Implantable Contact Lenses (ICL)

What is an ICL?

An ICL is a specialized lens made from a synthetic compound called Collaamer. Collamer is a derivative of collagen, which is a naturally occurring substance present inside the eye. This key aspect makes it not detected as a foreign object stopping the body from attacking it.

Who is suitable for ICL’s?

Who is NOT suitable for ICL’s?

Why consider an ICL?

Outstanding Quality of Vision
ICL implantation does not change the thickness or curvature of the cornea. This is achieved by the micro incision having minimal effect on the cornea. Night vision problems such as glare and halos after ICL implantation are minimal.

Correcting a Wide Range of Powers 
ICL surgery covers a large range of refractive errors compared to LASIK, PRK or SMILE.

Better Quality of Life
Eligible candidates can partake in a variety of activities one month after ICL surgery. This allows patients to pursue contact sports, recreational activities and career prospects.

Treatment Range:

Quick Procedure & Speedy Recovery
Patients that undergo ICL implantation have a quick and relatively pain-free recovery where most people experience minimal discomfort. The self-sealing incision made allows most people to resume daily activities in just a few days with clearer vision.

No Dry Eye
ICL implantation has minimal impact on dry eye. This is achieved by a small incision that minimizes the impact on corneal nerves.

UV Protection
Newer generations of ICL’s now contain a UV filter that stops harmful exposure from UV rays from entering the eye thereby preventing the development of UV related eye conditions.

Although being intended to be a permanent solution for vision correction, ICL’s can be removed and replaced if your prescription changes.

ICL Procedure

Day of Surgery
Surgery is performed as a day procedure under local anaesthetic, one eye at a time.

It is important you do not drive after the procedure, so please organise someone to accompany you on the day to drive you home.

A mild sedative will be given to help with any nerves and minimize discomfort.

Once numb, your eye surgeon will create a 3.5mm incision at the edge of the cornea to gently implant and carefully position the soft folded ICL behind the iris and in front of the natural lens.

ICL implantation only takes 15 minutes per eye, after which you will be kept back for a few hours to monitor your eye pressure.

After Surgery
You will need to use eye drops as prescribed by your eye surgeon.

A follow-up eye post-operative examination will be scheduled the next morning to monitor the vision, pressure and health of your eyes.

Complications with ICL’s

Increased Eye Pressure
The nature of the surgery involves the ICL being placed closely behind the iris which impacts the eye’s natural drainage system between the front and back chambers. The position of the ICL can change the shape of the iris and release pigment. Both of these changes affect the drainage system causing unwanted pressure spikes. To ensure this does not occur, we obtain a baseline eye pressure reading and assess your drainage angle.

Corneal Endothelial Cell Loss
Research shows ICL’s can cause endothelial cell loss. The endothelium is the back layer of the cornea where its primary function is maintaining clarity of the cornea by draining fluid. Prior to ICL surgery, we check to assess the health of the corneal endothelium with a test known as specular microscopy.

An ICL can cause a cataract to form inside the natural lens because of the close proximity of the ICL over the natural lens. Over time surgery may need to be performed to remove the cataract.

Safety Profile
With more than 200,000 ICL’s implanted around the world since 1997, the ICL has an excellent safety profile compared to other procedures.