Mangawhai Optometrists with

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Implantable Contact Lens FAQ's

ICLs Better Than LASIK?

Eye Institute offers ‘Implantable Contact Lenses’ (ICLs) for appropriately selected patients with near-sightedness or far-sightedness where LASIK is unsuitable. Since the introduction of this technology in 1993, more than 55,000 procedures have been done worldwide.  Following the proven safety and efficacy of this form of vision correction and Dr Trevor Gray has provided ICL surgery for Eye Institute patients since early 2004. He has performed well over 440 ICLprocedures and is the most experienced ICL surgeon in New Zealand and Australia.
How do ICLs work?

The Implantable Contact Lens are a very thin, foldable lens, which is inserted into the eye through a tiny sutureless corneal incision during a 30 minute local anaesthetic procedure. Each ICL is specially designed and custom-made (in Switzerland) to fit the patient’s own unique anatomy. It lies behind the iris and in front of the lens, without touching the central lens. The ICL is reversible and can correct near-sightedness, far-sightedness and astigmatism.
Who should consider ICLs?

Implantable Contact Lens are best suited for patients with high nearsightedness or high farsightedness with problems wearing contact lenses. More specific guidelines of ICL eligibility could include:

• Nearsightedness more than –8.0 D and up to –20.0 D (especially if thin corneas would raise the risk of LASIK-induced problems)
• Farsightedness more than +4.0 D, and up to +18.0 D
• Corneas too thin to have safe LASIK
• Forme Fruste or clinical keratoconus that is stable
• Older than 21 years and a stable refraction for >2 years, not pregnant

Patients who are unsuitable have:

• Small eyes with less than 2.8mm anterior chamber depth
• Glaucoma
• Irregular astigmatism with poor glasses vision

What problems have been encountered with ICLs?

No procedure can be risk-free. Ultimately, the patient needs to make up their mind about the risk/benefit balance for the various options available to them to correct their high myopia or high hyperopia. Some patients need surgical correction of their severe focus error for safety reasons. Theoretically, the proximity of the ICL to the iris and lens raises the possibility of late onset lens opacities or pigment dispersion. Both these rare but potential problems (occurred in 0.4% patients in the FDA Study Group) are much more easily fixed than corneal complications following LASIK surgery. Current evidence supports ICLs as being a very effective and safe option for these patients.
Are there any physical limitations to the patient following the ICL procedure?

There are no long term physical limitations after Implantable Contact Lens procedure. That is, you should be able to have a complete return to normal activity very soon after ICL implantation.
Is the ICL a permanent implant?

The Implantable Contact Lens is designed to be placed in your eye and remain there permanently.
What material is the ICL made of?

The ICL is made of ‘Collamer’ which is a 100% pure collagen copolymer material that is compatible with your body’s natural chemistry (often called “biocompatibility”).  Because of this, it is “quiet in the eye,” meaning you won’t even know it’s there! There is no risk of rejection or discolouration of the ICL.
What is involved in the ICL procedure?

The actual ICL procedure takes about 15 minutes. A topical anaesthetic gel is used and a mild sedative is given.
Can both eyes be implanted with an ICL at once? If not, how long must I wait before surgery is performed on the second eye

For safety, one eye is operated on at a time. The other can be done a few days later.  Even more convenient arrangements are possible for out-of-town patients.
Follow up

A postoperative check is important about 1-2 hours after your ICL procedure. Further postoperative checks are usually at one day, one week, one month, three months and six months. Following this it is important to have ongoing routine eye checks every year with your optometrist. ‘Out of town’ patients would need to have their one day check at Eye Institute but subsequent checks can be done with their own optometrist.  All visits up to 6 weeks are covered by the initial fee.



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