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Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL) Eye Surgery - Permanent ICL Implant

If you are struggling with poor vision and are seeking a permanent solution, ICL surgery may be the perfect option for you. This is an advanced procedure that involves inserting an artificial lens in the eye to correct refractive errors and offers a safe and effective alternative to corrective eyewear.

If you are struggling with poor vision and are seeking a permanent solution, ... Read More

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    Dr. Suram Sushama (hf3vg7lLA4)

    Dr. Suram Sushama

    MBBS, DO - Ophthalmology
    19 Yrs.Exp.


    19 + Years


    Ophthalmologist/ Eye Surgeon

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    Dr. Vasundhara Singh (fXou6BrhSf)

    Dr. Vasundhara Singh

    MBBS, MS- Ophthalmology
    18 Yrs.Exp.


    18 + Years


    Ophthalmologist/ Eye Surgeon

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    Dr Prakash Chand Agarwal (o9555Wsz4n)

    Dr Prakash Chand Agarwal

    MBBS, MD-Ophthalmologist
    18 Yrs.Exp.


    18 + Years


    Ophthalmologist/ Eye Surgeon

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    Dr. Prerana Tripathi (JTV8yKdDuO)

    Dr. Prerana Tripathi

    MBBS, DO, DNB - Ophthalmology
    13 Yrs.Exp.


    13 + Years


    Ophthalmologist/ Eye Surgeon

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  • What Is Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL) Surgery?

    Implantable collamer lens surgery is a vision correction procedure that corrects refractive errors, such as nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism. It involves inserting into the eye a thin lens made of a biocompatible material called Collamer.

    These implantable collamer lenses are a type of phakic intraocular lens that can be implanted without removing the natural eye lens. Unlike conventional intraocular lenses (IOLs), which require the replacement of the natural eye lens, implantable collamer lenses are placed between the iris and the natural eye lens, where they focus light onto the retina to improve vision. Compared to other types of lenses, implantable collamer lenses are lighter, hydrophilic, and removable. They also allow better exchange of gas and nutrients.

    ICL surgery is a good alternative for individuals who are not eligible for LASIK eye surgery. It can also eliminate the need for corrective eyewear without any permanent changes to the cornea, unlike LASIK surgeries. To date, approximately 500,000 ICL surgeries have been performed globally.

    • Disease name

    Myopia / Hyperopia

    • Surgery name

    ICL surgery

    • Duration

    20 to 30 minutes

    • Treated by


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    Who Is A Good Candidate For ICL Surgery?

    ICL surgery is a great option for individuals who meet the following criteria:

    • A refractive error between -3 to -20 diopters
    • Thin corneas
    • Aged between 21 and 45 years old
    • Nearsightedness or astigmatism
    • Have a stable prescription (no changes within the previous year)
    • Anterior chamber depth of 3mm or greater
    • Age-appropriate endothelial cell density
    • Prone to developing dry eyes

    Individuals with the following conditions are not good candidates for ICL surgery:

    • Uveitis (an inflammation of the middle layer of the eye)
    • Glaucoma (a condition that damages the optic nerve)
    • Active eye infections
    • Severe corneal abnormalities
    • Pregnancy or breastfeeding

    Are you going through any of these symptoms?

    What Are The Types Of ICL Surgery?

    ICL surgery offers two distinct options: soft lens and intraocular lens implantation.

    Soft Lens 

    True to its name, this lens uses a flexible, polymeric material resembling your cornea’s collagen, minimizing the risk of adverse reactions. The procedure involves a tiny corneal incision through which the ICL is inserted between your iris and natural lens, requiring no stitches. This option caters to a wider range of patients, including those with severe nearsightedness unsuitable for LASIK.

    Intraocular Lens

    This approach specifically targets patients who don’t qualify for LASIK due to severe nearsightedness. The surgeon positions the lens between your cornea and iris, directly contributing to improved vision. While this procedure requires tiny stitches to secure the lens, it may necessitate reading glasses later in life as overall function declines with age. Additionally, if cataracts develop, lens removal becomes necessary before corrective surgery. Both options preserve your natural lens, providing enhanced vision without the need for glasses or contact lenses. Choose the ICL procedure that best suits your individual needs and preferences after discussing your specific situation with an ophthalmologist.

