Is an ICL Right for You?

An ICL, or intraocular collamer lens, is a lens that’s put inside the eye without removing the natural lens of the eye. The lens contains an ultraviolet (UV) filter and sits between the iris and the lens. The patients who are most likely to have or require an intraocular collamer lens are patients who are not candidates for laser eye surgery, usually due to:
• Extreme myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism
• Thin or unhealthy corneas

What to Expect During the Procedure

ICL is a very effective surgery with slightly higher risks than laser eye surgery. The procedure usually takes about 5-10 minutes per eye, and usually both eyes are done consecutively at the same sitting. Prior to surgery, the surgeon will put anaesthetic drops in your eyes to numb them. During ICL surgery, your eye surgeon will make a small incision in the cornea using a microkeratome and then implant the lenses.

Unlike other types of laser eye surgery, implantable lenses don’t change the shape of the cornea. An ACL simply enhances the focusing abilities of the eye’s natural lens. Patients can’t feel an intraocular collamer lens and it can be removed if needed.

Most patients notice improved vision within 24 hours, and experience little to no discomfort during recovery. Patients are often required to take drops for about 3 to 4 weeks after surgery and restrict activities for the first week.

How Can Patients Take Control of Their Health?

  • Schedule regular eye exams with your optometrist.
  • If you’ve undergone ICL surgery, attend all follow-up appointments with your eye health provider.
  • Arrange for someone to take you home after the ICL procedure.
  • Follow your optometrist’s directions on swimming and hot tubs, exercising and wearing makeup afterwards.
  • If you smoke, quit. It increases your risk of developing certain eye conditions.


Talk to your optometrist if you want more information about intraocular collamer lenses.