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Frequently Asked Questions


The following glossary is intended to help the reader understand some of the terms commonly used in the industry/by STAAR Surgical.

acrylic - a broadly used family of plastics. Acrylic materials used in IOLs have been both water repelling (hydrophobic) and water-absorbing (hydrophilic). The most popular IOLs in the U.S., Europe and Japan are made of a flexible, water-repellent acrylic material.

aspheric - aspheric lenses are lenses that are designed in a shape that creates a more clearly focused image than traditional spheric lenses. By reducing spherical aberrations, IOLs that feature aspheric optics generally deliver better night vision and contrast sensitivity than spheric IOLs.

collagen copolymer - compounds formed by joining molecules of collagen derived from biological sources with synthetic monomer molecules. STAAR’s Collamer® is a collagen copolymer engineered specifically for use in implantable lenses.

contrast sensitivity - the ability to visually distinguish an object from its background.

crystalline lens – the natural lens that is present in the eye at birth, which is a clear structure, located behind the iris that changes shape to focus light onto the retina.

excimer laser – a specialized ultraviolet laser used in ophthalmology to cut or shape eye tissue. The excimer laser is used during LASIK and PRK surgery.

EVO Visian ICL™ – STAAR Surgical’s family of implantable collamer lenses with a central port to allow natural aqueous flow. Implantation of theses lenses to not require a preliminary iridotomy.

foldable IOL – an intraocular lens made of flexible material, which can be inserted with an injector system through a small incision in minimally invasive cataract surgery.

haptic – the part of an IOL that contacts the structures of the eye and holds the IOL in place. IOLs in which the haptic is also a part of the optic material is called a single-piece IOL, while IOLs in which the haptics are attached to the optic is called a three-piece IOL.

hyperopia – the refractive disorder commonly known as farsightedness, which occurs when the eye’s lens focuses images behind the plane of the retina rather than on the retinal surface. An adult with moderate to high hyperopia cannot see close objects without glasses or contact lenses. Because presbyopia often results in the need for reading glasses, it is sometimes confused with farsightedness.

intraocular – within the eye.

injector or injector system – a device in the form of a syringe that is used to deliver a foldable IOL into the eye through a slender nozzle in minimally invasive cataract surgery.

iridotomy – a small hole created in the iris, usually made with a YAG laser. Prior to implantation of some ICL models a YAG peripheral iridotomy is made in an unobtrusive area at the periphery of the iris to ensure continued fluid flow in the eye after implantation. The ICL with CentraFLOW technology, marketed with the brand names EVO and EVO+, have a central port for fluid flow, which eliminates the need for an iridotomy or iridectomy.

LASIK – an acronym for laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis, a surgical operation that reshapes the cornea to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. LASIK involves first the cutting of a hinged flap to separate the surface layer of the cornea, using a microkeratome (a special blade) or a laser. An excimer laser is then used to ablate tissue and reshape the inner cornea, after which the flap is returned to position.

myopia – the refractive disorder also known as nearsightedness, which occurs when the eye’s lens focuses images in front of the retina rather than on the retinal surface. A person with myopia cannot clearly see distant objects without glasses or contact lenses.

ophthalmologist – a surgeon who specializes in the diseases and disorders of the eye and the related visual pathway.

ophthalmic – of or related to the eye.

optic – the central part of an IOL or ICL, the part that functions as a lens and focuses images on the retina.

phakic IOL - an IOL that works along with the patient’s natural crystalline lens, or phakos, rather than replacing it. A phakic IOL, such as the ICL, is additive.

PRK – an acronym for photorefractive keratectomy, the first type of laser surgical operation to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism.

preloaded injector - an IOL packaged and shipped in a pre-sterilized, disposable injector. This differs from the conventional method of packaging IOLs, which requires the surgeon or an assistant to manually load each lens into an injector before surgery.

presbyopia – an age-related condition in which the crystalline lens loses its ability to focus on both near and far objects. People who have had normal vision will typically begin to need glasses for reading or other close tasks at some point after age 40 due to presbyopia.

QSR - the FDA’s Quality System Regulation, or current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) regulation, includes requirements related to the methods used in, and the facilities and controls used for, designing, manufacturing, packaging, labeling, storing, installing, and servicing of medical devices intended for human use. The regulation sets forth the framework for medical device manufacturers to follow in achieving quality requirements, including requirements related to complaint handling and control of purchased or supplied services, components, and materials bearing on the quality of medical devices.

RLE – refractive lens exchange, a refractive surgical procedure in which the natural crystalline lens is removed and replaced with an IOL (essentially the same as cataract surgery but performed primarily to address refractive issues not to remove a cataract).

refractive market – as used in this report “refractive market” means the overall market volume for refractive surgical procedures of all kinds, including LASIK, PRK, RLE, the ICL product family and other phakic IOLs. As used in this report, the term does not include sales of non-surgical products like eyeglasses and contact lenses.

silicone – a type of plastic often used in implantable devices that is inert, generally flexible and water-repelling.

single-piece IOL – in a single piece IOL the haptics and the optic are fashioned from a single piece of lens material.

spheric lenses – a spheric lens has surfaces that are shaped like sections of a sphere.

three-piece IOL – a three-piece IOL has a central, disk-shaped optic and two spring-like haptics attached at either side. The haptics are positioned against structures of the eye to hold the IOL in place.

toric – refers to the shape of a lens designed to correct astigmatism, which has greater refractive power in some sections of the lens than others.

YAG – an acronym for yttrium-aluminum-garnet, a mineral crystal. Lasers using neodymium-doped yttrium aluminium garnet crystals (Nd:YAG) generate a high-energy beam that can be used in a number of ophthalmic procedures, including creating iridotomies before implantation of some models of the ICL.