people iconWho is Implantable Contact Lens (ICL) Treatment for?

You are probably a good candidate for Implantable Contact Lens (ICL) treatment if you:

  • Are aged 18-50; beyond the age of 50 other vision correction surgery options may be more suitable.
  • Have had a stable focusing error for at least a year.
  • Have a focusing error higher than -8 dioptres.
  • Have otherwise healthy eyes and enjoy good general health.

You are probably NOT a good candidate if:

  • You are especially risk-averse. No surgical results can ever be 100% guaranteed, and certain complications are unavoidable in a small percentage of patients.
  • It will jeopardise your career; some jobs prohibit certain vision correction procedures. Be sure to check with your employer/professional society/military service before undergoing any procedure.
  • Cost is a significant issue.
  • You have cataracts or glaucoma.
  • There is not enough space inside the eye to insert the lens safely.

Want to find out if you are suitable?

The only way to find out for sure if Implantable Contact Lens (ICL) treatment is right for you is to come along for a consultation with our Medical Director, Mr Pande. Call the centre now on 01482 339 515, or click the button below to request your consultation.

Implantable Contact Lens (ICL) Treatment Preparation

Your decision to have Implantable Contact Lens (ICL) treatment should be a positive and informed decision based on an accurate assessment of the potential risks and benefits specific to your case. You should fully inform yourself as to the clinical reasons behind your treatment, the predictability of the procedure’s results and the timescales involved.

Once you have decided which centre to go to, the first part of Implantable Contact Lens (ICL) treatment preparation is to arrange a consultation, which should always be with the surgeon who will be carrying out treatment. Double check this, as some high-street clinics don’t always provide this, and some charge extra for it.

The surgeon should always be an expert ophthalmic surgeon trained in the practice of ICL treatment and the diagnosis of corneal disorders, and they should always carry out a comprehensive eye examination.

This examination should include:

1. Refraction – A check on the focus of the eye.

2. Scanning Slit Corneal Topography – A map of the corneal shape and power.

3. Corneal Pachymetry – A measurement of corneal thickness.

4. Pupillometry – A measurement of the size of your pupil in the dark.

5. Keratometry – A measurement of corneal power; this data is useful if you end up needing a cataract operation in the future.

6. Dilated examinations of the retina i.e. after drops are instilled to dilate the pupil.

7. Anterior Chamber Depth – A measurement of the front compartment of the eye to assess if there is enough space to safely insert a lens.

8. White to White Measurement – Used to choose the correct size of lens.

Using contact lenses can produce inaccurate corneal measurements. It is critical to have a contact lens-free period prior to these measurements. This period is ideally a week for soft contact lens and four weeks for rigid gas permeable lens users.

Implantable Contact Lens (ICL) Treatment Process

The Implantable Contact Lens (ICL) treatment process works by adding power (negative or positive) to the eye.

The Visian ICL Phakic Lens we use has been available since 1996 as a means of correcting higher degrees of focusing errors (from -3.00 dioptres to -20.00 dioptres for myopia or short-sightedness, and from +3.00 dioptres to +14.00 dioptres for hypermetropia or long-sightedness).

The lens is made from a collagen-based biocompatible material. This lens is surgically inserted inside the eye in front of the crystalline lens and stays in place permanently.

It is not in contact with the crystalline lens but ‘floats’ in front of it, anchored in place at its edges.

The overall focusing error is improved, but the eye still has the ability to change focus for near objects. Thus young patients will not need glasses for reading or near work.

During Surgery

The Implantable Contact Lens (ICL) treatment process is completely painless and it usually takes about twenty to twenty-five minutes to treat one eye. This surgery is carried out one eye at a time. On arrival at the hospital, a nurse will assess you. This is followed by a final discussion of the best treatment option. This is also your opportunity to ask any questions prior to you giving your formal consent to the procedure by signing the consent form. You will then be escorted to the operating theatre where you will be given a general anaesthetic. It is also possible to carry out the procedure under a local anaesthetic, however most young patients prefer a general anaesthetic.

A very small incision is made to insert the ICL. The lens is “rolled up” and placed inside a custom-made sterile applicator. The lens is then injected into the eye through this applicator where it unfolds naturally in front of the crystalline lens. You will be in hospital being monitored for the first night and then go home the next morning. This is done to cover for the extremely rare complication of glaucoma and to improve safety.

After Surgery

After Implantable Contact Lens (ICL) surgery you should be able to resume most activities almost at once. However you should not indulge in heavy lifting or strenuous exercise for a few days. Never rub or apply any pressure to the eye in the recovery period. You will be given eye drops to use for 4 weeks. Vision usually improves dramatically almost immediately and continues to clear over the first few days. Vision is usually stable after 1 or 2 weeks.

There is no pain. There may be minimal discomfort afterwards – a slight ‘pricking’ – but this should settle in a day or two.

Your follow up check-ups for 6 months are included in the surgical package price. It is advisable to continue with annual eye health check-ups after that.

Getting Started

The first step on your journey to perfect vision is to attend a consultation so that your eyes can be examined and your suitability assessed for Implantable Contact Lens (ICL) treatment. To arrange a consultation with Mr Pande at Vision Surgery, simply call 01482 339 515.

Implantable Contact Lens (ICL) Technology

The Technology of Implantable Contact Lenses (ICLs)

Implantable Contact Lenses (ICLs), or lenses that are inserted into the eye and work with the natural lens, have been used successfully to treat vision disorders for over 10 years.

First developed in 1992 at the Fyodorov Institute in Russia, the Implantable Contact Lens (ICL) technology has undergone extensive development and rigorous clinical trials, resulting in the product now being available for use worldwide and in the US since 2005.

Unlike corneal refractive surgery, such as LASIK and PRK, the ICL does not alter the structure of the eye, or involve tissue removal. Instead, the lens is inserted inside of the eye and works with the eye’s natural optical system (cornea and lens) to enhance its performance.

The Visian Phakic ICL we use requires a small opening during a short surgical procedure with an almost immediate improvement in visual acuity. This extremely quick visual recovery is one of the many reasons to choose this Implantable Contact Lens technology for vision correction.

While the Implantable Contact Lens is meant to be a permanent solution for vision correction, the lenses are removable should the need ever arise. This benefit makes the ICL an attractive alternative to corneal-based refractive surgery.

It is mainly used in young patients unsuitable for Laser Eye Surgery.

Jessica Bloom - Implantable Contact Lens Surgery


“It made a massive difference. I was so happy and so pleased that I had gone ahead with it and it’s one of the best things I’ve done for myself.”


“If other people are thinking of having this done, I would recommend it. Mr Pande was fantastic. He helps to put you at your ease and make you relax.”

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