ICL Surgery – Cause, Procedure, Treatment & After Care
Implantable contact lenses (ICLs), also known as phakic intraocular lenses (IOLs), correct vision in much the same way that external contact lenses do, except ICLs are placed inside the eye where they permanently improve vision. This eliminates the need for spectacles and contact lenses and, unlike contact lenses, do not require to be applied and removed. This phakic intraocular lens has numerous advantages including its correction of the widest range of myopia (near-sightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism (cylindrical power).
Due to its unique anti-reflective properties and high water content, Collamer helps transmit light nearly identically to the human crystalline lens. This means less light is reflected within the eye, leading to sharper, clearer vision; and far fewer occurrences of glare, halos, or poor night vision associated with other lenses or corrective procedures. The collagen in the Collamer attracts fibronectin, a substance found naturally in the eye. A layer of fibronectin forms around the lens, inhibiting white cell adhesion to the lens. This coating prevents the lens from being identified as a foreign object.
One to two weeks before the surgery, the implantable lens patient undergoes a simple laser procedure known as an iridotomy. The surgeon uses a laser to create two or three small openings in the peripheral iris, the colored part of the eye. These openings help ensure that the placement of the lens will not cause blockage of fluid that flows through the front chamber of the eye. A blockage can lead to an increase in fluid pressure known as glaucoma.
The implant surgery is quick and painless, lasting only about 10 – 15 minutes. Eye drops or a local anesthetic will be used to numb the eyes. A trained ophthalmologist will insert the ICL through a small micro-incision, placing it inside the eye just behind the iris in front of the eye’s natural lens. The ICL is designed not to touch any internal eye structures and stay in place with no special care. The Toric ICL is a variant of ICL and corrects near-sightedness as well as astigmatism in one single procedure.