The ICL (Implantable Contact Lens) is a state-of-the-art refractive error solution that is ideal for anyone who has the need or desire for removal of power with high quality of vision correction. ICL or Implantable Contact Lens, as the name suggests, is a kind of lens which is implanted into the eye and does not require frequent removal like a normal contact lens. This phakic intraocular lens has numerous advantages including its correction of the widest range of myopia (near sightedness), hyperopia (far sightedness) and astigmatism (cylindrical power).
- ICL can correct a wide range of vision errors by permanently inserting a Contact lens in front of the natural lens of the eye.
- ICL is a kind of soft contact lens which is inserted into the eye through a very small incision
- Just like LASIK or Wavefront Lasik it takes only 5-10 minutes for the procedure
- The lens is customized according to each eye’s shape and size
- Widest power correction range from +10D to -20D with cylinder upto 6D
- Made from a material called “Collamer” which is bio compatible (safe to stay in the eye for very long time)
- This new technique is similar to cataract surgery, but the natural lens remains in place so the eye’s natural focusing ability is preserved.
- An implantable contact lens is beneficial because it becomes a permanent fixture of the eye, avoiding time-consuming maintenance.
- It does not get lost, or have to be replaced like glasses and contact lenses.
- ICL procedures are being used on highly nearsighted and farsighted patients who may not be candidates for the more common laser procedures such as LASIK, LASEK, and PRK. Unlike laser vision correction procedures that permanently change your vision, it is possible to later remove an ICL.
How do I know if I am a suitable ICL candidate?
- Candidates for the ICL are above 18 years of age, suffer from myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and/or astigmatism (cylindrical power) and want to experience superior vision correction.
- Candidate with refractive error who are unsuitable for laser refractive surgery.
- The prospective person should consult his/her ophthalmologist (eye surgeon) for more information, including an assessment of their candidacy.
- Women who are pregnant or nursing should wait to have the ICL implanted. Lastly, those without a large enough anterior chamber depth or endothelial cell density may not be a good ICL candidate.
Advantages of ICL?
- No blood! No pain! No hospitalization!
- Almost all levels of power can be treated
- Excellent quality of vision
- Easily removed or replaced (5-10 minutes)
- Cosmetically good as it’s INVISIBLE!!
- Fast recovery
Why Patients Seek ICL
Patients seek the ICL because they expect the highest quality of results from their refractive vision correction procedure. The advantages of this phakic IOL (highlighted below) make the ICL a sought after treatment for nearsightedness & farsightedness.
- High quality of vision: The ICL not only corrects your refractive power or number, but it also enhances your quality of vision by producing sharp vision.
- Wide treatment range: In comparison to other refractive procedures, the ICL offers the widest treatment range for correction of vision.
- Foldable: because the ICL is foldable, a small incision is required during the procedure. This feature makes the procedure efficient (no sutures needed) and improves healing time.
- Invisible: the placement of the ICL into the posterior chamber of the eye makes the lens invisible to both the patient and any observer.
- Collamer composition : Collamer is made from collagen, which is a substance that naturally occurs in the body. This makes the lens highly biocompatible with the eye.
- Proven track record: Implanted in over 65,000 eyes worldwide, the safety and amazing improvement in vision quality of the ICL has been proven over the last 15 years.
Because the ICL is also ideal for patients with contraindications for laser refractive surgery, some people may consider the ICL as an alternative to LASIK; however, as you can see, it is so much more than that. It is often
compared to the corneal refractive procedure because the ICL takes refractive surgery beyond the limits of LASIK. Patients, who may not discover the ICL until they begin to search for an alternative treatment to avoid LASIK
or PRK, realize that the ICL is not just an alternative; it is the good choice for superior vision quality.
Advantages of ICL
- Preserves accommodation
- No corneal tissue removed
- Retains corneal asphericity
- Possibly retains contrast sensitivity
How does the ICL work?
- Similar to a contact lens
- Designed to remain inside the eye
- Doesn’t get dirty and needs no maintenance unlike a contact lens
- Once-a-year visit to hospital recommended for examination
How does the ICL differ from other refractive procedures?
- Does not cut or remove tissue from the cornea
- Cornea retains it natural shape
- Safer for higher degrees of myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism and thin
- Less glare issues on patients with large pupils
- Very stable over time, no regression
What to expect on the procedure?
- Procedure should take 10-15 minutes per eye
- Laser Iridotomies done prior to surgery
- Dilating and anesthetic drops
The ICL Procedure:
- The implant surgery is quick and painless, lasting only about 10 – 15 minutes.
- The area around your eyes will be cleaned and a sterile drape may be applied around your eye.
- Eye drops or a local anesthetic will be used to numb your eyes.
- When your eye is completely numb, an eyelid speculum will be placed between your eyelids to keep you from blinking during the procedure.
- The recovery time is short and the results of the surgery are almost immediate.
- Most patients resume normal activities within a week.