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Phakic Intraocular Lenses / Implantable Contact Lenses (ICL)

Ever thought about implantable contact lenses? Similar to external contact lenses, implantable contact lenses (ICLs) correct visual problems from inside the eye without removing the eye's natural lens. ICLs may be an option for people with:

  • Prescriptions that fall outside the accepted range for laser refractive procedures
  • Extreme near or farsightedness, or for people who may otherwise not be an ideal candidate for vision correction procedures

How Implantable Contact Lenses Work

The implantable collamer lens, often called an implantable contact lens, is surgically placed inside the eye.  It corrects refractive error by adding additional focusing power to the eye without removing tissue which reduces the need for contacts and glasses. Unlike cataract surgery or clear lens extraction, the natural lens is not removed.

Implantable Contact Lens Surgery

As with any vision correction procedure, a comprehensive examination with your eye care professional is necessary to determine if you are a candidate. You may be asked to:

  • Discontinue wearing your contact lenses for several weeks before the examination to ensure an accurate reading of your prescription
  • Schedule a procedure prior to surgery to help manage the pressure within the eye after the ICL has been implanted

Implantable contact lens surgery is an outpatient procedure and is relatively brief. Here’s what to expect with ICL surgery:

  • Special drops placed in the eye help to increase pupil size
  • Use of local anesthetic drops numb the procedure area
  • The surgeon makes a tiny incision and slips the lens between the iris (colored part of the eye) and the natural lens

Implantable Contact Lens surgery offers permanent vision correction. However, if you develop a problem, the ICL can be removed.

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