Implantable Contact Lens Implantation


Update Date 11/05/2020 . 5 mins read


What is Implantable Contact Lens Implantation?

Implantable contact lens (ICL) are state-of-the-art refractive error solution. As the name suggests, ICL is a kind of lens which is implanted into the eye and does not require frequent removal like a normal contact lens.

The purpose of implantable contact lens implantation is to correct eye problems such as myopia (near sightedness), hyperopia (far sightedness) and astigmatism (cylindrical power).

When is Implantable Contact Lens Implantation needed?

ICL procedures may be recommended for highly nearsighted and farsighted

patients who may not be candidates for the more common laser procedures  such as LASIK, LASEK, and PRK. Unlike laser vision correction procedures that permanently change your vision, it is possible to later remove an ICL.


What should you know before undergoing Implantable Contact Lens Implantation?

Not everyone can safely undergo this procedure. Candidates for the ICL are above 18 years of age, suffer from myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and/or astigmatism (cylindrical power) and want to experience superior vision correction.

Those who are not eligible for laser refractive surgery may be candidates for this procedure.

Women who are pregnant or nursing should wait to have the ICL implanted. Lastly, those without a large enough anterior chamber depth or endothelial cell density may not be a good ICL candidate.

What are the complications and side effects?

Some complications could arise from implantable contact lens implantation, including:

  • Overcorrection: This complication occurs if the prescriptive power of the implanted ICL is too strong. In most cases it can be corrected with corrective eyewear or with an ICL replacement.
  • Undercorrection: The opposite of overcorrection, undercorrection is the result of an implantable contact lens with too weak of a prescription.
  • Correction methods are similar to those of overcorrection.
  • Infection: During most surgeries, there is a potential of an infection.
  • Increased intraocular pressure: Pressure may build in the eye after an ICL procedure. The sooner a surgeon is alerted to this, the greater the chance of avoiding serious damage. This is detected during your follow up visits with us or in case you face acute blurring of vision or headaches, you must visit the eye clinic ICLs have the potential, however slight, of needing to be repositioned.
  • Damage to crystalline lens: Because implantable contact lenses are implanted into the eye, there is a potential that the eye’s natural lens may be damaged during the procedure. If the damage is severe, the crystalline lens may need to be replaced with an intraocular lens.
  • Cataract development : Over 50 percent of the population will develop cataracts by the age of 65, however, it is believed that the use of some implantable contact lenses may cause cataracts at an earlier age, this however is rare.
  • Halos, glare, and double vision: Updated ICL models greatly diminish the risks of halos, glare, and double vision.
  • Retinal detachment: Less than 1 percent of patients in the clinical studies were affected by retinal detachment. It should be noted, however, that the occurrence of retinal detachment increased as the degree of myopia increased.

Some pain is expected during recovery. Your vision may be blurry for several days or longer. A mild to moderate amount of fluctuation of vision is normal. Your vision may be blurry for several days or longer. A mild to moderate amount of fluctuation of vision is normal.

It is important you understand the precautions and know the possible complication and side effects before having this Implantable Contact Lens Implantation. If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor or surgeon for more information.


How do I prepare for Implantable Contact Lens Implantation?

If you wear contact lenses, do not wear them in the eye that is going to be treated for 24 hours prior to your procedure.

Arrange to have someone drive you home. You cannot drive yourself.

Do not eat or drink for 6 hours prior to your procedure.

Do not drink any alcohol the day of your procedure.

Take your regularly scheduled medications as instructed by your primary care

doctor with a small sip of water.

Bring a list of your medications with you to the surgery center on the day of your


Remove all eye and facial make-up before you come in for your procedure. Do not wear fragrances, perfumes, colognes, scented lotions or gels on the day of your procedure.

What happens during Implantable Contact Lens Implantation?

The procedure will take about 10 minutes per eye. Your expected time of stay at the surgery center is 2.5 hours.

The implantation procedure for the ICL (Implantable Contact Lens) is refractive eye surgery that involves a procedure similar to the intraocular lens (IOL) implantation performed during cataract surgery. The main difference is that, unlike cataract surgery, the ICL eye surgery does not require the removal of the eye’s natural lens.

The surgical procedure to implant the ICL is simple and nearly painless.

As a ICL candidate, your doctor will prepare your eyes one to two weeks prior to surgery by using a laser to create a small opening between the lens and the front chamber of your eye (iridotomy). This allows fluid to pass between the two areas, thereby avoiding the buildup of intraocular pressure following the surgery.

However, some surgeons choose to do this step on the same day of the surgery.

The area around your eyes will be cleaned and a sterile drape may be

applied around your eye.

Eye drops or a local anesthetic will be used to numb your eyes.

When your eye is completely numb, an eyelid speculum will be placed between your eyelids to keep you from blinking during the procedure.

The procedure involves folding the lens in a lens insertion device and implanting the cullrd 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.

What happens after Implantable Contact Lens Implantation?

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. The recovery time is short and the results of the surgery are almost immediate.

If you have any questions or concerns, please consult with your doctor or surgeon for more information.


What should you do after Implantable Contact Lens Implantation?

You may take pain medication to control pain during recovery, but be sure to consult with your doctor first.

You may resume your regular diet and medication schedule.

Do not swim or get into a hot tub/Jacuzzi/steam bath/sauna for one week after your procedure. You may shower or bathe.

You may not wear eye make-up for 24 hours following your procedure. After 24 hours, if you wish to wear mascara or eyeliner, open fresh make-up; old mascara and eyeliner accumulate germs. You may resume wearing the make-up you already have after one week.

You may resume exercise tomorrow. Wear eye protection for activities like tennis where eye trauma is possible.

If you are having one eye treated (instead of both eyes on the same day), you may still benefit from wearing your usual contact lens in the untreated eye.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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