What is an Implantable Collamer Lens?
The implantable collamer lens (ICL) is used in a surgical procedure to correct nearsightedness, or myopia. The word “collamer” is derived from the combination of the two words “collagen” and “polymer”. The collagen copolymer material is what gives the implantable collamer lens its soft, flexible, gel composition.
The ICL procedure and LASIK surgery both address the permanent correction of nearsightedness but they are significantly different. ICL and LASIK differ in the areas of the eye that they change. The ICL procedure is directed to the area behind the cornea while LASIK is performed on the cornea itself. ICL requires no removal of tissue, and is simply implanted inside the eye. LASIK, commonly referred to as laser eye surgery or laser vision correction, is a type of refractive surgery that uses a laser to reshape the eye's cornea. Both provide the ability for most patients to function without eyeglasses or contact lenses, but the implantable collamer lens can be changed out if the patient’s vision changes significantly. LASIK surgery cannot be reversed.
Local anesthesia is used for the ICL procedure, and the patient is awake through the entire procedure which should take less than thirty minutes. A patient can expect to have full use of their eye immediately after the surgery. Full recovery usually takes less than forty-eight hours and patients should be able to return to a normal routine the day after the surgery. Patients should plan on seeing their ophthalmologist on a regular basis after the surgery for several months to monitor the implants.
Who will benefit most from an implantable collamer lens?
- Individuals who are significantly nearsighted (myopia).
- Individuals who do not want to wear eyeglasses or contacts anymore.
- An individual with corneas that are too thin for LASIK surgery.
Who are not good candidates for an IPL?
- Glaucoma patients
- Have large pupils
- Have a high risk of eye trauma
- Have a disease or on medication that may slow or inhibit wound healing.
Make an appointment today to see if you are a candidate for a implantable collamer lens procedure.