    Diagnostic Tests Before ICL Surgery

    Several diagnostic and screening tests are performed before ICL surgery to ensure the procedure is safe and effective for the patient. These tests include:

    • Visual acuity test: This is to determine the sharpness and clarity of the patient’s vision.
    • Refraction test: This test assesses the type and degree of the patient’s refractive error.
    • Corneal topography: This test maps the curvature of the cornea, the clear front surface of the eye. This information is important for selecting the correct size and power of the ICL lens.
    • Pachymetry: This test measures the thickness of the cornea which is important for ensuring that the ICL lens is implanted at the correct depth in the eye.
    • Slit-lamp biomicroscopy: This provides a detailed picture of the anterior and posterior segments of the eye. It also aids in the measurement of corneal endothelial cell count, corneal thickness, and anterior chamber depth.
    • Applanation tonometry: This is used to measure intraocular pressure.
    • Anterior segment OCT: This test uses light waves to create detailed cross-sectional images of the front of the eye. This is necessary to rule out any abnormalities that could complicate the surgery.
    • Dilated fundus exam: A fundus exam involves dilating the pupils with eye drops to allow the doctor to examine the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. This is important to diagnose any retinal issues that could affect vision after ICL surgery.
    • Medical history and medication review: In addition to diagnostic tests, the surgeon will also review the patient’s medical history and current medications to ensure that there are no contraindications to ICL surgery.

    In addition to these tests, the doctor may also perform other tests such as a glare test, color vision test, and a dark adaptation test. These tests can help the doctor determine if the patient is a good candidate for ICL surgery, and plan the surgery.

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    How To Prepare For ICL Surgery?

    The following guidelines can help one prepare well for ICL surgery:

    1. Research ICL surgery: Understand the procedure steps, potential risks and benefits, recovery timeline, and long-term expectations. This is necessary to make informed decisions and address any concerns.
    2. Consult reliable sources: Seek information from your ophthalmologist, reputable medical websites, and patient communities.
    3. Disclose your medical history: Be sure to inform your surgeon about any pre-existing medical conditions, allergies, ongoing medications, and previous eye surgeries.
    4. Undergo preoperative tests: Your surgeon may recommend additional tests or consultations with other specialists to ensure your suitability for the surgery.
    5. Adhere to dietary restrictions: Your surgeon may advise specific dietary changes to optimize your health leading up to the surgery.
    6. Adjust medication intake: Discuss any medication adjustments with your surgeon to optimize their effectiveness and minimize potential interactions with the surgery.
    7. Avoid eye irritants: Refrain from using eye makeup, contact lenses, and harsh lotions around your eyes in the days before the surgery.
    8. Purchase protective eyewear: Invest in goggles or sunglasses to shield your eyes from dust, debris, and bright light, especially during the early recovery period.
    9. Arrange transportation: Ensure you have a trusted family member or a friend to drive you home after the surgery.
    10. Schedule time off work: It is advised to take sufficient time off work to rest and recover after the surgery.

    Best Eye Hospital For ICL Surgery In India

    Pristyn Care, a leading healthcare provider, is the preferred choice for world-class ICL surgery in India. Our surgical centers are among the premier eye care centers in the country, each equipped with the latest technology and committed to a patient-centric approach, ensuring a smooth and stress-free surgical experience.

    Our team of highly skilled eye specialists boasts an average of over 15 years of experience in performing ICL surgeries. This extensive experience allows us to confidently assure you that your surgery is in the hands of seasoned professionals who prioritize patient safety and optimal outcomes.

    At Pristyn Care, we exclusively use USFDA-approved ICL technology. Our commitment to safety ensures that you receive the highest quality of medical care. We also believe that exceptional eye care goes beyond clinical expertise. We prioritize patient comfort and satisfaction and ensure each patient receives personalized treatment catered to their medical needs. Our team is dedicated to addressing your concerns and providing comprehensive support at every step of your surgery journey.

    To know more, contact Pristyn Care today and schedule a consultation with one of our esteemed eye surgeons.

    What Happens During ICL Surgery?

