ICL (Implantable Collamer Lens)

If you wear corrective eyewear such as glasses or contact lenses and would like to be free of the encumbrance, then there are several options which provide permanent vision correction. Although LASIK surgery is the most well-known method to correct vision, there are other options for people who may not be suitable candidates for LASIK.

ICL, also very commonly referred to as Phakic IOL’s, are micro thin lenses implanted over the natural lens, inside the eye, to correct spectacle power. They are similar to contact lenses placed in eyes except that a contact lens is temporary and has to be put on a daily basis whereas ICL is put inside the eye permanently. The vision with an ICL is better than that of a contact lens because the ICL does not move and can correct cylindrical power, along with spherical power, in a better way.

ICL gives high definition vision and does not require creating a corneal flap and corneal tissue removal as in LASIK, SMILE & other laser specs removal procedures. It also does not cause any corneal dryness as seen in standard specs removal processes. The ICL surgery provides a safe and effective surgical correction of powers as high as -20D and cylindrical correction of 6D.

Who is a Candidate for ICL Surgery?

To be a suitable candidate for ICL, you should be:

  • At least 18 years old
  • Your specs number should be stable for about a year – minor changes do not disqualify you from becoming a candidate
  • Ladies should not be pregnant or be breastfeeding
  • You should not have any eye disease
  • Controlled diabetes is not a contraindication.

Absolute Indications for ICL

  • Eye power more than -8 dioptres up to -18 dioptres
  • Cornea thinner than 450 microns
  • Cylinder power of the eye more than 3.5 diopters
  • Unhealthy cornea including Keratoconus
  • Dry eye situations
  • Any situation where LASIK is not a suitable option

Composition & the types of ICL

The EVO Visian ICL is made from Collamer, a technologically advanced lens material exclusive to STAAR Surgical. Because of the collagen, it is biocompatible with the eye .ICL is made in Switzerland, and the order for the lens is placed as per measurements of the eye. The lens is then received by courier in about two week’s time. ICL is of two types, ICL Spherical and ICL Toric. Spherical ICL lens corrects only spherical power of glasses while Toric ICL lens corrects cylinder along with spherical power of glasses.

Benefits of ICL

The ICL can give you the freedom to live a life uninhibited by the day-to-day lifestyle demands of glasses and contacts. Your favorite activities and new adventures are on the horizon usually in a few short days.
One of the most common concerns people have about the laser-based correction is that the procedure permanently changes the shape of their eye by removing corneal tissue. The advantage of the ICL is that it can permanently correct your vision yet no natural tissue is removed or reshaped in any way during the procedure. If for the unlikely reason you need or wish to remove your ICLs in the future, your doctor can accommodate you. In addition to that, one also gets the following benefits:


  • Technologically advanced lens material
  • Harmony with your natural eye
  • No dry eyes
  • High definition vision which is sharp and crisp
  • Excellent Night Vision
  • Preferred choice in thin corneas
  • A day care procedure and most people can resume daily activities in just a few short days with clearer vision

Myths / Frequently Asked Questions about ICL

1What is Lens Implant surgery and how does it work?
Answer: Lens implant surgery is a non-laser refractive procedure to correct moderate to severe nearsightedness or myopia. A contact lens-like material, also known as a phakic intraocular lens, is implanted inside the eye and acts like an internal contact lens. The lens implant is placed near the iris where it works with your natural lens to provide clear vision at a full range of distances.
2Who can benefit from surgical implants?
Answer: This type of procedure is ideal for patients older than 21 and less than 45 years old. Patients 45 and older who are already presbyopic or in the early stages of presbyopia should consider other vision correction procedures. Lens implants are appropriate for patients with larger degrees of nearsightedness (-6.00 to -20.00 diopters) and either little or no astigmatism and patients who are not LASIK candidates because their corneas are too thin.
3What are the risks with lens implant surgery?
Answer: As with any surgery, there are certain risks to lens implant surgery. It is important to understand the risks and weigh them against the benefits to determine if this surgery is right for you. Although complications after ICL implant surgery are rare, the following conditions may have an increased chance of occurring: infection, retinal detachment, increased intraocular pressure, cataracts, loss of corneal endothelial cells and inflammation.
4Can it correct astigmatism?
Answer:Lens implants do not directly correct astigmatism, but the process of surgery may reduce it. If you have moderate to high degree of astigmatism, you could correct your astigmatism with a laser correction procedure (LASIK or PRK) following the implant of the lens.
5How long does it take?
Answer: The surgical implant procedure is done on an outpatient basis and takes about 20 minutes. You'll need to plan to be at the surgery center for approximately 2-3 hours to accommodate the pre-op preparation and post-op recovery. You will need to arrange to have someone drive you home after the procedure.
6 What will I feel during the procedure?
Answer:Patients experience virtually no discomfort during the surgical implant procedure. It's performed using a local or topical anesthesia (eye drop) to numb the eye and you are given a sedative intravenously to relax you. Mild discomfort for the first 24 hours is typical.
7 Can both eyes be treated at the same time?
Answer:Yes, both eyes can be treated at the same time. If a patient wants to have their vision recover before the second procedure is done, the second eye can be treated approximately 1-2 weeks after the first eye has stabilized.
8Will I still have to wear glasses?
Answer:Whether you will need to wear glasses or contacts after your procedure depends upon the severity of your nearsightedness. ICLs have been approved by the FDA to fully correct up to 15.00 diopters of nearsightedness. If you have larger degrees of myopia, you can have this procedure to reduce the amount of refractive error distorting your vision. Then you can either use lighter prescriptions of glasses or contacts or have LASIK or PRK surgery to correct the rest.
9If my vision is still not corrected, can I have a re-treatment?
Answer:It is possible that some nearsightedness will remain after surgery, especially for those patients with severe degrees of myopia. An additional laser vision correction surgery may be performed to further improve your vision once your eyesight has stabilized for several months following the lens implant.