Patients who are not suitable candidates for LASIK but who are still looking for a way to permanently improve their vision should know that there are alternatives to LASIK surgery. One of the most promising of these alternatives is implantable contact lens (ICL) surgery. An ICL functions the same way regular contact lenses do, except they are surgically placed behind the iris to complement the eye’s natural lens for vision improvement. Patients will not be able to feel the implantable contact lens or ICL once it is in place. Read the sections below to learn more about one of the safest and most effective alternatives to LASIK surgery.
"Placed behind the iris and in front of the natural lens, these implantable contact lenses can be an alternative to laser vision correction."
Both LASIK and ICL surgery are designed to improve vision affected by nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. Both types of eye surgery carry some of the same risks, including overcorrection, undercorrection, and infection. As with LASIK, some patients who undergo ICL surgery may not be able to achieve perfect vision and may have to continue using corrective eyewear.
One of the major differences between LASIK surgery and the alternative offered by ICLs is that LASIK is permanent whereas ICL surgery can be reversed. LASIK surgery involves the permanent removal of tissue from the cornea. In contrast, ICL surgery involves the implantation of a lens that can be removed at a later time if necessary. ICL can also treat severe refractive errors, something that LASIK is not able to do.
Both procedures offer a number of benefits, not the least of which is improved vision. If you suffer from nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism and are considering surgical treatment as an alternative to eyeglasses and corrective lenses, we invite you to read below or contact a local refractive surgeon through our DocShop network to schedule a consultation.
There are many benefits of LASIK surgery. One of the most important is the potential freedom from corrective eyewear. Patients find they can immediately enjoy many activities they were not able to prior to surgery. Because of this, LASIK is one of the most sought after vision correction surgeries, with nearly a million procedures being performed in the United States every year. LASIK is also less invasive and significantly less expensive than ICL surgery. The typical cost for ICL surgery is between $1,500 and $3,000 per eye while the price for LASIK surgery is between $499 and $2,500 per eye.
ICL – Implantable Contact Lenses
Patients who choose to undergo ICL surgery can enjoy a variety of benefits. One of the biggest benefits of this LASIK alternative is that it allows patients who used to depend on burdensome glasses and contacts to enjoy activities they were not previously able to. ICL surgery also has benefits that LASIK does not offer patients. ICLs are safe and effective alternatives to LASIK surgery for people who are not good candidates for LASIK, including patients with dry eyes, large pupils, and thin corneas. ICL surgery can also correct high refractive errors like severe nearsightedness, something LASIK surgery cannot accomplish. ICL surgery also does not permanently change the shape of your cornea as with LASIK. And unlike LASIK surgery, the results of ICL surgery are reversible; if the patient’s eyesight changes dramatically, the ICLs can be removed or replaced with new ones. Patients can feel more at ease undergoing ICL surgery knowing that the outcome is not permanent.
Talk to a Refractive Surgeon in Your Area
It is best to talk to an eye surgeon to determine whether LASIK or ICL is right for you. The surgeon can address any questions and concerns you may have about both procedures and can discuss other alternatives to LASIK surgery. Use the DocShop directory to find an experienced LASIK or ICL surgeon in your area.