What is ICL Surgery and is it right for me?
Implantable Contact Lens (ICL) Surgery is a vision correction surgery. Though it is less commonly known than LASIK eye surgery, it is a great alternative to LASIK for those with moderate to severe myopia with or without astigmatism or those with more irregular corneas. The implantable lenses, made by STAAR Surgical, are made of a biocompatible Collamer material that works in harmony with your eye for long-lasting vision correction.
The expert ophthalmologists in Tucson place the implantable lens in the eye behind the iris (the colored part of the eye) and in front of the patient’s natural lens. ICL surgery takes less than 15 minutes per eye and can correct astigmatism and myopia simultaneously.
Implantable lenses are a good option for a lot of people because it does not change the shape of the cornea, like in LASIK. Additionally, the implanted contact lenses are not permanent and can be removed and replaced surgically if your vision changes.
ICL Surgery in Tucson
Implantable Contact Lens Surgery is an outpatient procedure, meaning you’ll be able to go home the same day. You will need to make sure you come with someone who can drive you home as your vision won’t be entirely clear by the time you leave our Tucson office.
Implantable Contact Lens surgery (ICL) itself should take less than 15 minutes per eye but plan on being in the office for about two hours because you’ll need to have vision tests performed before and after.
During your ICL surgery at our Tucson vision center our doctor will use anesthetic drops in your eyes so they will be numb. We will also use an eyelid holder to keep you from blinking during the surgery.
The surgeon then makes a small incision—about 3 mm long—to the side of the cornea and inserts the new lens in the slit that was created. The tiny opening will heal and self-seal quickly. Most ICL patients have minimal discomfort during or after surgery. ICL surgery has also been clinically tested and has been performed safely by our surgeons for many years.
After your implantable contact lens surgery (ICL), we will send you home with eye drops and shields. You will need to wear the eye shields while you sleep for about a week to prevent you from rubbing your eyes in your sleep.
Our team will have you come back to the Tucson clinic for an exam the next day to check on your eyes and perform another vision test. Please plan to have someone drive you home from our Tucson location when you have your follow-up appointments. You should be able to return to your normal activities the day after surgery.
Once you are healed, you will not be able to feel the implanted lens. It will also be invisible to you and others when looking at your eyes. The ICL is also not a permanent implant, so if for any reason you need to remove it, you will have no issue in doing so.
ICL Pros and Cons
- ICL Surgery is a great alternative for those who may not be eligible for LASIK surgery.
- ICL Surgery can be reversed if for any reason the implant needs to be removed.
- ICL Surgery is different form LASIK in that it does not change the shape of the cornea.
- ICL Surgery is an outpatient procedure and has a short recovery period.
- ICL Surgery at Barnet Dulaney Perkins is smooth and easy. Barnet Dulaney Perkins Eye Center has also been voted the #1 Eye Care Center by Ranking Arizona for the past eight years in a row.
- ICL Surgery does not prevent changes in your vision as you age, such as cataracts.
- ICL Surgery is an elective procedure. This means that it is most often not covered by insurance. Contact us to discuss our flexible payment options.
- Many Arizona residents may not know that ICL Surgery is the right option for them, as other vision correction centers across the state may focus solely on LASIK procedures.
Hear from our real ICL patients.
Get first-hand accounts from our real ICL patients across the state of Arizona as they talk about the procedure and their experience with us at Barnet Dulaney Perkins Eye Center.