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Visian ICL: Implantable Contacts

Dr. Parkhurst is one of the nation’s most experienced Visian ICL surgeons, and he is ready to help you enjoy crisp, clear vision with this incredible “Permanent Contact Lens” technology.

ICL surgery in San Antonio (also referred to as implantable contact lenses or Visian ICLs) is the best option for many patients seeking to live and see life uninhibited.

ICLs are made of a biocompatible material that is in sync with your body chemistry, specifically designed to make you see your best and reduce or eliminate your need for glasses and contacts. If you want to see life uninhibited, call our office today for a free consultation.

Our San Antonio Visian ICL surgery center, serving patients in San Antonio, New Braunfels, Corpus Christi, Uvalde, and other Texas communities, features a world subject-matter expert in this technology, and according to the manufacturer, the most experienced Visian ICL surgeon in the state of Texas, our very own Dr. Greg Parkhurst.

For several years now, ICL surgery has been an excellent choice for our San Antonio patients seeking ultra-hi definition vision correction. The Visian® ICL procedure consists of placing a biocompatible corrective lens, similar to a contact lens, just under the surface of the front part of the eye itself. The ICL is implanted in front of the eye’s natural lens, and behind the iris, where it is invisible to the naked eye. In clinical studies, The Visian® ICL has proven to result in the best vision quality among several vision correction solutions like contacts and glasses. The ICL is the procedure Dr. Parkhurst recommends to many of his patients, and it was the procedure he and his wife Heather selected for her eyes.

Patient Shares Candid, Ultra-Detailed Blog Post About His Visian ICL Surgery Experience:  [READ MORE ON REDDIT.COM]

The implantable lens is capable of correcting similar amounts of myopia (nearsightedness) and even higher degrees of myopia than LASIK, and since the procedure does not involve reshaping the cornea through the removal of tissue, it can be performed on patients whose corneas are too thin for laser refractive procedures. In addition, recovery is typically extremely fast and postoperative vision is usually incredibly sharp. The Visian® ICL is a 7-minute outpatient procedure, and most patients see well enough to drive by the next day.

Did You Know?

  • The first ICL was implanted in 1993 (the same time laser vision correction was beginning)
  • Over 1,000,000 ICLs have been implanted to date in over 60 countries
  • A new ICL is implanted worldwide every 6 minutes
  • Dr. Parkhurst was the highest volume ICL surgeon in the United States in 2009 & 2010
  • Dr. Parkhurst was given the International Visian ICL Surgeon of the Year award in 2013 for being a young innovator with ICL technology
  • In 2016, Dr. Parkhurst stands as the most experienced Visian ICL Surgeon in all of Texas according to the manufacturer
  • Dr. Parkhust is the only surgeon in Texas, and one of only 5 surgeons in North America to be inducted into the “Visian ICL Master’s Club”

Are you a candidate for the Visian® ICL?

If you have nearsightedness and adequate space behind the iris, you may be a candidate for what many people describe as a procedure that produces ultra hi-def vision. This may be the case even if you’ve been told you do not qualify for LASIK.

Since their introduction in the mid-1990s, LASIK eye surgery and PRK laser procedures have helped millions of Americans see better without glasses or contact lenses. Since that time, laser technology has constantly progressed, affording better, more consistent results to an ever-broader range of eligible candidates. However, in spite of all these advances, there is still a significant number of patients who are not good candidates for laser vision correction. Patients with thin or irregularly shaped corneas, extremely high prescriptions, severely dry eyes, or any combination of these factors, may not be suitable patients for LASIK or PRK. Even in these circumstances, patients in San Antonio and surrounding Texas communities may be able to have better vision with the Visian® ICL.

ARTICLE: This “Permanent Contact Lens”
Helps Even Those with Astigmatism [READ MORE]

You may be a candidate for the Visian® ICL if you:

  • Have a stable vision prescription
  • Desire better vision, whether or not you’ve been told you’re a candidate for LASIK
  • Have low, moderate, or extreme nearsightedness
  • Have healthy eyes without disease or serious ailments
  • Have realistic expectations and are educated and informed about the risks and benefits of ICL surgery and the alternatives

A thorough vision correction examination is required to determine if you are a candidate for the ICL procedure. Parkhurst-NuVision provides complimentary vision correction consultations for patients who have not had previous vision correction surgery, and are now considering an ICL or laser vision correction procedure in San Antonio. As with all surgeries, there are some risks with ICL surgery. Risk can be minimized by selecting an experienced surgeon. Your doctor will discuss potential risks and benefits of ICL surgery with you prior to determining candidacy and help you make an informed decision regarding whether or not ICL surgery is right for you.

Dr. Parkhurst discusses the Visian ICL procedure

FAQs about the ICL

What are the success rates of Visian ICL surgery in San Antonio?

The success rates of the Visian ICL are incredibly high. Dr. Parkhurst has written textbooks and lectured all over the world about his results with the ICL, which in every study he has performed to date have equaled or exceeded those of LASIK. In a clinical trial Dr. Parkhurst performed and presented at the American Academy of Ophthalmology in 2010, 96% of eyes and 100% of patients saw 20/20 or better by 3 months after the procedure. In a clinical trial performed by Dr. Parkhurst and presented at the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, the ICL was found to result in better night vision and contrast sensitivity (determining different shades of gray) at statistically significant degrees more than LASIK.

Dr. Parkhurst was invited by the manufacturer of the ICL to present his published results to the US FDA, which helped achieve recommendations for approval of the toric ICL in the United States. Dr. Parkhurst’s results with the ICL are among the most important research studies to date in peer-reviewed, published medical literature.

Will I be able to feel the Visian ICL in my eye?

