03 Aug Implantable Contact lens (ICL)
It is once again Sunday afternoon as I write this post about another exciting technology in vision correction. Implantable collamer lens (ICL), or colloquially known as implantable contact lens, is a technique used to correct near-sightedness. Since its introduction, ICL has opened the door to clear vision for many individuals who were unable to undergo other forms of vision correction. As an ICL surgeon, I want to share what ICL is and why it may be the right procedure for certain individuals.
What is ICL? ICL is an intraocular procedure which utilizes a lens implant to correct refractive error and allow our patients to see without glasses. The lens is extremely thin, and is designed to sit right behind the iris. Light and images going through that lens is then refracted into a clear image for the patient.
What is the difference between ICL and other procedures such as LASIK? ICL is an intraocular procedure that involves an implant; otherwise there is no significant change to the eye itself. On the other hand, LASIK, SMILE, or PRK, are corneal procedures that reshape the cornea. Visual outcome and recovery between the two types of procedure are very similar. The key difference is that ICL doesn’t alter the cornea, which allows certain individuals with thin corneas to receive vision correction.
What is it like to get ICL done? We perform our ICL procedure in-office. The procedure is comfortable throughout the entire process. The only sensation would be eye drops, a bright light, and occasional pressure. Both eyes would typically be complete in 30 minutes. Vision can be noticeably clearer immediately after. Besides being able to see clearly, there would be no sensation of the implant being there.
Now who is a good candidate for ICL? ICL is an excellent procedure for anyone with near-sightedness, with or without astigmatism. It is a gamechanger for those who were denied vision correction due to their high prescriptions or thin corneas. The procedure is safe for those with active lifestyles. Prior to commercial use, ICL were effectively used by the US Army soldiers with excellent results.
I hope this has been informative. The best way to learn more is to come visit us, and see if you’re a candidate for ICL. I look forward to seeing you soon!
Joseph Ling, MD