What is ICL?
ICL, also known as Implantable Contact Lens, is used to correct vision for eyes with high refractive errors (near or farsightedness, with or without astigmatism), and especially if the cornea is unsuitable for laser refractive surgery. At SNEC, the Visian Implantable Contact Lens (Staar Surgical Company, USA) is available.
The Visian ICL is able to correct myopia of -3.0 D to -20.0 D (US FDA approved). Toric models, which can correct both myopia and astigmatism simultaneously, are also available, eliminating the need for subsequent procedures to correct astigmatism.
The ICL Process
The ICL is a one-piece foldable intraocular lens,
which is implanted just in front of the natural
crystalline lens as a 10-minute, day surgery
procedure. This ICL is inserted through a
stitchless, small corneal incision allowing fast
visual rehabilitation, high quality (high definition)
vision, thus eliminating the need for hospital
What is the ICL?
ICL stands for Implantable Contact Lens. It is a foldable lens that is inserted through
a small opening in the cornea into the eye, to greatly improve vision. It is safe,
effective and reversible, and its main advantage is that it does not change the shape
or thickness of the cornea.
What is a phakic intraocular lens?
The ICL is a type of phakic intraocular lens that is placed in the eye without removing
the eyes natural crystalline lens to correct refractive errors. Phakic intraocular lens
surgery is a safe and effective alternative for patients whose corneas are not suitable
Can you explain the entire process to me?
How do I know it is suitable for me?
- The implantation of an ICL is an intraocular surgery that can be performed as
an outpatient procedure.
- Two weeks before the surgery, a small opening is created at the top of the iris
(which is invisible to the naked eye) to allow better aqueous flow in the eye.
This is performed by a painless, quick, non-invasive laser procedure at SNEC.
- On the day of surgery, most patients will be operated under anaesthesic
eyedrops and mild sedation. However others may prefer general anaesthesia.
- During the surgery, a small opening is made in the cornea and the ICL is
inserted into the eye with a special injector.
- The lens is placed behind the iris and in front of the eyes natural lens.
- The procedure takes around 10 to 15 minutes for each eye. Most patients find
the procedure pain-free and easy to tolerate.
- After the surgery, the patient will be observed for 2-4 hours before they are
allowed to go home.
- The procedure is very similar to cataract surgery that has been safely
practised for decades worldwide.
It is suitable for patients who are at least 21 years of age, have myopia up to -20.00 diopters (2,000
degrees) with or without astigmatism. You should not be pregnant or have significant
active ophthalmic conditions like glaucoma, iritis or diabetic eye disease. The doctor
will be able to better advise you after a comprehensive pre-operative examination
and assessment at the SNEC Laser Vision Centre. Please contact us
if you would like to have more information or would like to
schedule an appointment.
Why is it more expensive than LASIK?
The ICL is customized to your prescription and the lens is tailor-made for you. This
intraocular procedure requires a few more pre-operative assessments, the use of an
operating theatre, and anaesthetic support.
How long has it been in the market?
It has been in the market for more than 10 years and published clinical trials with
long term results have shown ICL to be safe and effective. The US FDA approved its
use in December 2005 for myopia. It has been used in Singapore since 2005.
I still think LASIK is better since all my friends had done LASIK. How do I know
I can trust this new procedure?
LASIK is a proven and safe procedure, but not everyone qualifies for it. The ICL is
cornea conserving which means that for some patients whose corneas are unsuitable
for LASIK, ICL may be an option.
Is it safe?
The risks are generally low. However, as this is an intraocular procedure, the risk is
slightly higher than laser refractive surgery like LASIK.
What are the possible complications?
The most serious complication is infection resulting in permanent decrease in visual
acuity. Infection of the intraocular tissues or endophthalmitis, although rare, is a
potentially sight-threatening complication. The risks are similar to those of cataract surgery.
Complications include a rise of pressure in the eye soon after surgery. However, this
complication is uncommon and can be managed by eyedrops and/or oral medication.
Other potential but much less common problems include, but are not limited to, retinal
detachment, cataract, corneal decompensation and glaucoma.
Can the ICL be seen by the naked eye?
No. It is clear and cannot be seen by the naked eye.
What happens when I get lau hua ( Presbyopia) later on?
The ICLs will not prevent or delay the onset of presbyopia. You may still need reading
glasses when you develop presbyopia. If you are already in your forties you can
decide with your surgeon to opt for monovision which can give you good far and also
good near vision.
How many people have used this?
Over 100,000 ICL procedures have been performed worldwide.
Is it approved in Singapore?
Yes. It has been used in SNEC since 2005. It is approved for use in USA, Europe
and in 45 countries.
Can I remove the lens if I change my mind in future?
It can be removed in the same way it was implanted. However, this will require
another intraocular surgery with its attendant risks.
What happens when I develop cataract later?
This procedure does not prevent or slow down cataract formation. However if a cataract operation is required, the ICL can be removed safely, and a normal cataract surgery can be performed. A new intraocular lens inserted for cataract surgery can correct the inherent refractive error but not the presbyopia.
Will the lens affect my healthy tissues?
No. The composition material is highly biocompatible. The ICL lens is made from a
technologically advanced material, called Collamer, which is made of collagen and
copolymer. The advanced lens material is easily accepted by the eye.
Why should I have my ICL implantation performed at SNEC?
At SNEC, the ICL procedure is performed by our team of experienced and skilled surgeons. SNEC has a set of strict guidelines and you can be assured that we perform stringent assessments, high quality surgery and provide excellent aftercare.
At the SNEC Laser Vision Centre, we are committed to providing quality and accessible ophthalmic eye care. Our rates are deliberated with the patient in mind.
For more information on financial options, please call 6322 8891
We accept payment by Cash, NETS (Subject to daily limit), debit and credit cards.
||Price with 7%GST (per eye)
|ICL Suitability Assessment
||S$6,131.10 to S$6,837.30
- Prices indicated are correct as of 9th February 2015 and may be subject to change without prior notice.
- Price applicable for Singaporean, Permanent Resident and Employment Pass/Work Permit Holder, Dependent Pass Holder or Long Term Visit Pass - Plus Holder.
- A surcharge is applicable for Social Visit Pass Holder, Student Pass Holder, Long Term Visit Pass Holder and Tourists.