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LASIK vs. Implantable Collamer Lenses (ICLs)

By Gordon Wong, OD on June 05, 2015


An eye seen in close-upThe team at GW Eye Associates is proud to serve patients throughout the greater San Diego area. By offering ample information about state-of-the-art laser eye surgery and other options for advanced eye care, we allow patients to make empowered decisions about enhancing their vision.

Lately, we've received a number of questions about LASIK surgery and how it compares to implantable collamer lenses (ICLs). Let's compare and contrast the two treatment options right now.

About LASIK Surgery

LASIK is a laser eye surgery procedure that is performed in order to address refractive errors. You may know these better by the following names:

  • Myopia (Nearsightedness)
  • Hyperopia (Farsightedness)
  • Astigmatism

The procedure involves reshaping the cornea using a laser. By altering the shape of the corneas, light passes through the eyes and focuses on the retina properly. This improves vision without the aid of glasses or contacts.

Ideal Candidates for LASIK Surgery

The best candidates for LASIK are people who suffer from refractive errors and have healthy corneas. They should be over 18 and have had a stable prescription for at least a year. LASIK candidates should also not be pregnant or nursing and they should not suffer from dry eye syndrome.

About Implantable Collamer Lenses (ICLs)

Sometimes called implantable contact lenses, implantable collamer lenses (ICLs) are a kind of flexible artificial lens that is surgically placed on the eye. This permanent lens implant helps improve your vision, and it has similar properties as the natural lens of the eye. When in place, people will not be able to tell that you have received an ICL.

Ideal Candidates for Implantable Collamer Lenses (ICLs)

The best candidates for ICLs tend to be people who suffer from serious cases of myopia (nearsightedness). Many times the people who get ICLs are those who are not good candidates for LASIK surgery but would still like to avoid wearing glasses or contact lenses.

How do the results of these treatment options compare?

The results of LASIK and ICLs are generally comparable, though each has some unique advantages and disadvantages to consider.

LASIK helps permanently reshape the corneas and yield excellent results and high levels of patient satisfaction. Those who have irregularly shaped corneas, however, will not be able to undergo LASIK. In such cases, ICLs will be a good alternative for their needs.

ICLs can be surgically removed, and the procedure is reversible. With LASIK, on the other hand, the results are not reversible. Patients who get ICLs tend to experience vision that is quite sharp and clear as well. In some cases, the results may be better than those achieved by LASIK.

Would LASIK or ICLs be more ideal for me?

Determining if LASIK or ICLs are right for you is not a small decision to make. During a consultation, we will go over all of the risks and benefits of each option so you can make a well-informed and confident decision about your vision and your eye health.

Learn More About LASIK Surgery

If you would like to learn more about LASIK, implantable collamer lenses (ICLs), and your many other options for improving your eyesight, be sure to contact our advanced eye care and vision correction center today. The entire team at GW Eye Associates looks forward to your visit and helping you achieve the best vision possible.

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Dr. Wong and his staff have proven to be the best eye doctor that I have ever visited. He is extremely thorough and up-to-date professionally. He gives you plenty of time. I never feel rushed.

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