Valerie - Implantable Collamer Lens
Valerie - Implantable Collamer Lens [ICL] Story with Dr. Sandy T. Feldman
Valeria Shares her Surgery and Amazing Vision!
VALERIE: I'm getting ready to have implantable contact lenses, which I believe are like permanent contact lenses that stay inside your eye. I have had the worst eyesight forever. I started wearing glasses when I was about seven and contacts when I was in about 8th grade. I am dying to not have to wear them anymore! I surf a lot and to not have to worry about losing my contacts in the water would be fantabulous!
DR. FELDMAN: The ICL (implantable contact lens) procedure is an alternative premium vision correction option. It is often used for people that cannot have laser vision correction because their prescription is too high or their cornea is too thin.
VALERIE: When I thought about getting the procedure done, I really wanted Dr. Feldman because I knew she was the best. My friend had raved about her. Anyone that knew her loved her.
My current vision right now without contacts or glasses is that I can only see a few inches in front of my eyes. I'm pretty much legally blind, Yes, it is dangerous in the car if I don't have contacts in. It is kind of a feeling of helplessness, like I can't do anything for myself without my contacts. I can't see. I can't drive.
DR. FELDMAN: The advantage of ICL is there is less nighttime glare. There is a higher definition vision obtained with the implantable contact lenses.
VALERIE: As I was getting ready to go in for the surgery, I was kind of freaking out! But, at the same time completely excited to not ever have to wear contacts again and not have to deal with glasses. I had to wear my glasses the week before the surgery and I felt like a complete dork. To never have to do that again! I was way more excited than I was nervous. I was ready!
The drops felt pretty good going in. They would sting every once in a while but other than that they were not too bad.
The surgery was pretty short actually. The longest part of it was actually the dilating with the drops. That took about 45 minutes. Then they gave me a little sedative and they wheeled me in. They cover your face with something plastic so that just the one eye is showing. Then you start seeing a whole bunch of psychedelic lights. You can't feel anything, maybe a little tugging here and there when she is doing I think the sutures, I'm not really sure. It is fairly easy surgery. I wasn't really in any discomfort.
DR. FELDMAN: The ICL procedure consists of making a tiny incision into the eye, inserting the implantable lens so it sits just over one's natural lens of the eye.
VALERIE: The recovery was pretty much instantaneous. As soon as she removed whatever it was that was covering my face and the microscope after the surgery, I could see her. I could see Dr. Feldman's face in front of me clearly. It was instantaneous.
DR. FELDMAN: You should see already that I'm a little clearer.
DR. FELDMAN: Look at her smile! It's beautiful! That is my most favorite thing! That smile!
VALERIE: Right after surgery I was pretty happy! It was exciting and I could actually see out of both eyes.
I am very happy with my results. To be able to wake up in the morning and not have to fumble around looking for my glasses. It is a miracle!
VALERIE'S MOTHER: As her mom I just think this is so exciting, so wonderful, such a gift! She is an outdoor person. She is very active. She dances and surfs and does all kinds of dare-devil things too. She is just really a fun loving person. This will just give her freedom to do ahead and do all this stuff without being very careful about her eyes.
DR. FELDMAN: During Valerie's post-operative visit, we checked the vision in each eye, we looked at her eyes under a bio-microscope and we also checked the pressure in her eyes. We wanted to know exactly if there was any little prescription left or not. Her vision was phenomenal the first day after surgery and has remained so.
VALERIE: Right now without contacts it is very clear. You're clear. When I get a little further, it is a little soft around the edges. Still a little blurry but it is expected. As you heal it gets better and better. I'm testing at 20/20. I can drive. I'm expecting it to get even better. It was absolutely amazing! It was seriously the best thing I have ever done!