    A week before ICL surgery, your surgeon will use a laser to create small holes in the iris. This is to prevent any build-up of fluid and pressure within the eye during the procedure. ICL surgery typically takes 30 minutes to complete and involves the following steps:

    1. Preparation: At the start of the procedure, you will be given numbing eye drops to ensure you are comfortable during the surgery. In some cases, a mild sedative may also be administered to help you relax.
    2. Creating an incision: The surgeon will create a small incision (approximately 3 mm) at the base of the cornea using a femtosecond laser. This is to ensure minimal discomfort and a faster recovery after the surgery.
    3. Inserting the ICL: The folded ICL will be carefully inserted through the incision. The surgeon will then use specialized instruments to precisely position the ICL between the iris and the natural eye lens.
    4. Securing the ICL: Once the ICL is in place, it will unfold on its own and adhere to the posterior surface of the iris, eliminating the need for any stitches or sutures.
    5. Completion of the procedure: At the end of the procedure, the surgeon may administer eye drops or an ointment to the eye and cover it with an eye patch. The incision site will be allowed to heal naturally.

    Benefits Of ICL Surgery

    Here are some of the benefits of ICL surgery:

    1. No structural damage to the cornea:ICL surgery does not involve reshaping the cornea, unlike LASIK eye surgery. This minimizes the risk of corneal complications, such as dry eyes, halos, glare, and corneal ectasia.
    2. Can treat a wide range of refractive errors: ICL can treat a wide range of refractive errors from -3 to -20 diopters.
    3. Reversible procedure: Unlike LASIK or PRK, which are permanent procedures, ICL surgery is a reversible procedure. The ICL can be removed or replaced if necessary.
    4. Fast recovery: Vision typically improves within a few days after ICL surgery, and most patients can return to normal activities within a week.
    5. Stable vision: The ICL is a permanent implant, providing long-term vision correction.
    6. UV protection: ICL lenses contain an ultraviolet radiation (UV) blocker that helps protect the eyes from the harmful effects of UV.
    7. Suitable for thin corneas and dry eyes: Individuals who are ineligible for other laser eye surgeries due to thin corneas or dry eyes, can be considered for ICL surgery.
    8. Long-lasting results: Implantable collamer lenses can provide a stable vision for the long term.

    Recovery After ICL Surgery

    It can take between ten days to a week for patients to recover from ICL surgery. The following guidelines can facilitate a smooth recovery:


    • Use eye drops: Eye drops are an important part of the recovery process after ICL surgery. They help to prevent infection and promote healing. It is important to follow your surgeon’s instructions carefully regarding the dosage and frequency of using the eye drops.
    • Protect your eyes from sunlight: Many patients experience heightened light sensitivity in the days after ICL surgery. Until your eyes recover from the operation, it’s important to protect your eyes from the sun and other bright light sources that could hinder your progress.
    • Be mindful of your sleeping position: It is recommended to sleep on your side after ICL surgery as other sleeping positions may cause discomfort and lead to irritation, pain, or impede restful sleep.
    • Rest well: Follow your surgeon’s instructions after ICL surgery to ensure you are keeping activities and stress to an appropriate minimum as any additional strain on the eyes can impede your recovery.
    • Attend all follow-up appointments: To give yourself the best chance for a complete recovery after ICL surgery, it’s important to keep your scheduled appointments. Surgeons often use postoperative appointments to gauge patient progress and make recommendations to further improve healing.


    • Rub your eyes: Patients often want to rub their eyes after ICL surgery as a response to the irritation and soreness they feel. However, it is important to not rub your eyes after ICL surgery because it can worsen pain or lead to a scratched cornea.
    • Go swimming: Hot tubs and pools should be avoided for at least a few weeks after surgery as these can introduce bacteria into the eyes and lead to an infection.
    • Bend down: It is important to limit bending down after ICL surgery as this may place undue pressure on your eyes, and impede healing.

    Wear eye makeup: Your eye doctor will likely ask you to refrain from wearing any eye makeup in the days following ICL surgery. This helps minimize the number of chemicals and pathogens that come into contact with the eyes and reduces the risk of irritation or infections.

    When To See A Doctor?

