Advances in phakic intraocular lenses: indications, efficacy, safety, and new designs

Jorge L Alio
Current Opinion in Ophthalmology 2004, 15 (4): 350-7

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: The recent evolution of phakic intraocular lenses (PIOLs) has made this refractive surgical technique safer, very predictable, and effective. Due to these reasons, PIOLs have been expanding the horizon of their indications. The aim of this review is to update the reader in the recent advances reported on the topic during the year 2003.

RECENT FINDINGS: The most recent progress has been made towards decreasing the incision size down to 3 mm or less for all PIOLs models to avoid pupil ovalling in angle-supported designs with new biomaterials or exchangeable haptics, and to decrease the incidence of cataract induction in posterior chamber models with modified designs and better sizing. High-order aberrations and the quality of vision are improved with PIOLs. The main limitation for the further development of PIOLs is the lack of adequate diagnostic imaging techniques to perform a precise preoperative study of the anterior segment anatomy. Emerging diagnostic technologies based on the use of very high frequency (100 MHz) ultrasound and optical coherence tomography seem to have a most important role in the future development of PIOLs defining preoperatively the most adequate anatomic conditions for each design. PIOLs offer today an excellent alternative for the correction of high and moderate myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. Emerging indications, still under investigation, include presbyopia and pediatric anisometropic amblyopia.

SUMMARY: Due to their advantages for quality of vision and the increased knowledge on their safety, as well as the evidence of their predictability, PIOLs are expected to largely increase their clinical use as a refractive surgical technique in the coming years.

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