No. The ICL is placed under the surface of the eye where it cannot be seen or felt.

What are the risks of the Visian ICL?

The Visian ICL is not unlike any other surgical procedure in that some surgical risk is taken by the patient deciding to undergo the procedure. Risks are low and this is not an exhaustive list, but they include many of those also associated with other forms of refractive surgery including under correction or overcorrection, night-vision changes, and in rare cases cataract formation. If a cataract develops, it is possible to perform ICL removal with implantation of a different type of intraocular lens commonly used in cataract surgery, which in most cases results in excellent unaided vision. Patients considering ICL surgery are encouraged to discuss all relative advantages, disadvantages, risks, and benefits with a licensed physician trained and experienced in how to perform Visian ICL surgery.

Are Patients with Astigmatism eligible for a Visian ICL procedure?

Yes. Dr. Parkhurst is trained and has extensive experience performing the Visian ICL, even for patients with astigmatism.

What is the cost of the Visian ICL in San Antonio?

The Visian ICL provides distinct advantages over other forms of vision correction. However, the price of the Visian ICL in San Antonio is not significantly higher than it is for LASIK. The Visian ICL typically ranges within about $1,000 of all-laser Advanced LASIK Vision Correction. Financing with favorable terms is available for those who qualify.

Who is the best Visian ICL surgeon in San Antonio?

There are very few surgeons in Texas who are both trained and experienced with advanced vision correction techniques such as the Visian ICL. Dr. Parkhurst is considered a top ICL specialist in San Antonio, and in the state of Texas; in fact, he is a world subject-matter expert in this technology. He teaches and operates internationally. Surgeons have traveled to San Antonio from countries in Europe, Asia, and South America to learn from Dr. Parkhurst regarding techniques for optimal ICL sizing, methods of astigmatism treatment, and best vision results.

  • Dr. Parkhurst is the only surgeon in Texas that teaches the phakic IOL course for both the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgery on how to perform this procedure most effectively.
  • Dr. Parkhurst has also taught on this technology at the European Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgery, the International Society of Refractive Surgery, and the American-European College of Ophthalmic Surgeons.
  • Dr. Parkhurst has specialized diagnostic technology (Ultrasound Biomicroscopy or UBM), which is used to measure the exact location where the ICL will be placed in order to provide the most predictable and long-lasting outcomes.
  • Dr. Parkhurst was invited to Amsterdam in 2013 to be given an international award for being selected as the Visian ICL Surgeon of the Year.
  • Dr. Parkhurst is the only surgeon in Texas, and one of 5 surgeons in all of North America to have been inducted into the Visian ICL Master’s Club by the manufacturer of the lens.

How many Visian ICLs and Toric ICLs have been implanted to date?

As of 2010, over 1,000,000 ICLs have been implanted worldwide. An ICL is implanted somewhere in the world every 6 minutes.

picture of woman on rock showcasing 1,0000 ICL's used worldwide

How many ICLs does an experienced surgeon typically implant on a yearly basis?

Surgeon training and experience with Advanced Vision Correction matters. The majority of surgeons certified to implant the Visian ICL implant no more than 10 ICLs per year. Having a surgeon who understands the technology based on extensive experience, and performs many ICLs every month, is likely to result in best outcomes.

According to the manufacturer in 2016, Dr. Parkhurst is the only surgeon in San Antonio, and in the state of Texas, to have implanted over 1,000 ICLs.
In October 2013, Dr. Parkhurst was given an award at an international ICL expert meeting in Amsterdam for passing the 1,000 ICL milestone.

If you are considering ICL surgery in San Antonio, be sure to ask how many ICLs your surgeon has implanted total and also within the past year.

What is a Visian ICL Specialist?

Because experience matters, the manufacturer of the Visian ICL identifies experienced surgeons throughout the country. Dr. Parkhurst is one of the top listed Visian ICL specialists in San Antonio, and in all of Texas, he is recognized as an international subject matter expert in this technology.

What is the best preoperative technology for proper ICL sizing and outcomes?

Many peer-reviewed ophthalmic medical journal articles, as well as other world authorities on the ICL besides Dr. Parkhurst, have now concluded that Ultrasound Biomicroscopy (UBM) is more effective than measuring the horizontal white-to-white corneal diameter for achieving optimal sizing of the Visian ICL. The UBM uses soundwaves, similar to ultrasounds of babies in the womb, in order to obtain detail about the shape of the eye, specifically where the ICL will be placed. Because the iris is optically opaque, there is currently no way to obtain encompassing detailed information about the size and shape of the structures such as the ciliary body, zonule, crystalline lens rise and other using Optical Coherence Tomography or Scheimplug photography such as that used with the Visante OCT or the Pentacam. Parkhurst NuVision uses UBM technology to plan for ICL surgery. If you are considering ICL surgery in San Antonio or elsewhere in Texas, ask your surgeon about the UBM and whether this is the best way to plan the procedure for your eye.

Click here to visit our Toric ICL page to find out more about this advanced technology.

Are ICLs ONLY for people that are not good candidates for LASIK and PRK?

Absolutely not! The FDA labeling for the Visian ICL says nothing about non-candidacy for LASIK and PRK to be eligible for the ICL. Many patients see the extensive benefits of the ICL and select this instead of LASIK.


  • Permanent procedure, yet removable if vision needs change
  • Superior Vision Quality & Better Night Vision compared to glasses and contacts
  • Less Chance of Dry Eyes compared to contacts
  • Quick recovery and results
  • UV Blocking properties of the lens
  • Maybe ideal for patients with thin or unusually shaped corneas
  • Maybe ideal option for dry eye patients
  • Nearly 20 years of experience with ICLs approved both internationally and in the US