What to Expect From ICL

The Implantable Collamer Lens, or ICL, is a popular option for people seeking clear vision but who are ineligible for LASIK. Are you curious about ICL? Wondering whether you should be nervous? Here’s what to expect from your ICL eye surgery.

The procedure:

Before you enter the operating room, your ophthalmologist will use anesthetic drops to numb your eye before performing the operation. This will ensure that the procedure is completely painless. Then, a small incision will be made to allow the insertion of the contact lens which will sit on top of your natural lens and below the colored iris. The incision is self-sealing and does not require any sutures to be placed. The lens works by bending light so it can be focused in your retina, just like a contact. The ICL lens will stay in place and work to give you clear vision until you develop cataracts later in life. ICL eye surgery gets rid of the daily maintenance and hassle of regular contacts while still aiding your vision. The whole procedure should take 20-30 minutes.


After the surgery, your vision may be a tad blurry for a few days as your eyes heal and adjust to the lens implant. Eye drops will be prescribed to help clear any residual blurriness.

For the first 24 hours after the procedure, try to take it easy. You will be given an eye shield to wear for protection to leave on overnight. Avoid any strenuous activities such as swimming or heavy exercise for 2 weeks after the surgery. You should expect to make a full recovery within a few weeks.

If your eye becomes swollen, sticky, or especially painful, you should consider contacting your doctor.

What may make someone ineligible for ICL?

  • Being under 18 years old
  • Having cataracts
  • Having glaucoma
  • Recurrent inflammation
  • Being currently pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Not having a stable prescription
  • Not having enough room in front of the eye for the lens

Who IS eligible?

The ideal candidate for the EVO Visian ICL is between 21-45 years old and has nearsightedness with or without astigmatism. An estimated 100 million U.S. adults ages 21 to 45 who have myopia (nearsightedness) are potential candidates for ICL surgery.

Why ICL?

For patients unable or unwilling to get LASIK, ICL is a great option. Since it does not require the shape of the cornea to be altered, it preserves the natural shape of the eye and can be removed if there are any complications. Also, unlike LASIK, ICL does not cause or worsen dry eye issues.

What does ICL treat?

ICL can treat myopia (nearsightedness) and astigmatism. Since it effectively functions as a permanent contact lens, most people with a permanent contact prescription are eligible for ICL.

So… what now?

If ICL sounds like the right procedure for you, contact your eye doctor today! With ICL, you could have clear or mostly clear vision without having to deal with the daily hassles of cleaning your contacts or keeping track of your glasses. For more information about ICL, click here to read our blog post about the EVO Visian Implantable Contact Lens.

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Salisbury, visit https://salisburyvisio.wpengine.com/contact/.