ICLs (Implantable Collamer Lenses or Implantable Contact Lenses) may be an excellent option for nearsighted patients whose prescription falls outside the range approved for laser procedures and/or who do not have adequate corneal tissue for laser surgery. Referred to as phakic intraocular lenses, ICLs correct refractive errors from inside the eye without removing the eye’s natural lens as is done in cataract surgery or refractive lens exchange. And unlike the laser refractive procedures, the ICL procedure does not involve the removal of corneal tissue.
How ICLs work
ICLs correct refractive errors by focusing light properly on the retina.Because people with high nearsightedness have difficulty focusing distant images properly, objects come to focus in front of the retina instead directly on it, making them appear blurry. Implantable Contact Lenses correct this by refracting light rays directly on the retina reducing the need for contacts or glasses.
First a thorough consultation and pre-operative evaluation must be performed to determine if your a candidate for ICL surgery. About one to two weeks prior to the insertion of the ICL, the surgeon will perform a YAG laser iridotomy. During this procedure, your surgeon will use a small laser to make one or two small openings near the edge of your iris, which is the colored part of the eye. These openings serve as outlets that will allow the fluid in your eye to circulate around the ICL. This is a very quick outpatient procedure which will help manage the pressure within the eye after the ICL has been implanted.
Implantation of the ICL is a brief outpatient procedure. Drops are placed in the eye to dilate the pupil and anesthetize they eye. A very small incision is made in the side of the cornea through which the lens is inserted between the iris and the natural lens. This procedure results in permanent vision improvement, but the lens is removable, thus making this a reversible procedure.
After The Procedure
Vision improvement with Implantable Contact Lenses is very fast, with significant improvement in less than one day. The surgery requires no sutures and is virtually pain free. Following surgery patients are instructed to use eye drops over several weeks and are required to be closely followed by their eye doctor.
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