WHAT IS AN IMPLANTABLE COLLAMER LENS (ICL)?
The Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL) is an advanced, thin, clear lens that functions similarly to a contact lens, however it is surgically implanted into the eye. The ICL cannot be felt while in the eye, requires no maintenance and can be removed if needed. The ICL does not replace your natural lens, but is implanted in front of your natural lens and behind your iris (the coloured part of the eye).
The ICL procedure is a low risk, long-term solution and, as such, is a good option for many patients, especially those under the age of 40. The procedure is often recommended for patients with high prescriptions for either short-sightedness (myopia) or long-sightedness (hyperopia), because often the cornea is not thick enough to be treated safely with laser eye surgery procedures such as LASIK or ASLA.
The procedure is a permanent one – or until you decide that you may want to remove it. The ICL has the advantage of being reversible.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF ICL?
The key benefits of ICL include:
- It is a low-risk and permanent solution
- The lens cannot be felt while in the eye
- No maintenance is required
- The lens can be removed if required – reversible procedure
HOW DO I PREPARE FOR ICL SURGERY?
There are a few things to remember prior to your surgery:
- Do not wear soft contact lenses for 7 days prior to your surgery (or as advised)
- Do not wear any make up or fragrances on the day or surgery
- Take any prescribed medications as usual unless advised by surgeon
- You will need to fast at least 5 hours prior to your procedure. However, if you have other conditions such as diabetes,
WHAT TO EXPECT AFTER ICL SURGERY?
You will need to arrange for someone to take you home and to stay with you at home after the procedure. You should plan to avoid strenuous activity for 48 hours.
Until all the drops wear off, your vision may be blurry, however, most patients see well the next day. You vision will likely fluctuate as the eyes heal then settle over the first few weeks following ICL surgery. There may be some mild discomfort or a gritty sensation for a few days after the procedure.
AM I A SUITABLE CANDIDATE FOR ICL?
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 ASLA