ICL, which stands for implantable contact lens, is basically just that; a lens, much like a contact lens that is implanted inside of the eye. It’s kind of like somebody putting their contact lenses in, and then never having to take them out.
The results of the procedure are very fast. The full effects aren’t quite seen the day of the surgery, but typically the patient will notice an incredible improvement in their vision by the next day. The healing process is much faster than LASIK as well.
LASIK is a very good option for patients for mild to moderate nearsightedness, but if you have moderate to severe nearsightedness, you’re probably not going to be a good candidate for LASIK. This is where the ICL really shines. For patients with moderate to severe nearsightedness, the results of the ICL are typically outstanding!
The ICL procedure usually takes about five to ten minutes per eye and most people choose to have both eyes done on the same day; each done about a half an hour apart from each other. The surgeon makes a tiny incision on the eye, less than an eighth of an inch, and injects the rolled up ICL into the eye through that incision. The ICL unrolls automatically and then the surgeon tucks it under the colored part of you eye, the iris. And that’s it!
One of the biggest advantages of the ICL procedure is that the lens does not touch the cornea like LASIK does. This means that people who have thinner corneas, who have a higher risk for ectasia, or a thinning or weakening of the cornea later on, are still candidates for ICL’s. This is true because the ICL can be removed from the eye if it bothers them later on.
The ICL gives a higher quality of vision that pretty much any other refractive surgery, especially for those with higher prescriptions. Higher prescription eyes cannot be treated with LASIK. The ICL on the other hand can address those with extremely high degrees of near sightedness.