ICL

For many patients, LASIK or PRK laser vision correction can be great options when considering refractive surgery to correct or enhance their vision. However, for patients who have especially thin corneal tissue or very high degrees of myopia (nearsightedness), corrective surgery with a laser may not be a suitable solution.

For these patients, surgically implanted lenses could be the best approach to vision correction. Phakic intraocular lenses, also called implantable collamer lenses or ICLs, work very similarly to traditional contact lenses, except they are placed inside the eye and do not need to be removed. Phakic IOLs are implanted either between the cornea and the iris or in front of the eye's natural lens. 

Types of Lenses

Visian ICL

At Vance Thompson Vision, we are proud to use the Visian ICL to help patients correct or improve refractive errors. The Visian ICL is designed to be implanted between the iris and the eye's natural lens; this means that the natural lens does not have to be removed. The Visian ICL is FDA approved to address nearsightedness and is considered a safe, effective alternative to refractive surgeries such as PRK and LASIK.


Like the Visian ICL, the Verisyse ICL is FDA approved to correct nearsightedness and is a welcome alternative to patients who may not be candidates for laser refractive surgery. The Verisyse ICL is made of medical-grade polymethylmethacrylate, or PMMA. The main difference in the two lenses is that the Verisyse ICL is designed to be implanted between the cornea and iris. 

Best Candidates

The best candidates for receiving IOLs are patients 21 – 45 years old who have moderate to severe myopia and are not candidates for laser vision correction. Patients should also be in overall good health and should not have a prior history of eye surgery. Other conditions that could limit eligibility for IOLs are diabetic retinopathy, iritis, and glaucoma. As with any ocular surgery, patients interested in this procedure will need to visit Vance Thompson Vision in Billings, MT to have a consultation and thorough eye evaluation.

Treatment Options

Dr. Swan and his team perform IOL surgery as an outpatient procedure. A day or so before your surgery, we will need to perform a peripheral iridotomy to make sure there is no extra pressure within the eye. A peripheral iridotomy is a very simple procedure in which a special laser is used to make a microscopic hole at the edge of the iris. 

On the day of your surgery, you will be given a topical or local anesthetic, as well as a mild sedative if requested. Your surgeon will make a small incision at the base of the eye and insert the IOL through this incision. IOLs are extremely soft and are folded up to fit inside a special, tiny insertion device. Once your surgeon has positioned the IOL within the eye, it unfolds on its own to lie nicely in place. The procedure is completed in a matter of minutes for each eye, and your results will be virtually immediate.

What to Expect

After a brief exam and rest period, you will be released to recover at home. While your eyes heal over the next two days, you will be able to notice your vision continuing to improve. Most patients have no problem with returning to their typical routines within just a couple of days. It is very important not to rub your eyes for about a week following your procedure, and you will need to attend at least one follow-up appointment at Vance Thompson Vision so we can monitor your healing and vision progress.

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Procedure Information

Recovery Time  
1 - 2 days
Procedure Time  
30 minutes (15 per eye)
Follow Up Time  
1 day, 1 week, 1 month
Recovery Location  
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Real Life In HD with ICL

Visian and Verisyse ICLs are fantastic options for highly nearsighted patients who need options other than LASIK or PRK or who simply don't want to rely on prescription eye glasses or traditional contacts. ICLs are an exciting new alternative in refractive vision correction that could significantly improve vision for patients who have been told they aren't eligible for laser vision correction. Call Vance Thompson Vision in Billings, MT today to request an ICL consultation with Dr. Russell Swan or a member of his distinguished team.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.