If you’re tired of dealing with nearsightedness and the constant hassles of contacts or glasses, the EVO Visian ICL™ (STAAR® Surgical’s phakic ICL for myopia and astigmatism) procedure may be exactly what you’ve been waiting for, and after more than two decades outside the U.S., it’s finally available for Utahns at Hoopes Vision

On March 28, 2022, in a press release, STAAR Surgical Company, a leading manufacturer of implantable lenses, announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the EVO/EVO+ Visian® Implantable Collamer® Lens (EVO) as a safe and effective treatment for myopia with and without astigmatism in the U.S. 

“Over one million EVO lenses have already been implanted by doctors outside the U.S. and 99.4% of EVO patients in a survey have stated they would have the procedure again,” said Caren Mason, president and CEO of STAAR Surgical. 

“Sales of EVO lenses outside the U.S. increased 51% in 2021 and have more than doubled since 2018, which speaks to the increasing choice by patients and our surgeon partners for EVO as the premium and primary solution for refractive vision correction.” 

This highly-effective same-day vision correction procedure can be completed in about 20-30 minutes. Not only is the surgery fast and painless, EVO ICL also has the advantage of a quick recovery time, eliminating the need for contacts and glasses, improving long-distance and night vision practically overnight—a dream come true for many people frustrated by contacts or glasses. 

Nearsightedness is one of the most common vision conditions worldwide 

Myopia, also known as “nearsightedness,” is one of the most common vision conditions globally where an individual can clearly see objects close up, but objects further away appear blurry. According to the National Eye Institute (NEI), “Several studies indicate that the prevalence of myopia is increasing in the U.S. and worldwide, and researchers project that the trend will continue in coming decades.” 

Nearsightedness occurs when a person’s eyes grow too long from front to back, thereby causing light rays to refract or “bend” incorrectly. The NEI reports that about 41.6 percent of Americans are nearsighted, “up from 25 percent in 1971.” 

STAAR Surgical estimates that 100 million U.S. adults between the ages of 21 and 45 with myopia may be potential candidates for EVO, a well-tolerated lens that corrects a person’s distance vision, enabling them to see objects that are further away.

What are the benefits of EVO Visian ICL? 

The EVO Visian lens is also known as an “Implantable Collamer® Lens.” The lens is made of Collamer material, proprietary to STAAR Surgical. It contains a small amount of purified collagen, and the remainder is made up of a similar material found in soft contact lenses. Collamer is soft, stable, flexible, and biocompatible. With a long history of successful in-eye use worldwide, Collamer has proven to be a comfortable and effective lens material for the eye. 

The EVO Visian ICL procedure offers many exciting benefits: 

  • Takes about 20-30 minutes to complete
  • Delivers clear, sharp vision 
  • Provides UV protection
  • Improves night driving 
  • Provides excellent vision day and night 
  • Has a quick recovery period 
  • Eliminates the ongoing inconvenience associated with contacts and glasses
  • Isn’t visible to you or others once it’s inserted
  • Can effectively treat nearsightedness with or without astigmatism 
  • May be ideal for patients with thin corneas who are not candidates for LASIK
  • Does not cause patients to experience dry eye syndrome, a common side effect in some vision correction procedures 
  • Can be removed by your doctor if so desired 

How the EVO Visian ICL procedure works 

Before the EVO Visian ICL procedure, your doctor will perform a series of tests to measure the unique characteristics of your eye. Immediately before the procedure, your doctor will administer eye drops to dilate your pupil and anesthetize your eye. Next, the EVO ICL lens will be folded and inserted into a small opening at the edge of your cornea. 

Once the lens is inserted, the doctor will make any necessary adjustments to ensure the proper positioning of the lens. The lens will be securely placed behind the iris (the colored part of the eye) and in front of the natural crystalline lens. Once the lens is fitted, it will not be visible to you, nor others, and the soft, pliable lens will work comfortably with your natural eye. 

Collamer lenses improving vision for over 20 years  

STAAR’s implantable Collamer lenses have been helping patients achieve better vision, freeing them from glasses and contacts worldwide for over 20 years and at last, EVO ICL is approved by the FDA for patients in the U.S. 

Scott D. Barnes, MD is the Chief Medical Officer of STAAR Surgical, said: “We are thrilled to make EVO available to U.S. surgeons and patients seeking a proven and premium option to glasses, contact lenses, or laser vision correction. “Today’s announcement is especially important because the prevalence of myopia is increasing quickly, and COVID precautions have presented additional challenges to people wearing glasses and/or contact lenses. 

“EVO adds an important tool for the ophthalmic surgeon seeking to help improve a patient’s quality of life. Different from LASIK, the EVO lens is added to the patient’s eye through a relatively quick surgical procedure where there is no removal of corneal tissue. Moreover, the EVO lens is removable by a doctor if ever desired. Results from our recent U.S. clinical trial are consistent with the more than one million EVO lenses that have already been implanted around the world.”

EVO is an FDA-approved vision correction option for people with myopia with or without astigmatism who want to eliminate the need for glasses or contacts. While EVO is a long-term solution that frees patients from the daily inconveniences of contacts and glasses, someone who has had LASIK is most likely not a good candidate for EVO because the procedure has not been established as safe for patients with a history of ocular surgery. 

Are you ready to live life to the fullest? To find out if the EVO ICL procedure is right for you, contact Hoopes Vision to schedule your VIP consultation. At Hoopes Vision, patients enjoy a track record of safety and proven results, while appreciating how they make every effort to make the best vision corrections affordable and within reach of patients with different budgets.