Implantable Contact Lenses

If LASIK or PRK is not suitable for your eyes due to either a high prescription, thin cornea, abnormal corneal shape or significant dry eye, then implantable contact lenses (ICL) may be your best option for treating your myopia (short-sightedness), hyperopia (long-sightedness), or astigmatism.

ICL is proven to be effective in patients under 50 years of age with a wide range of refractive errors.

The procedure involves implanting a very thin artificial lens in front of the eye’s natural lens – but behind the iris, so that it is practically invisible to outside observers. Once implanted the lens stays indefinitely – but should your vision change dramatically the ICL can be replaced or removed.

The implantable contact lens procedure differs from cataract surgery in that it is a phakic procedure, meaning the eye’s natural lens is not removed.

Dr Kent was the first currently practicing eye surgeon to perform this type of surgery in New Zealand. Speak to our team today about ICL.

Advantages compared to LASIK or PRK

  • Can correct a wider range of refractive (focusing) errors and so it can be done for those who are outside of the range of LASIK
  • Does not remove any corneal tissue so is safer if there is any doubt about corneal shape
  • Does not cause dry eye
  • Higher quality of vision for higher short sighted (myopic) corrections particularly when more than minus 8 dioptres
  • The ICL can be easily removed making it more reversible.

Disadvantages compared to LASIK or PRK

  • Costs about twice as much per eye and it involves an operation in a private hospital operating theatre and the Staar Visian ICL is expensive
  • Involves an inside the eye operation with a 1 in 4000 chance of infection inside the eye
  • Staar Visian ICL surgery can result in the formation of a cataract (cloudy natural lens)
  • There is a 3% chance of cataract at ten years after the surgery