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Implantable collamer lens surgery (ICL)

What is ICL Eye Surgery?

This surgery involves the placement of a permanent, implantable collamer lens (ICL) inside the eye to treat nearsightedness and astigmatism. During the surgery, the doctor inserts the Visian ICL in between the eye’s natural lens and colored iris. This lens functions just like a contact lens by bending light so that it will be focused on the retina, however it permanently stays inside the eye, so this eliminates the daily hassle of removing and cleaning lenses.

The Vision ICL is a “phakic” Intraocular lens meaning that it is placed in the eye without taking out the natural lens. This procedure can eliminate the need for glasses or contacts and is a good alternative for patients who are not candidates for LASIK. This procedure provides clear vision similar to what LASIK can achieve, but it does not require the shape of the cornea to be altered which is why it is a good solution for patients who are not LASIK candidates. The ICL implant is removable if it ever causes issues.

What to Expect

The ICL procedure takes about 20-30 minutes and is performed in an operating room. Both eyes are performed on the same day under oral sedation. The implanted Vision ICL is not visible to others, and you will not be able to feel it inside your eye. It does not cause dry eye issues like LASIK surgery. You might also be given antibiotics and anti-inflammatory eye drops for several days after surgery.


The recovery period for most patient is relatively short. Your vision will immediately be improved however optimal effects of the implantable contact lens procedure are usually experienced in about one to seven days. Your eye should be completely healed within a few weeks, but you can resume normal activities following the day after surgery.


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