What is Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL)?
ICL (Implantable Collamer Lens) is a solution to refractive errors for those who feel contact lenses or spectacles are a burden. The ICL has a proven record of providing improved quality of vision. The immediate improvement in quality of vision and the remarkably short and painless recovery make ICL a tempting option to those young and adventurous individuals.
What is ICL?
ICL is made from a material called collamer that is safe to use in the human eye. Unlike traditional contact lenses that sit on the surface of the eye, an ICL is positioned inside the eye between the iris (the coloured part of the eye) and the natural lens. Once implanted, the lens remains indefinitely.
Is ICL the right choice?
ICL is intended to be permanently placed inside your eye to correct your vision. One of the most important advantages of ICL is that it can be easily removed and/or replaced, if necessary. Unlike other corrective laser eye surgery, where healthy corneal tissue is removed permanently, the ICL procedure does not involve removing or reshaping any part of the cornea.
Who is a suitable candidate for ICL?
Unlike corrective laser eye surgery, the ICL procedure is not limited to candidates who are low myopes or hyperopes. With ICL, the extent of refractive error is not a barrier as the ICL can be customised to suit each individual.
Those between the ages of 21-45 years old, with near-sighted or far-sighted vision and / or astigmatism are suitable candidates. It is preferable that candidates have no pre-existing eye conditions such as glaucoma, diabetes and inflammatory eye conditions such as uveitis. Women who are pregnant or nursing should wait to have the ICL implanted. Lastly, those narrow anterior chamber depths or poor endothelial cell density may not be a good ICL candidates.
What can I expect after ICL implant?
Now, you can enjoy “High Definition Vision”- a new level of vision correction that is sharper, clearer and has greater depth and dimension – from a simple, 15-minute day-care procedure. The ICL is foldable, therefore, a small incision with no sutures is done during the procedure. It is placed behind the iris, making it unseen by the naked eye.
What does the ICL surgery entail?
The ICL surgery is a refractive procedure which is very similar to intraocular lens (IOL) implantation performed during cataract surgery. The main difference is that, unlike cataract surgery, ICL surgery does not require the removal of the eye’s natural lens. The ICL procedure is a day-care procedure that is fairly straightforward. The treatment is done under local anaesthesia and you will have to apply eye drops for up to four weeks following surgery. You will have to arrange for someone to drive you home after the procedure.
What are the risks involved in ICL surgery?
Overcorrection can sometimes occur when the power of the implanted ICL is too strong. Undercorrection is the opposite situation in which, the ICL has a weaker prescription than required. In both occurrences, correction can be achieved with spectacles or contact lenses. Other risks are the possibility of infection, raised intraocular pressure following surgery, damage to the natural crystalline lens from the ICL and the very rare occurrence of an early cataract.