Corneal Onlays in the News Again

I originally blogged about this in October of 2007, but that blog post was lost in June of 2009 when the "Yahoo360" blog host folded. I re-posted it here in 2009:

Oct 2007 Corneal Onlay Blog post

Anyway today they're back in the news, as the Flexvue Microlens has received "medical device registration approval" in both Israel and Brazil. I really think this is the future of eye care, even moreso than LASIK. Maybe I'm wrong but we'll see. IMO this has a lot of potential to change eye care:

Presbia Flexivue Microlens

The basics of onlays would be a truly "implantable" contact lens. If you google "implantable contact lens" you get a result for something that is nothing like a corneal onlay. The device named "implantable contact lens" is an anterior chamber implant designed for high myopes, and its insertion & removal are fairly invasive procedures.

Conversely a corneal onlay is a MINIMALLY invasive & reversible procedure. Currently a laser "flap" is made just like in LASIK, but instead of using another laser to then permanently DESTROY corneal tissue, a super-thin "contact lens-like" implant is instead inserted into the corneal stroma. The result is...pretty much an implanted contact lens. Still only available as a monovision presbyopia correction, in the future it would be conceivably relatively easy to do just about any Rx like this.

Maybe I'm not well-enough educated on the subject, but I don't even see why one would REALLY need a laser flap (possibly b/c its easy & clean). In my mind corneal epithelium could be removed any number of ways (alcohol?), place the onlay, then bandage it with a traditional extended-wear soft contact & voila! Same result (?) That would make it a fairly affordable in-office procedure that a non-surgeon could feasibly perform. Maybe I'm dreaming here.

Regardless, this is a cool deal IMO.


  1. Hi, Dr. Mike, I'm just using this comment area to contact you. I'm an optometrist and a committed follower of Christ; I've been married to the same woman for 31 years; we have two college kids; I like progressive rock, having seen Emerson, Lake & Palmer in concert twice, and Yes, innumerable times; I play bass in my church's praise band; etc. etc. So, naturally, seeing this about you in your blog and practice web site, I was intrigued:

    Christian, husband, father, optometrist, guitar that order
    Favorite Music: praise & worship, prog rock, classic rock
    plays bass in his church's praise band

    as all that could easily be about me~!

    But I'm just a lot older!

    Here's my website, where you'll see me and my wife, Monica:

    my email address is


  2. hey! that's cool! wow, agreed a lot of similarities! what kind of bass are you rockin'? I have been switching between my squier 5-string deluxe active jazz and my new-to-me 4-string pawn-shop-rescue Memphis P-bass.

    thanks for the note! rock on for Jesus!


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