With the high success rate and huge popularity of LASIK surgery, more and more patients with vision impairment are looking for alternatives to prescription lenses. While LASIK has helped many patients improve their vision to the point that glasses and contact lenses are no longer needed, not all patients are ideal candidates for this procedure. Fortunately, there are other treatment options for these patients to explore. One treatment that is growing in popularity is ICLs, or implantable contact lenses, which involves the placement of semi-permanent contact lenses inside the eye. Like LASIK, this treatment offers a long-term solution for patients with nearsightedness, but unlike LASIK, it does so without making any alterations to the shape of the patient’s cornea. This procedure is an excellent alternative to LASIK, and the high ICL success rates appeal to many of our San Diego, CA patients.
ICL treatment is performed during a short surgical procedure that typically takes about 15 minutes or less. Treating one eye at a time, our doctor will make a small incision that allows for the placement of the ICL. This incision allows the contact lens to be positioned behind the cornea, but above the eye’s natural lens. As such, the ICL and the natural eye lens will work together to address nearsightedness and provide patients with clearer vision. To ensure that fluids will continue to be able to flow throughout the front part of the eye, one or two tiny openings will also be made in the periphery of the iris. Visual recovery after ICL treatment is often rapid, with most patients being able to perform regular tasks within a few hours after surgery. Throughout treatment, we ensure that patients remain comfortable and free of pain. Oral sedation is also available to those patients who need it.
ICLs are similar to regular contact lenses, except that they do not need to be cleaned or replaced like traditional contact lenses. However, because of their similarity, it is easy to predict the optimum vision that patients will experience following ICL treatment. Each treatment will be personalized, and lenses chosen, based on the patient’s unique needs. In general, ICLs can correct medium to high ranges of nearsightedness, and have a corrective range that exceeds that of laser vision correction.
Within a few days of surgery, most patients have achieved their best vision. These vision results should be permanent, as long as the ICL is in place. ICL surgery has been available in the United States for over 10 years now and there is a high satisfaction rate among patients who have undergone the procedure. Should ICL treatment fail to provide satisfactory vision results for whatever reason, the contact lens can be removed and replaced during a second surgical procedure.
At GW Eye Associates, our eye doctors can meet your full range of eye care needs, from routine eye exams to vision correction. If you are interested in learning more about ICLs or any of our other eye health services, contact us at your earliest convenience.