Implantable contact lenses have helped people correct their vision for over 20 years.
ICL surgery is the procedure used to implant this special type of contact lenses, which are placed between your natural lens and the iris.
What are implantable contact lenses?
The implantable contact lenses Evo Visian ICL™ are made from Collamer®, a collagen co-polymer that is biocompatible and stable. They are soft and flexible, and can be removed at any time through surgery. They are comfortable and you will not feel them at all once implanted. Imagine having contact lenses that do not need to be taken out and cleaned every day!
Is ICL surgery right for you?
You might be an ideal candidate for ICL surgery if you need any of the following:
- To correct nearsightedness between -3.0 D to -15.0 D
- To reduce nearsightedness up to -20.0 D
- To treat astigmatism from 1.0 D to 4.0 D
ICL surgery does not correct farsightedness. Generally, patients need to be over 21 years old and have a stable glasses prescription. However, we will assess each case individually. You might be required to send us an eye scan for us to assess whether there is enough space in the front of your eye for the lenses to be implanted.
ICL surgery might not be safe if you have cataracts, glaucoma, or recurrent inflammation.
What’s the difference between ICL surgery and eye laser treatment?
While ICL surgery aims to implant the lenses permanently into your eyes, eye laser treatment corrects defects in your cornea. The two procedures are completely different in the way they are performed and ICL surgery is considered a more modern, safer approach to treat eyesight-related conditions, especially if you have pre-existing cornea or eye surface problems.
Why choose implantable contact lenses?
ICL surgery offers several benefits, including:
- Correction or reduction of very advanced defective vision
- The procedure is minimally invasive and takes 20 to 30 minutes for both eyes
- ICL surgery does not modify your cornea as it would happen with eye laser treatments
- The lenses can be removed anytime
- The recovery time is quick
- ICL surgery is also recommended for patients with dry eyes or thin cornea
- No risk of laser-induced dry eye
How does ICL surgery work?
ICL surgery starts with a consultation with an ophthalmologist. We are happy to assist you with this. Contact us anytime and we will discuss with you the procedure as well as what you expect from ICL surgery.
ICL surgery lasts between 20 and 30 minutes for the treatment of both eyes. It’s an outpatient procedure, which means you won’t have to stay overnight at our clinic.
The first step of the procedure involves administering a few eye drops that will anaesthetise your eyes, so that you won’t feel any pain or discomfort during the procedure. Then, the surgeon will place a lid opener on each eye to avoid blinking.
The surgeon will then create a small keyhole incision (2-3mm) at the edge of the cornea and insert the folded lens behind the iris. A bandage will be placed on your eye and the incision made during surgery will close on its own in a day or two.
Is ICL surgery painful?
No, ICL surgery is not painful. The procedure is very fast and you will be given a local anaesthetic with a few eye drops that will block any pain. You might also be given a mild sedative if that makes you feel more comfortable.
Is ICL surgery safe?
Yes, ICL surgery is a safe eye procedure. It does not affect the structural integrity of the eye, nor does it change its shape. We are going to make sure that the procedure is carried out safely, from consultations and tests until follow-up appointments. Over the last 20 years, more than 1 million implantable contact lenses have been implanted worldwide.
Is ICL surgery permanent?
ICL is designed to be permanent. This means that the implantable contact lenses are placed to be a permanent substitute to glasses or traditional contact lenses. This procedure offers a safe, long-term solution to problems with eyesight.
Having said that, ICL surgery is reversible: the implanted contact lenses can be removed shall any side effects occur. This won’t cause any damage to your eyes. Reasons why implantable contact lenses might need to be removed include:
- Increase of the eye pressure (this should typically normalise with time)
- Eye infection or inflammation
- Over and under correction
- Glares or halos
- Vision changes (the lenses need to be swapped with different-powered lenses)
What should I expect after ICL surgery?
The surgeon will apply a bandage on your eyes at the end of the ICL surgery, which you will need to keep for up to 7 days.
Then, you might experience blurry vision, discomfort, or sensitivity to light, but these side effects are only temporary. Recovery time for ICL is fairly short. Depending on what you do, you may go back to work the day after surgery. Make sure that you take enough time to properly heal and do not rush things. Each individual has different recovery times.
We will provide you with all the necessary post-op precautions once you leave our clinic. Generally speaking, it is advisable to not shower or wash your hair to limit the risk of infection in the first 24 hours. You will have to use antibiotic eye drops for 3 to 4 weeks after surgery.
Activities such as swimming or sauna should be avoided for two weeks. Other sports activities can be resumed 2-3 days after surgery.