Implantable Collamer Lenses (ICL)
Another alternative to traditional refractive surgery procedures, implantable collamer lenses (ICL) are also commonly referred to as implantable contact lenses.
The surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure and takes about 15 minutes. The lens is inserted through a very small opening at the edge of the cornea and placed behind the iris and in front of the natural crystalline lens. The wound will heal on its own without the need for stitches, and visual recovery is fairly quick.
Who is it for?
ICL is usually reserved for people with very high refractive errors like those above 1000 degrees. For people with very high degrees, night vision phenomena like haloes and starbursts tend to be more obvious and difficult to overlook. With ICL, these visual symptoms may not be as noticeable as compared to LASIK surgery.
It may also be recommended for people whose eyes are not suitable to undergo LASIK due to very thin corneas.
After determining your suitability for ICL surgery, the Visian® lens will be custom-made in Switzerland or USA according to your prescription. As such, the earliest surgery date will be 1 week from your initial eye assessment.
The Visian® lens originate from Switzerland and USA, and are approved by the FDA. It is made of a proprietary material called collamer, used exclusively by STAAR Surgical, and is biocompatible with our eyes since collamer is similar to collagen. Essentially, collamer is a soft and flexible structure that fits and feels natural when placed in your eyes.
Visian® ICL provides superior quality of vision
High Definition Visian® is an optimised vision correction experience that is sharper, clearer, more vivid, and has greater depth and dimension. The Visian® ICL is made from an advanced technology lens material which provides unique optical performance and unparalleled quality of vision. Since it is made from the body-friendly material collagen, it prevents the lens from being identified as a foreign object, allowing it to remain unnoticed in the eye.
Benefits of Visian® ICL
There are many advantages of ICL compared to LASIK for patients with high degrees, especially those over 1000 degrees. As there is no removal of cornea tissue or alteration to the cornea shape, there is superior vision quality compared to LASIK. Some benefits include:
- Less night vision phenomena such as haloes and starbursts, which may be more significant and permanent after LASIK for patient with high myopia.
- Reduced or almost no dry eye syndrome, which is a common side effect after LASIK surgery.
- A wide treatment range of even up to 2100 degrees, making refractive surgery available to people who were once not eligible.
What to expect after ICL surgery?
As the recovery time for ICL is short, patients can resume their normal activities within 1 to 2 days after surgery. There is little fluctuation or stabilisation time as there is only a small 3mm incision at the side of the cornea, which does not affect the field of vision. Many patients can achieve almost perfect vision within 1 week.
ICL surgery is reversible, so if there are any side effects that cannot be tolerated, the artificial lens can be easily removed.
Doctors Caring For You
Dr Marc Tay
MBBS (Singapore), FRCS (Glasgow),
FRCOphth (United Kingdom), FAMS (Ophthalmology)
Subspecialty: Refractive Surgery, Corneal Collagen Crosslinking, Cataract & Comprehensive Ophthalmology