Implantable Collamer Lens: Everything to know about Visian ICL

Konrad Filutowski, MD

Konrad Filutowski, MD

As technology becomes more integrated into our daily lives, people find themselves staring at screens for long periods every day. Vision problems are now more common than ever.

Contacts and eyeglasses help to improve vision but can be costly to upkeep and replace over time. This is one reason why people look into vision correction surgery as a way to end their dependence on glasses or contacts. LASIK eye surgery is a commonly known vision correction option, but LASIK is not for everyone.

When LASIK is not an option, many have turned to other refractive eye surgery options, such as ICL. With your vision health in mind, let’s discuss what you need to know about Implantable Collamer Lenses.

What is ICL?

ICL stands for Implantable Collamer Lens. ICL is used to help those with high levels of myopia, better known as nearsightedness. Collamer is an advanced lens material which is soft, flexible and highly biocompatible. While traditional contact lenses are placed on top of the eye to improve vision, an ICL is surgically inserted into the eye between the iris (the colored part of your eye) and the natural lens. ICL has become a popular alternative when LASIK vision correction surgery is not possible.

There are similarities and differences between LASIK surgery and ICL surgery. Both LASIK and ICL surgery help those with nearsightedness, but LASIK can also help those with farsightedness and can correct astigmatism.

Due to the nature of the LASIK procedure, there are factors which can make someone not an ideal candidate for LASIK. If the patient has a high refractive error or thin cornea then they may not be able to have LASIK, but may qualify for ICL!

How is ICL Surgery performed?

ICL surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure. Anesthetic eye drops are used to ensure comfort during the procedure. Then the doctor creates a micro opening in the eye. The ICL is then folded, inserted, and unfolded over the natural lens. The entire procedure takes less than 10 minutes.

What are the benefits of ICL Surgery?

ICL surgery offers many benefits when compared to other vision correction surgery options. One of the major advantages is that the lens that is added to the eye and can be removed if necessary. Other vision correction surgeries remove tissue that cannot be replaced. This makes the changes permanent and irreversible, which can limit a patient’s options if any other vision correction procedures are needed in the future.

Ideal candidates for ICL Surgery

As previously stated, those who are not candidates for LASIK surgery may be a candidate for ICL surgery. ICL vision correction candidates are between the ages of 21 and 45, with moderate to severe nearsightedness.

What to expect after ICL Surgery

ICL vision correction surgery usually has a quick recovery time. It’s common for patients to notice an improvement shortly after their procedure. ICL vision correction surgery is ideal for those who live an active lifestyle and no longer want to deal with the hassle of contacts or eyeglasses.

Worsening vision is something most people will have to battle at some point in their life. But remember, there are vision correction options available. If you or a loved one are interested in learning more about ICL surgery or any other form of vision correction surgery, please contact the Filutowski Eye Institute by calling us at 800-393-3926.


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