ICL Surgery | What to Expect, Efficacy, and Risks
Eye surgery is usually done through the use of lasers (PRK and LASIK), and these methods have yielded excellent results in terms of safeness and effectiveness. However, some people are not suitable to undergo laser-eye surgery; specifically, people who have irregular or thin corneas or high levels of myopia cannot be treated – or rather, shouldn’t be treated due to the higher risks. ICL surgery is the perfect alternative for those people. This method of vision correction uses a lens that will be implanted in the eye to correct the refractive error, which only requires minimal usage of lasers (just enough to create small holes in the iris).
What to expect before the surgery?
Firstly, the doctor will have to check the patient’s medical records to see if he/she has certain conditions unsuitable for ICL surgery. The following are the conditions that may disqualify a person from receiving this treatment: Autoimmune diseases, history of herpes simplex, history of zoster eye infection, immune deficiencies, diabetes, pregnancy or nursing, history of retinal detachment, eye trauma, and history of certain eye diseases (glaucoma, macular degeneration, lazy eye, etc.).
Secondly, before undergoing ICL surgery, the doctor will conduct some tests to determine the necessary proceedings involved. The following are the common tests: Slit lamp examination, retinal examination, vision with and without glasses, refraction, and dilated examination. Lastly, the doctor will examine the curvature of the cornea to determine the shape of the lens needed to fit the eye.
How effective is it?
Most people have been quite satisfied with the results of ICL surgery because they gain 20/20 vision post-surgery. However, it’s not the same case for every patient, as the healing process of each patient differs. Therefore, some people still require the aid of glasses or contact lenses. Some even need to undergo minor LASIK or PRK surgery to “polish” the results. Fortunately, it’s quite rare for the surgery to fail; thus, the number of satisfied people outweighs the unsatisfied ones.
What are the risks?
Most of the risks are minor and improbable to happen; however, some can damage vision up to a worrisome degree.
Since the surgery will require cuts to be made in the eye, it’s possible for bacteria to enter it. If bacteria gains entry to the eye, it could lead to loss of vision. However, strong antibiotics are used right after the surgery, which is why this risk is unlikely to happen.
Usually, the cornea or retina will swell post-surgery. It will only need time and some eye drops to be cured, but there have been cases where the swelling persists despite it being a supposedly mild side effect. Luckily, there are treatments and surgeries for persistent swelling.
Occasionally, the retina may be detached after the process. If the patient experiences flashes of lights, then it might have occurred. Simple laser-eye surgery can quickly cure this problem.
Eye pressure commonly rises after ICL surgery, but it is usually fixed after a few days. Medications can be used to help reduce the pressure. In some cases, however, the lens will have to be removed to reduce the pressure.
Read more about eye care at this link.