History of iris fixation
The iris fixation method was developed in 1978 for an aphakic eye following cataract treatment. This lens has been implanted in approximately 300.000 aphakic eyes worldwide. The method worked so well that, ten years later in 1986, a model was also developed for myopia and implanted in a phakic eye. First implantation on November 2 by Paul U. Fechner, Germany. It had a biconcave design. Never before had a lens been implanted in a phakic eye – a unique moment in the field of ophthalmology. This first model for myopia was quickly followed by a whole range of other models.
Models were developed for :
• hyperopia and cylinder correction,
• models for small eyes and models for eyes with large pupils,
• small incision surgery; by means of the use of a flexible lens material
Even now, almost 40 years after the invention of the unique iris fixation method, new models are still being developed. This effective fixation technique combined with contemporary premium optics means that ArtiLens is a unique phenomenon in ophthalmology. A lens implant that is unprecedented anywhere in the world.
ArtiLens was invented by the Dutch ophthalmologist and inventor, Prof. Jan Worst (1928 – 2015). In the seventies, Jan Worst visited a regional hospital in Taxila (Pakistan), to which mostly poor patients came from far and near for treatment.
Prof. Jan Worst saw that cataract patients were leaving the hospital without the necessary corrective glasses. The cataract glasses that were generally used at the time were too expensive and too inconvenient for these patients. Jan Worst wanted to help and started implanting the cataract lenses that were then available in cataract patients. But he found that the models he was using were not practical. The operation had to be made faster and easier. During one of his surgeries he had noticed that iris tissue, trapped in the slots of the lens he used, did not cause problems. A serendipitous discovery.
He developed lens models that he could fix to the iris, and one of the resulting models had two holes with slits on either side of a blank optic. A lens that could be fixed easily to the iris. It worked perfectly. The ArtiLens was born. Back in the Netherlands he refined the concept, but it all started in 1977 in Taxila, Pakistan: the ArtiLens was born out of necessity.