ICL (IntraCameral Lens) is the name of the implantable lens used to correct nearsightedness and astigmatism. Though the term ICL actually refers to the lens itself, it has also become the common term referring to the procedure of implanting an intracameral lens to improve vision.
ICL is a fast and effective way of correcting vision. It was first approved by the FDA in 2005 and has since been used to correct the vision of over 2 million eyes.
Rather than correcting the vision by reshaping the cornea, as is the case in SMILE, LASIK, or PRK, ICL focuses light by implanting a silicone lens behind the iris (the colored part of the eye). This lens focuses light directly onto the retina, allowing vision to come into sharp focus.
The ICL lens can be thought of as an implantable contact lens because it brings light into focus permanently; however, the lens is different in shape, size, and consistency than a traditional contact lens. The ICL was developed precisely to rest behind the iris, correcting vision while allowing the biomechanics of the eye to maintain perfect balance.
The ICL procedure produces a nearly instantaneous vision improvement — without altering the cornea.
The ICL Procedure
A YAG laser is used to create small (less than 0.25 mm) openings in the iris. This may be done on the same day as the ICL procedure or in the days leading up to it.
To insert the ICL, a small incision is made in the edge of the cornea. The ICL is folded so that it fits through a 3 mm opening. The lens then slides into the eye and rests behind the iris. When ICL is used to correct astigmatism, the lens is rotated until it matches the exact orientation of the astigmatism it is correcting.
Advantages of ICL
ICL is able to correct a wide range of vision problems. Often this procedure is used to treat vision problems in people with thin corneas or very high prescriptions who may not be candidates for laser vision correction with SMILE, LASIK, or PRK.
Other advantages of ICL include quick results and excellent night vision. ICL causes minimal change to the cornea. For that reason, the natural biomechanics of the cornea are maintained, which make the eye more resilient and allow dry eye symptoms following surgery to resolve even quicker with ICL than with laser vision correction.
ICL is ideal for patients who are over 18 years old, who have a stable glasses prescription, and no signs of cataract. ICL can treat myopic (nearsighted) prescriptions between -3.00 to -15.00 diopters and astigmatism of -2.50 diopters or less.
Patients who have a prescription outside of this range may do best with a combination of ICL and laser vision correction such as SMILE, LASIK, PRK, or a Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE).
For two weeks following the procedure, it is recommended that patients “take it easy.” That means no heavy lifting, straining, or eye rubbing.
Patients should try to keep their eyes protected with sunglasses or eye shield throughout the day and night while they heal. This protects the eyes from being bumped or anything getting in the eyes that could lead to irritation. For the same reason, it is important to avoid eye makeup and swimming for the first two weeks following surgery.
Medicated drops will be prescribed to prevent infection or inflammation. It is important to use the medicated drops along with preservative-free artificial tears, which will help the eyes heal faster and feel better.
5 Reasons You Should Choose Heart of Texas Eye Institute for ICL Eye Surgery
- Personalized Care — Our surgeons spend time getting to know every patient and their specific needs before planning vision correction surgery. Every person is unique, and therefore every surgery plan is unique. We ensure that patients receive their desired outcomes by very clearly discussing their goals and what to expect following laser vision correction surgery.
- Customer Service — Every step in your journey to better vision is given deep consideration. We offer convenient scheduling with our online self-scheduler, continuous access to your personal surgery counselor, and efficient use of your time in our modern, beautiful office. These are just a few of the touch points that will make your experience at Heart of Texas Eye Institute pleasant and enjoyable.
- Technology — We are dedicated to providing the very best and most up to date diagnostic and treatment options. This allows us to customize the best treatment plan to meet each specific patient’s needs. For this reason, we are the first practice in central Texas to provide SMILE, which we offer along with every other modern vision correction option, including blade-free, all-laser LASIK, PRK, ICL, and RLE.
- Experience — Both of our board-certified ophthalmologists have combined experience of over 100,000 procedures, fellowship training in cornea and refractive surgery, and are industry leaders in refractive surgery.
- Flexible — We accept many forms of payment, including cash, check, and credit. We offer great financing options through Alphaeon Credit and Care Credit. Furthermore, you can use your Flex Spending Account (FSA) for laser vision correction!