Is an Implantable Contact Lens the right choice for you?

Is an Implantable Contact Lens the right choice for you?

Making decisions about our health, especially when it comes to something as crucial as our vision, can be daunting. For individuals considering vision correction surgery, one possible option is having implantable contact lens (ICL) surgery. In this article, we will be discussing if ICL surgery is the right choice for you.  

Before we delve into factors as to why ICL surgery may be a viable surgical option, it is essential to understand how ICL surgery differs from LASIK surgery, a popular type of laser vision correction.

Unlike LASIK surgery which uses an excimer laser to reshape the cornea, ICL surgery does not alter the shape and structure of the cornea. The ICL surgery simply involves implanting a lens between the iris and the natural eye lens, through a small incision at the edge of the cornea. This surgical method preserves the natural shape of the cornea, making it a beneficial option for individuals with thin corneas, irregularly shaped corneas or high levels of refractive errors (myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, presbyopia).

Lang Eye Centre - Lens used in a ICL Procedure in Singapore
The Visian Phakic Implantable Collamer Lens is made from a polymer with collagen, which is very bio–compatible.


1. Those with high levels of refractive errors:

Individuals with high myopia (e.g. above 900 degrees) often face challenges with LASIK surgery due to insufficient corneal thickness. ICL surgery offers hope to those longing for clear vision without the need for spectacles or contact lenses and aims to provide a better quality of vision compared to LASIK surgery for those with high refractive errors without compromising corneal integrity. 

2. Irregularly shaped corneas:

Those with a high level of astigmatism can have irregularly shaped corneas. In such cases, LASIK surgery may not be an ideal option as it needs to remove corneal tissue and in the process will involve altering the corneal shape. Hence, ICL surgery is a preferred surgical option for those with irregularly shaped corneas. 

Woman doing eye test

3. Thin corneas:

Those considering LASIK surgery need to have sufficient corneal thickness. Hence, those with thin corneas may be excluded from LASIK surgery. As ICL surgery bypasses this limitation, it is a suitable option for those with insufficient corneal thickness for LASIK surgery.

4. Stable prescription:

Akin to LASIK surgery, those who are considering ICL surgery should have a stable eye prescription for at least one year.

Benefits of ICL Surgery

ICL surgery offers numerous benefits to individuals seeking vision correction, particularly those who may not be suitable candidates for LASIK surgery.

Good visual outcomes: ICL surgery offers a good level of accuracy when it comes to correcting high levels of refractive error.

Minimal pain and discomfort: On surgery day, numbing eyedrops and local anaesthesia will be administered to numb the eye, minimising pain and discomfort during ICL surgery. The procedure is also relatively quick as it takes about 15 minutes for 2 eyes.

Reversible and retains corneal integrity: Unlike LASIK surgery which is an irreversible procedure that permanently changes the corneal shape and removes corneal tissue (tissue does not regrow), ICL surgery on the other hand is reversible. The ICL can be removed or exchanged if deemed necessary and nothing is removed from the eye during the procedure.

Fast recovery: Most people can recover about 75% of their vision the very next day and resume most activities. The vision will continue to improve in the upcoming weeks and months.

3-hour ICL evaluation

Before ICL surgery, you will need to come in for the 3-hour ICL evaluation. Our clinical optometrist will conduct a whole series of eye tests to determine your suitability for surgery. Our ICL surgeon will thereafter check the health of your eyes, including the cornea, retina and intraocular pressure and explain all benefits and possible risks of surgery. Certain conditions such as cataracts and insufficient anterior chamber depth (space inside the eye where ICL is implanted) may deem you unsuitable for ICL surgery. 

Get in touch with us

In conclusion, ICL surgery with benefits such as reversibility and fast vision recovery may be a good vision correction surgery option if you have been rejected for LASIK surgery previously. Contact Lang Eye Centre at +65 6684 100 or if you would like to understand more about ICL surgery and your suitability.

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