Understanding ICL

Patients under the age of 45 and with severe near-sightedness, far-sightedness, or astigmatism or have certain cornea conditions may be more ideal candidates for ICL surgery or “intraocular collamer lens” surgery rather than laser vision correction of the cornea.

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In ICL surgery, an ultra-thin and extremely soft lens is inserted into the patient’s eye order to correct a patient’s refractive error. ICL surgery is analogous to placing a contact lens permanently inside the eye, instead of daily practice of placing and removing a contact lens on top of the eye. The thin collamer lens is inserted into the through a microscopic incision and placed behind the iris and in front of the natural crystalline lens.

Due to the extremely small size of the incisions and ample pain control, most patients will experience nearly no pain during the extremely short surgery. ICL surgery is designed to decrease a patient’s dependence on glasses for both distance and reading vision.

Early side effects of ICL surgery may include swelling, increased eye pressure, inflammation or rarely, infection. Patients may also experience temporary dry eye or temporary glaring around lights in the evening. Essentially all side effects can be successfully treated with medications and allowing the eye to fully heal from surgery.

Ideal candidates for ICL surgery are those patients who:

  • Are under 45
  • Have severe myopia (near-sightedness)
  • Have moderate to severe hyperopia (far-sightedness)
  • Have moderate to severe astigmatism up to 5.0D
  • Have certain corneal conditions (too thin, or too “soft” for laser vision correction)
Surgery Length
  • 30 minutes
  • Local with IV sedation
Side Effects
  • Dry eyes
  • Irritation
  • Temporary night glare
  • Infection
  • Temporary swelling or inflammation
  • Increased eye pressure
  • Discomfort 12‑24 hours
  • Vision 2‑4 days
  • Exercise 5‑7 days
  • Make up 7‑14 days
Final Visual Outcome
  • 1‑3 weeks
  • Dry eyes typically resolve in 4‑8 weeks
See our other procedures