Are you looking for a permanent way to correct your vision but don’t necessarily want LASIK or PRK eye surgery? If you answered yes, ICL (Implantable Contact Lenses) may be right for you. These are contact lenses that are surgically implanted into your eyes, which means they are maintenance-free.
Benefits of ICL (Implantable Contact Lenses)
ICL (Implantable Contact Lenses) have been available for the last 20 years. During that time, about 800,000 individuals have undergone the procedure. The ICL lens is extremely thin and made from a collagen derivative, which is completely natural and found within the human body. Once the lenses have been inserted, they cannot be felt by the wearer.
- Can be implanted in individuals who have keratoconus and/or dry eyes
- Great for individuals with nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatisms
- Lenses can be removed if vision changes dramatically
- No permanent changes made to the structures of the eyes
- No more risky than cataract surgery
- No maintenance or cleaning of the lenses
Good Candidates for ICL Lenses
Good candidates for ICL lenses are between the ages of 21 and 45 to 60 and have stable vision, which means that the individual’s glasses and/or contacts prescription has stayed the same for several years.
- Contact lenses are uncomfortable
- Doesn’t have glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, or AMD
- Need extremely high glasses or contacts prescription
- Not a good candidate for LASIK, LASEK, or PRK Vision Correction Surgery
ICL Surgery Preparation
If you are a good candidate for ICL lenses, Dr. Ana Tang will give you a list of pre-surgery instructions. In general, you should not wear contact lenses for seven days prior to the procedure, and you should not wear any makeup, perfume, or lotions on the day of your surgery. If you take any medications, you can take those as normal. If you have any questions prior to your outpatient eye surgery, our office can answer them for you.
ICL (Implantable Contact Lenses) Outpatient Surgery
ICL lens implantation surgery is performed on an outpatient basis and takes about 15 minutes per eye. During the implantation process, a small slit it cut is cut into the eye between the lens and the iris. Next, the implantable contact lens is loaded into a small cartage and inserted into the eye when it automatically unfolds to lay flat against the lens and under the iris. Since the incision is extremely small, there is no need for stitches and the recovery process is relatively quick. Not to mention, vision correction is nearly instantaneous.
The entire procedure takes about 30 minutes, but you can expect to spend about two to three hours at the outpatient surgery center to make sure there are no immediate complications. Once you are cleared to leave, you will need someone to drive you home, and our team at Neuro-Ophthalmology of Texas at Eye Wellness Center recommend having them stay with you for the remainder of the evening.
The next day, a follow-up appointment will be scheduled with Dr. Ana Tang to ensure that your eyes are healing correctly and that there are no problems with your newly implanted contact lenses and to test for visual acuity. Your ICL lenses are considered permanent. However, if your vision ever changes dramatically or you decide you no longer want the ICL lenses, they can be removed with no risk to your eyes.