ICL (Implantable contact lens)

What is Implantable Contact Lens?

  • The Implantable Collamer Lens or commonly known as the ICL
  • Micro-thin implant for those not suitable for laser vision correction
  • Corrects shortsight, farsight and astigmatism
  • Reversible
  • Useful in Keratoconus where laser vision correction is contraindicated

The Collamer ICL is an extra lens, similar to a contact lens. The difference is that the ICL is placed inside the eye, rather than on the surface of the eye. The lens is soft and tiny, much like the natural lens, but does not replace it. The ICL is specially shaped tocorrect Shortsight, Farsight, Astigmatism. The Toric ICL also corrects astigmatism often found in combination with short and farsight. The lens works in a similar way as glasses or contact lenses by changing the way light is focused on the retina. Very high corrections up to -20.00D shortsight and +8.00D farsight along with 6.00D. of Astigmatism have been corrected at Centre for Sight.

As the ICL is tiny and soft, it can be folded up so small that it can be injected into the eye in seconds through a tiny self sealing opening. Once injected, the ICL unfolds into position in the liquid between the iris and natural lens. ICL corrects the eyesight usually without any further treatment being necessary (the ICL can also be removed or replaced, if required, in another simple procedure).

The ICL is made of a unique bio-material called Collamer. Collamer is accepted by the eyes as not being a ‘foreign tissue’. This means that the body does not react or reject the ICL as a foreign body. Other special features of Collamer are its optical clarity and the flexibility and elasticity that allow it to be folded up and then to recover its correct shape in the liquid inside the eye.

ICLs are intended to remain in place without maintenance however patients are advised to be seen annually by their eye surgeon to ensure all remains well. If it becomes necessary, for any reason, ICLs can be easily removed by trained surgeons.

Advantages of ICL

The Collamer ICL is capable of correcting shortsight, farsightedness and astigmatism with extreme precision. Since the lens does not permanently alter any structures within the eye or on the cornea, it can easily be removed if necessary. Visual outcomes for higher levels of correction are better with ICL.

The ICL is invisible and undetectable! ICL treatment is completely unaffected if you have thin corneas, dry eyes, or large pupils, as it does not involve removing tissue from the cornea.

Am I Suitable?

To determine suitability for the procedure a thorough consultation is required where a number of investigations are performed by a highly trained team of nurses and technicians and followed by an evaluation by a fellowship trained eye surgeon. Important measures include the health of the cornea measured by Specular microscopy and a measure space within the eye which will be evaluated using several machines.

The Procedure

One eye is treated at a time with the second eye a minimum of 2 days later. Dilating and anaesthetic drops are instilled in the eye, and a sedative is provided either orally or through your veins. The procedure involves folding the lens in a lens insertion device and implanting the curled up lens through a tiny incision. The lens is then positioned behind the iris and rotated into the correct position if an implant for astigmatism is used (Toric ICL). Medication to constrict the pupil is inserted as well as antibiotics to prevent infection. One hour later you will be examined to check your vision and pressure. The surgeon will also examine the eye to make sure all is well before you go home. You will be seen again the following day. To help the eye heal, steroid and antibiotic eye drops will need to be taken four times daily decreasing by one drop each week.

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