What are Implantable Contact Lenses (ICL) and what are they used to treat?

What are Implantable Contact Lenses (ICL) and what are they used to treat?


Implantable Contact Lenses (ICL) are similar to contact lenses, but instead of sitting on the eye’s surface, they’re placed inside the eye during surgery.

ICLs work by adding power to the eye – either negative or positive, depending on your prescription, and are made from a collagen-based biocompatible material.

First developed in 1992 in Russia, the Visian Phakic Implantable Contact Lens has undergone extensive development and rigorous clinical trials, resulting in its US & worldwide launch in 2005. As such it remains the lens of choice by Mr Pande for patients requiring this treatment

Unlike laser eye surgery and corneal refractive surgery, Implantable Contact Lens surgery does not alter the structure of the eye, or involve any tissue being removed from the cornea. Instead, the lens works with the eye’s natural optical system to enhance its performance.

In a quick and safe lens replacement surgery procedure, Implantable Contact Lenses are used as an effective treatment for long-sightedness, short-sightedness and astigmatism. They are particularly suitable for younger patients, aged 18-50, who have a stable prescription (typically -3D to -20D or +3D to +14D), and have been found unsuitable for laser eye surgery.

The procedure typically takes just 20-25 minutes per eye and is completely painless. After a local or general anaesthetic is administered, a very small incision is made into the eye. The lens is the inserted, rolled up, into the eye where it unrolls in front of the crystalline lens.

To ensure patient safety, you will be monitored overnight and able to go home the next morning.

After surgery, you should be able to resume most activities almost at once, though heavy lifting and strenuous exercise is not advised for a few days. You will be give eye drops to use for 4 weeks and you should avoid rubbing or applying pressure to the eye.

Once the Implantable Contact Lens is in place, your vision will improve dramatically almost immediately and continue to clear over the first few days, stabilising after 1-2 weeks.

If you would like to know more about Implantable Contact Lenses (ICL), and whether this treatment may be right for you, call the Vision Surgery and Research Centre on 01482 339515 to arrange a Consultation with Mr Pande or a free suitability assessment.