ICL: Implantable Collamer Lens
A long-lasting solution to vision correction.
Implantable collamer lenses (ICLs) are perhaps best explained by their better-known alias: implantable contact lenses. This is because ICLs are surgically embedded films of collagen placed at the front of the natural lens and beneath the iris, the colored part of your eye.
ICL surgery could be the right solution for your vision needs.
What is ICL?
The implantation involves a small incision and the insertion of a lens specially chosen for your prescription, which unfolds as your doctor inserts it into your eye. The doctor tucks the four corners of the ICL behind your iris, making the lens invisible.
ICLs are attractive options for people who aren’t good SMILE or LASIK candidates. For instance, if you learn at a SMILE or LASIK consultation that your corneas are too thin or your prescription too strong for laser vision correction, your physician might suggest having an ICL procedure.
Some people like ICLs because they offer a long-lasting solution to vision correction, and they can be adjusted or removed if necessary.
ICL vs. LASIK
ICLs and LASIK have many points in common. Both eye surgeries begin with anesthetic eye drops and sometimes a mild sedative. Both correct nearsightedness, though LASIK also corrects astigmatism and farsightedness. The surgeries share a relatively short recovery period of several days, and the overwhelming majority of patients who have either procedure report satisfaction with their results.
If you have been told you are not a SMILE or LASIK candidate because of a high refractive error or thin cornea, you can learn if you’re an ICL candidate by asking your eye doctor or by having a consultation.
ICL surgery may be suitable for patients who:
- Currently wear uncomfortable or heavy glasses
- Struggle with wearing contact lenses
- Are unsuitable for laser eye surgery such as LASIK or SMILE
- High Hyperopia or Astigmatism
The ICL procedure is used to treat short-sightedness (myopia), long-sightedness (hyperopia) and astigmatism. If you are over the age of 18 years, have stable vision and healthy eyes then ICL surgery could be the right solution for you.
The ideal ICL candidate has not had any ophthalmic surgery and does not have a history of eye disease such as iritis, glaucoma, or diabetic retinopathy.