    If you experience any of the following symptoms, it is important to see your surgeon immediately:

    1. Severe pain: Unusually intense pain in the eye could indicate a complication such as an infection or a dislocated lens.
    2. Excessive redness or swelling: Persistent redness and swelling beyond the initial postoperative period may signify an inflammatory reaction or an infection.
    3. Sudden vision changes: Abrupt deterioration in vision, blurred vision, or distorted images could be a sign of lens displacement or other complications.
    4. Discharge from the eye: Excessive yellow or green discharge from the eye suggests an infection that requires prompt medical attention.
    5. Nausea or vomiting: Severe nausea or vomiting, especially accompanied by eye pain, could indicate a systemic reaction or complications related to the anesthesia.

    Is The Cost of ICL Surgery Covered Under Health Insurance?

    In general, health insurance companies do not cover the cost of ICL surgery. However, some insurance plans may provide coverage if the patient’s refractive power is equal to or greater than 7.5 diopters. It is best to consult your health insurance provider to know the full extent of your coverage, as well as other relevant terms and conditions.

    What Is The Difference Between LASIK Surgery And ICL Surgery?

    LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis) surgery and ICL (Implantable Collamer Lens) surgery are two popular vision correction procedures that can effectively treat various refractive errors, including myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. However, they differ in their approach, suitability, recovery time, risks, and cost.

    LASIK surgery is a laser eye procedure that alters the shape of the cornea to correct refractive errors. It involves creating a thin flap in the cornea using a femtosecond laser, to expose the underlying corneal tissue. Then, an excimer laser precisely reshapes the cornea and thus corrects the refractive error. On the other hand, ICL surgery involves implanting a small, foldable artificial lens, called an implantable collamer lens, behind the iris. The ICL is made of a biocompatible material that does not interact with the eye’s natural tissues and can thus indefinitely remain within the eye.

    LASIK is suitable for individuals with mild to moderate refractive errors and healthy corneas. It has a fast recovery, typically within a few days, and involves minimal discomfort during and after the procedure. However, the procedure can be associated with some risks, such as flap-related complications, dry eyes, halos, and glare (particularly at night).

    Individuals who may have been ineligible for LASIK surgery such as those with high refractive errors or thin corneas can be suitable candidates for ICL surgery. Unlike LASIK surgery, ICL surgery has the added benefit of being a reversible procedure where the implanted collamer lens can be removed if necessary. Since ICL surgery does not involve the creation of a corneal flap, patients experience a quicker recovery than LASIK surgery and no risk of flap-related complications. Moreover, the risk of dry eyes is also considerably reduced during ICL surgery.

    Risks And Complications Of ICL Surgery

    While ICL surgery is a safe and effective procedure, it can be associated with some risks. Here is an overview of some of the potential risks and complications of ICL surgery:

    1. Infection: Infection is always a risk with any surgical procedure, and ICL surgery is no exception. Symptoms of an eye infection after ICL surgery include redness, pain, discharge, and vision changes. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to see your surgeon immediately.
    2. Inflammation: Inflammation is another common side effect of ICL surgery. Symptoms of inflammation include redness, pain, and light sensitivity. Inflammation typically goes away on its own within a few weeks, but your eye specialist may prescribe eye drops to help reduce inflammation.
    3. Lens Dislocation: In rare cases, the implanted collamer lens can become dislocated, and move out of place. This can cause vision changes, pain, and other complications. If the ICL dislocates, it will need to be repositioned or replaced.
    4. Double vision: This can occur if the implanted lens is of an incorrect size.
    5. Cloudy cornea: Eye surgery can reduce endothelial cells in the cornea. If the cells decrease in number at a fast rate, this may lead to a cloudy cornea and vision loss.

    ICL surgery may include other rare complications such as:

    1. Glaucoma: An implantable collamer lens that is of an incorrect size or improperly positioned within the eye can lead to increased intraocular pressure. This can lead to the formation of glaucoma.
    2. Cataracts: ICL surgery can reduce the circulation of fluid in the eyes which can increase the risk of cataracts. Additionally, if the wrong size of ICL is implanted into the eye or if the ICL causes chronic inflammation, it can further increase the risk of cataract formation.
    3. Retinal detachment: After eye surgery, there is an increased risk of the retina separating from the back of the eye.

