Breakthrough for Nearsightedness: Removable Lens Implant Can Provide Freedom from Glasses or Contacts Interview with:
Scott D. Barnes, MD
Chief Medical Officer
STAAR Surgical  What is the background for the EVO procedure?  Would you briefly describe what is meant by myopia and how common it is?

Response: EVO is a clinically-proven implantable lens that corrects common vision problems such as nearsightedness and nearsightedness with astigmatism. EVO can be the solution for people who want to get rid of their glasses or contact lenses. Myopia (or nearsightedness) is the most common ocular disorder worldwide and its incidence is increasing significantly. An estimated 30% of the world’s population, or 2.6 billion people, have myopia and this number is projected to rise to 50% of the global population by the year 2050. Would you describe the procedure?  How does it differ from LASIK?

Response: The EVO procedure is different from other vision correction options, like LASIK, performed by ophthalmologists. While laser vision correction procedures, like LASIK, permanently remove corneal tissue to correct vision, the EVO lens is additive; meaning, it is added to the eye and doesn’t remove corneal tissue. The EVO procedure involves implanting (or adding) a biocompatible, flexible lens made from Collamer (collagen polymer) into the eye between the iris (colored part of the eye) and the natural lens to correct vision. The EVO lens works in harmony with the natural eye while delivering sharp, clear vision, excellent night vision, UV protection, and does not cause dry eye syndrome. The EVO lens can permanently correct vision without removing corneal tissue and, if desired, can be removed by a doctor providing patients considering the EVO lens added peace of mind.

The 20-30 minute per eye outpatient procedure is virtually painless with quick recovery and little downtime typically.  Following the procedure many patients notice an immediate improvement in their vision. Over 1,000,000 EVO lenses have been implanted globally and we are very excited to receive FDA approval in the U.S. Who would be qualified to perform the procedure?  Ophthalmologists only?

Response: The EVO procedure is performed by ophthalmologists certified by STAAR Surgical.  To find an EVO Visian ICL provider near you, visit Is it reversible? Is it appropriate for patients with astigmatism or dry eye? At what age is it approved for?

Response: The EVO ICL is removable (not reversible), if desired, by a doctor which provides patients with added flexibility and peace of mind. It is also confirmed by the U.S. FDA to be a safe and effective treatment of moderate to high nearsightedness with or without astigmatism for U.S. patients. EVO candidates do include patients with dry eye risk factors and is approved in the U.S. for ages 21-45 years old. What has been the experience with EVO worldwide? Any potential side effects? 

Response: EVO is a globally trusted and tested procedure. While EVO ICL is new in the U.S. market, it has been approved and marketed throughout Europe, Asia, and many other countries. In fact, over 1,000,000 EVO ICL lenses have been implanted around the world. According to a STAAR patient survey, 99.4% of patients would have the EVO procedure again.

The EVO procedure is performed on an outpatient basis which means that the patient has the EVO procedure and leaves the same day. The procedure itself usually takes approximately 20-30 minutes per eye. There is typically very little discomfort during or after the procedure. Following the procedure many patients notice an immediate improvement in vision. Is there anything else you would like to add? 

Response: We are very excited to bring this new, breakthrough solution to the U.S. to help more people get rid of their glasses and contact lenses. Myopia is the most common ocular disorder in the world and EVO is a new, groundbreaking solution for so many Americans who struggle with their vision. 

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Last Updated on April 1, 2022 by Marie Benz MD FAAD