ICL surgery: Safety, cost, and comparison

Le'ts understand how ICL surgery works, its safety considerations, the cost of the procedure, and how it compares to other types of refractive eye surgery

Eye doctor examing patient before surgery

ICL (implantable collamer lens) surgery is a type of refractive eye surgery that involves placing a small lens inside the eye to correct vision problems, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.

Unlike other types of refractive eye surgery, ICL surgery does not involve removing any corneal tissue. It is a safe and effective treatment option for many individuals, but it does come with some unique considerations, including cost and comparison to other procedures.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at ICL surgery, how it works, safety considerations, the cost of the procedure, and how it compares to other types of refractive eye surgery.

What is ICL surgery?

ICL (Implantable Collamer Lens) surgery is a type of refractive surgery used to correct nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism. Unlike LASIK and PRK, which reshape the cornea to correct vision, ICL surgery involves implanting a collamer lens between the natural lens and the iris of the eye. The lens acts like a contact lens inside the eye, providing a permanent correction of vision.

During the surgery, the surgeon makes a small incision in the cornea to insert the folded collamer lens into the eye. The lens is then unfolded and positioned between the natural lens and the iris, and it remains in place permanently. The incision is usually very small and may not require stitches.

ICL surgery is typically performed on an outpatient basis, and the procedure itself usually takes less than 30 minutes. The recovery period is typically short, and most people are able to resume normal activities within a few days.

It is often recommended for people with high degrees of myopia or hyperopia who are not good candidates for LASIK or other types of refractive surgery. It may also be a good option for people with thin corneas or dry eyes, which can make traditional refractive surgery less effective.

ICL surgery is generally considered safe and effective, with a low risk of complications. However, as with any surgery, there are some potential risks, and it is important to discuss these with your eye doctor before deciding whether it is right for you. Discover Vision Center is an excellent option for all types of eye surgeries and procedures including ICL.

Bonus tip: If you’re wondering if should I throw away my contacts after COVID, the answer is you should. If possible, also throw away the lens cases from when you were sick.

Is ICL surgery safe for the eyes?

Implantable Collamer Lens surgery is considered a safe and effective vision correction procedure. The lens is made of a bio-compatible material that is designed to be tolerated by the eye, and the surgical technique has been refined over the years to minimize risks and complications.

Like any surgical procedure, there is always some degree of risk, but the overall success rate for ICL surgery is high, with most patients experiencing improved vision and few serious side effects. It is important to consult with a qualified ophthalmologist and undergo a thorough eye examination to determine if you are a good candidate for this type of surgery and to discuss any potential risks and benefits.

An eye exam is pertinent before it can be determined how useful the surgery will be for you. If there are any safety concerns, they will be pointed out at this very stage before any procedure is started.

How long does ICL last?

Implantable collamer lenses are designed to be a long-term vision correction option. They are made of biocompatible material that is designed to last a lifetime, and they do not degrade or wear out over time.

However, it is important to note that just like with any surgical procedure, there is a risk of complications or unforeseen issues that may require additional surgery or interventions.

Additionally, the patient’s prescription may change over time, which may require further adjustments or even replacement of the ICL. Overall, ICLs are considered a safe and effective option for vision correction.

What are the pros and cons of ICL surgery?

It is a refractive surgery that involves implanting a small, thin lens inside the eye to correct vision problems. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of ICL surgery:


  1. High success rate: It has a high success rate and can improve vision dramatically.
  2. Immediate improvement: Unlike other refractive surgeries, such as PRK or LASIK, ICL surgery provides immediate vision improvement.
  3. Reversibility: ICL surgery is reversible, meaning the implant can be removed if necessary.
  4. Minimal discomfort: The procedure is minimally invasive and typically causes minimal discomfort.
  5. Suitable for a wide range of prescriptions: ICL surgery can be used to treat a wide range of refractive errors, including myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism.


  1. Potential complications: As with any surgery, there are potential complications with ICL surgery, such as infection, inflammation, or damage to the eye.
  2. Cost: It can be more expensive than other refractive surgeries.
  3. Not covered by insurance: In most cases, ICL surgery is not covered by insurance, so patients will need to pay out of pocket.
  4. Requires an incision: This surgery requires a small incision to be made in the eye, which may cause discomfort or increase the risk of infection.
  5. Need for ongoing monitoring: Patients who undergo ICL surgery will need to undergo regular check-ups to monitor the health of the eye and the effectiveness of the implant.

It is important to consult with an experienced eye surgeon to discuss whether ICL surgery is the best option for your individual case and to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of the procedure carefully.

If the advantages are in your favor, then you should start the search for ICL eye surgery near me today.

In conclusion

ICL surgery is a safe and effective treatment option for correcting common vision problems, offering improved vision and quality of life for millions of individuals worldwide. However, it does come with some unique considerations, including a higher cost and the need for more invasive surgical techniques.

Whether you’re considering ICL or another type of refractive eye surgery, it’s important to carefully weigh the benefits and risks of each option and choose the approach that is best suited to your unique needs and circumstances.

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