    FAQs around ICL Surgery

    Is ICL surgery permanent?

    No, ICL surgery is not a permanent procedure. It is a reversible procedure. Although an implantable collamer lens can remain in the eye indefinitely, it can be removed if it becomes damaged or if the patient requires surgery (eg: cataract surgery) that would necessitate its removal.

    Are There Risks of ICL Surgery?

    As with any surgical procedure, there are potential risks associated with ICL surgery. Some of these risks include:

    • Infection
    • Inflammation
    • Lens dislocation
    • Cloudy cornea
    • Glaucoma
    • Cataracts
    • Retinal detachment

    However, these risks are relatively rare, and the majority of ICL procedures do not involve any complications.

    Which is better, ICL or LASIK surgery?

    The best vision correction surgery for you will depend on your individual needs and circumstances. LASIK is a good option for people with mild to moderate refractive errors, while ICL surgery is suitable for individuals with moderate to high refractive errors. Your eye doctor can help you decide which of the two surgeries would be appropriate for your medical needs.

    How long does ICL surgery last for?

    ICL surgery is designed to be a permanent vision correction procedure. The implanted lens is designed to last for a lifetime. However, in rare cases, the lens may need to be replaced if it becomes damaged or dislodged.

    Is ICL surgery successful?

    ICL surgery is a very successful procedure. Studies have shown that over 95% of patients who have ICL surgery are satisfied with their results.

    Does ICL surgery hurt?

    ICL surgery is performed using local anesthesia, so you will not feel any pain during the procedure. You may experience some mild discomfort after the surgery, such as redness, light sensitivity, and blurry vision. These symptoms typically go away within a few days.

    What should I ask a surgeon during a consultation for ICL surgery?

    Here are some questions you should ask the surgeon during a consultation for ICL surgery:

    • What is your experience performing ICL surgery?
    • What are the risks and benefits of ICL surgery?
    • Am I a good candidate for ICL surgery?
    • How much will ICL surgery cost?
    • What is your success rate with ICL surgery?

    How can I find a qualified surgeon for ICL surgery?

    Selecting the right surgeon is crucial for successful surgical outcomes. We recommend you seek recommendations from your eye doctor, conduct online research, verify the qualifications of potential eye surgeons, schedule consultations with different eye surgeons, and gather feedback from patients who have undergone ICL surgery to make an informed decision. It is advised to choose a surgeon who aligns with your needs, preferences, and comfort level to ensure optimal surgical outcomes.

    Does ICL surgery involve removing tissue from the eye?

    No, ICL surgery does not involve the removal of any tissue from the eye. Only a small incision is made in the cornea to insert the implantable collamer lens within the eye. The incision is small and thus heals naturally and allows the patient to recover quicker from the surgery.

    How long does an Implantable Collamer lens last?

    Implantable collamer lenses are durable and can last for a lifetime. However, they can be removed if necessary. Your doctor can provide more information regarding the durability of ICL lenses.

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    Content Reviewed By
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    Dr. Suram Sushama
    19 Years Experience Overall
    Last Updated : February 28, 2024

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    • BG

      Bhushan Gehlot


      Choosing Pristyn Care for ICL surgery was the right decision. The ophthalmologist explained the procedure thoroughly, and the surgery went smoothly. Pristyn Care's support during my vision correction journey was commendable.

      City : NAGPUR
    • SK

      Subhash Kothari


      I had ICL surgery at Pristyn Care, and the results are amazing. The ophthalmologist was experienced, and the surgery was painless. Pristyn Care's ICL treatment is reliable, and I highly recommend them.

      City : PATNA
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      Aishwaran Deo


      Getting rid of glasses with ICL surgery at Pristyn Care was liberating. The surgeons were skilled, and the procedure was painless. My vision is now crystal clear, and I owe it all to Pristyn Care's expertise!

      City : BHUBANESWAR
    • SD

      Sundar Dixit


      Pristyn Care's ICL surgery was a life-changing experience for me. The ophthalmologist was attentive and made sure I was comfortable throughout the process. The post-operative care was thorough, and my vision is crystal clear now. Thank you, Pristyn Care!

      City : NASHIK