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The “Viva” ICL intraocular lens can delay the start of wearing glasses for eyestrain by a few years

Innovation in intraocular lenses to safely and effectively correct refractive errors is congoing, as evidenced by the new “Viva” ICL extended focus lens for myopia and presbyopia, which is currently available at our clinics.

We interviewed Dr Jaime Aramberri, a refractive surgeon at Miranza Begitek and Miranza Ókular, a participant in the “Viva” clinical trial, along with Dr Daniel Elies, from IMO Grupo Miranza, and other renowned specialists. The results of this study have been recently published in the Clinical Ophthalmology journal.

What does this lens provide in the surgical correction of myopia?

The main innovation it offers is the possibility of treating patients with myopia, while correcting a certain level of presbyopia or “eyestrain”. Although we have been implanting ICL-type intraocular lenses for many years with highly effective results against myopia, this surgery did not prevent patients from beginning to see poorly at close range, due to the onset of presbyopia, once they reached the age of 45-50. The new extended focus lens allows us to delay the start of wearing glasses for eyestrain for a few more years.

What is the difference between lens implantation and a conventional refractive laser surgery?

When implanting a lens, we do not touch the cornea, which prevents the induction of optical aberrations or symptoms of corneal dryness, which are more frequent after the age of 45. It should also be noted that this is a reversible surgery, as we can remove the lens (which does not replace or change any eye structure), if need be. This is convenient over the years, if, for instance, we have to perform cataract surgery and remove the ICL lens to implant a new one, in order to replace the eye’s natural lens. We will be able to perform the surgery as usual, so that you will not be able to distinguish the affected eye from a healthy eye.

What is the safety level of this technique?

Very high, as the frequency of significant complications is less than 0.1%. We should bear in mind that over a million ICL lenses have been implanted worldwide in the last 20 years, hence making them the most widely implanted phakic intraocular lenses (without replacing the lens) in history.

This new extended focus lens, “Viva”, involves only a slight change of the optics to gain near vision, but its structure and materials, as well as the surgical procedure, are identical to previous ICLs.

Is it a complex surgery?

I have been implanting ICL lenses since 2000 myself. For an expert surgeon, it is a simple surgery with clearly defined steps, which can be performed in 5-10 minutes under anaesthetic drops. Vision recovery is surprisingly fast and painless, allowing the patient to return to their daily work in a couple of days.

Is the new extended focus lens now available for patients who wish to undergo surgery?

Following this clinical trial, which started two years ago and Miranza specialists participated in, the lens has obtained several administrative regulatory approvals (such as the European CE mark) and is now available on the market. An important piece of advice for patients is to look for a surgeon who is an expert in ICL lens implantation, at a clinic with the appropriate diagnostic technology, and who can ensure the correct indication to obtain the best possible result in each case.

Can we say that being 50 years old is no longer a barrier to myopia surgery?

Although it never really was, while understanding the limitations that existed, we could say that this is even less so now with the new “Viva” ICL extended focus.