The Implantable Collamer Lens (also known as Implantable Contact Lens) is a refractive lens implanted inside the eye to correct near-sightedness, far-sightedness or astigmatism. It represents an alternative to other laser refractive surgeries such as LASIK or LASEK/TransPRK. The ICL is implanted through a key-hole incision in the eye behind the iris (the coloured part of the eye), and in front of the natural crystalline lens.
The ICL can correct a wide range of refractive errors between +10 (far-sightedness) and -18 (near-sightedness). Astigmatism of up to 6 dioptres can also be corrected. Your spectacle prescription should ideally have been stable for at least a year prior to surgery.
Mr Gore is a Visian ICL certified surgeon.
Short-term discomfort after ICL surgery is to be expected. Grittiness, light sensitivity, dryness and tearing are also common for the first few days. Many patients experience glare and haloes around lights for a few months following the implantation of the ICL, but these symptoms generally become less noticeable with time. The risk of a serious complication, principally infection, during the first few days following ICL surgery is approximately 1 in 6000. An infection inside the eye (endophthalmitis) may cause permanent damage to your vision.
Up to 1 in 40 cases require an adjustment of the ICL or replacement of the ICL. This would typically be due to the ICL not sitting correctly inside the eye. Adjusting or replacing the ICL would involve a further operation. No additional charge would apply for this.
Early development of cataract may also occur. In published studies, with up to 7 year follow-up data, between 1 – 2% of patients have required cataract surgery to restore vision following ICL implantation. Newer ICL designs have a central port (CentraFLOW®) which allows for normal flow of fluid within the eye. This will likely further reduce the risk of cataract.