Frequently asked questions (ICL)
A qualified ophthalmologist will insert the ICL through a small micro-opening, placing it inside the eye just behind the iris in front of the eye’s natural lens. The ICL is designed to stay in position with no special care.
What is the track record of the ICL?
Prior to being placed on the market, the ICL was subject to extensive research and development. Today, more than 450,000 lenses have been implanted worldwide. In US clinical study, over 99 percent of patients were satisfied with their implant. The ICL has a track record of stable, consistently excellent clinical outcomes. Additionally, the lens has been available internationally for over 15 years.
Does it hurt?
No, most patients state that they are very comfortable throughout the procedure. Your ophthalmologist will use topical anesthetic drops prior to the procedure and may choose to administer a light sedative as well.
What is the ICL made of?
The ICL is made of Collamer®, a highly biocompatible advanced lens material which contains a small amount of purified collagen. Collamer does not cause a reaction inside the eye and contains an ultraviolet blocker that provides protection to the eye. Collamer is a material proprietary to STAAR Surgical Company.
What if my vision changes after I receive the ICL?
One advantage of the ICL is that it offers treatment flexibility. If your vision changes dramatically after receiving the implant, your surgeon can remove and replace it. If necessary, another procedure can be performed at any time. Patients can wear glasses or contact lenses as needed following treatment with the ICL. The implant does not treat presbyopia (difficulty with reading in people 40 and older), but you can use reading glasses as needed after receiving the ICL.
What type of procedure is involved in implanting the ICL?
The surgical procedure to implant the ICL is simple and painless. As a ICL candidate, your surgeon will prepare your eyes one to two weeks prior to the procedure by using a laser to create two very small openings in the colored part of your eye which lies between the lens and the front chamber of your eye. This allows for the natural passage of fluids between the two areas, thereby avoiding the build up of intraocular pressure following the treatment. The implantation procedure itself takes about 15 minutes and is performed on an outpatient basis, though you will have to make arrangements for someone to drive you to and from the procedure. You can expect to experience very little discomfort during the ICL implantation. You will undergo treatment while under a light topical or local anesthetic, perhaps with the addition of a mild sedative. Following surgery, you may use prescription eye drops or oral medication. The day after surgery, you will return to your surgeon for a follow-up visit. You will also have follow-up visits one month and six months following the procedure.
Can the ICL be removed from my eye?
Although the ICL is intended to remain in place permanently, a qualified ophthalmologist can remove the implant if necessary.
Is the ICL visible to others?
No. The ICL is positioned behind the iris (the colored part of the eye), where it is invisible to both you and observers. Only your surgeon will be able to tell that vision correction has taken place.
Will I be able to feel the ICL once it’s in place?
The ICL is designed to be completely unobtrusive after it is put in place. It stays in position by itself and does not interact with any of the eye’s structures.