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Procedure & Recovery

Implantable contact lenses are thin, pliable lenses often used as an alternative to LASIK vision correction surgery for permanent vision improvement. The lenses are implanted in the eye during ICL eye surgery and work with the eye’s natural lens to improve vision. We have provided information on the ICL eye surgery procedure and recovery to help you determine if implantable contact lenses are the right choice for you.

Implantable Contact Lens (ICL) Procedure

ICL eye surgery is a relatively quick and pain free outpatient surgical procedure. Unlike LASIK surgery, no laser is required for ICL eye surgery and the procedure can be reversed by performing an additional surgery to remove the lens.

ICL Eye Surgery

The outpatient ICL eye surgery procedure is performed in less than 30 minutes. Before the procedure, the eye will be numbed with a topical or local anesthetic, and a mild sedative may be given if necessary. ICL eye surgery is similar to intraocular lens implant surgery, except there is no need for cataract removal. This allows the implantable contact lens to be inserted without removing the eye’s natural lens. Instead, during ICL eye surgery, the implantable contact lens in inserted through a small incision in the eye and placed into its position in front of the natural lens.

Two types of lenses are available for ICL eye surgery. A foldable lens, the Visian ICL™ is inserted through a small incision and unfolds into its place between the iris and the eye’s natural lens. This procedure requires an extremely small incision that is self-healing. The Verisyse™ lens, on the other hand, is inserted in front of the iris through a somewhat larger incision that must be closed with sutures which dissolve over time.

ICL Eye Surgery Recovery

Similar to intraocular lens surgery recovery, you will need to return to your ophthalmologist for a follow-up visit within 24 hours of your ICL eye surgery. You may be instructed to use eye drops and a protective shield after the placement of your implanted contact lens in order to protect your eye as it heals. Any minor pain associated with the ICL eye surgery can be treated with over-the-counter pain medications.

You should notice improved vision the day of your ICL eye surgery. Most patients experience the optimal effects of the implantable contact lens procedure in about one to seven days. The total recovery period for ICL eye surgery is relatively short. Your eye should be completely healed within one to two months.

As you age, you may need to update your ICL prescription. However, as more information on implantable contact lens procedures is compiled, it appears that most prescriptions remain constant. This minimizes the need to exchange the original implantable contact lens with an ICL of a different strength.

Talk to a Doctor in Your Area for More Information

Implantable contact lenses may be appropriate for those who are not good candidates for LASIK surgery. If you are interested in ICL eye surgery for permanent vision correction, DocShop can help you find an ophthalmologist in your area.

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