What are ICL lenses and in which cases are they used?
ICL is the acronym for Implantable Collamer Lens. Collamer is a patented material that together with its design gives this lens unique characteristics for intraocular use.
These characteristics are:
- It is a reversible surgery, a characteristic that none of the other types of refractive surgery, such as LASIK or refractive crystalline lens surgery, possesses.
- It is the one with the best visual quality results, due to its design and the material it is made of.
- The incidence of ocular dryness in the postoperative period is very low compared to corneal refractive surgery.
- Visual recovery is almost immediate.
It is commonly used by ophthalmic surgeons as an alternative to laser surgery in those patients who are not candidates according to preoperative ophthalmologic tests. ICL can be used as the first choice surgery in most cases, as it is possibly the best refractive surgery due to the advantages we have described, but laser surgery is much more economically attractive.
Can several refractive defects be treated at the same time?
ICLs can correct the same defects as laser refractive surgery:
- Astigmatism With the advantage of covering a much wider range. For example, it can correct up to approximately 18 Dp of myopia. An ICL capable of correcting presbyopia will soon appear on the market.
Who is the ideal ICL patient?
Virtually any patient requiring refractive surgery can be a candidate for ICL with the only physical limitation of the intraocular space required by the lens (we always measure it in the preoperative tests). It is rare to find patients out of dioptric range for ICL, but there are patients with extreme prescriptions in whom ICL does not allow total correction of the refractive defect. However, in many centers the first choice surgery is still LASIK, with ICL being an out-of-range indication for laser:
- Patients not candidates for laser refractive surgery.
- Patients with refraction above the LASIK range.
- Patients with significant ocular dryness contraindicating LASIK surgery
- Patients who simply want the best refractive surgery.
How is maintenance and results?
The results are excellent, even better than LASIK surgery. The degree of patient satisfaction is very high.
It does not require any maintenance, although it is always advisable to perform annual check-ups in the same way as we do for other types of refractive surgery.