Lastly, what are the risks of Implantable Contact Lenses?
As with any procedure, there are risks associated with having ICL surgery.
If you are thinking about going ahead with it, you should have a complete eye examination and talk with your eye care professional about weighing up the benefits, risks, and potential complications in your particular case. Some of the potential risks of having an ICL procedure are listed below.
Over- or under-correction
The most common complication with any refractive laser eye procedure is over- or under-correction. To counteract this risk, meticulous measurements are taken before surgery, to ensure that the right amount of correction is applied. Even so, exact correction can never be guaranteed. But that’s where ICL has an edge on other forms of correction surgery — if over- or under-correction occurs with ICL, it is possible to have a second procedure to adjust the correction.
Risk of infection
All surgical or refractive procedures are invasive to some extent. Because of this, they carry a risk of infection.
Of course, steps are taken to minimise the risk of infection when ICL surgery is carried out. Sterile products are used, and preventative treatments are administered to the eye. The ICL procedure is also considered to be minimally invasive, requiring an incision of only 3.5mm, so the risk of infection is low.
Nonetheless it’s important to be aware, before going ahead with a procedure, that an eye infection can have a range of results from delayed healing to serious eye damage.
Halos & Night Glare
There is a possibility that, post-surgery, patients may experience halos and glare around lights at night. This is also true of other laser eye procedures, such as LASIK or LASEK treatments.
Loss of visual acuity
While extremely rare, all laser corrective eye procedures can result in damage to the eye including the loss of visual acuity. In the most severe cases, a loss of functional vision can occur, but mishaps of this severity are very, very rare indeed.
Damage to the natural (crystalline) lens
Since the ICL is placed inside the eye, there is potential risk of touching the eye’s natural (crystalline) lens.
While this occurs in less than 1.5% of patients, any damage to the natural lens may cause an opacity (cataract).
In the most serious case, a cataractous natural lens may need to be removed and replaced with a synthetic intraocular lens (IOL). The surgical risks for replacement IOLs are similar to those listed here for phakic IOLs/ICLs.
Iridotomy Complications (If Iridotomy is required)
Iridotomies are not required for most ICL treatments (EVO Visian ICL does not require iridotomy; unless for hyperopia/long sighted vision correction). You would need to speak with your ophthalmologist to find out whether your recommended treatment requires this step.
If you do require an iridotomy, this involves the use of a laser to make a small incision in the eye. Complications from this incision rarely occur but they can cause damage to the natural crystalline lens or cornea, inflammation, increase in intraocular pressure, bleeding, and scar formation.
Increase in eye pressure
In some cases, an increase in eye pressure can occur as a result of the ICL procedure. If this occurs, your doctor may need to correct the problem with additional medication or surgical intervention. If not corrected or left untreated, increased pressure can result in loss of vision.