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Implantable Contact Lens (ICL)

Implantable Contact Lens (ICL)

What is an ICL?


ICL stands for Implantable Contact Lens or Implantable Collamer Lens. An ICL is similar to a contact lens, except that it is placed inside the eye instead of worn outside. ICLs may also be called Implantable Collamer Lenses because they are made of collamer material. This collamer material, which consists of collagen, is 100% compatible with the human body. In addition to correcting vision, ICLs also provide anti-reflectivity and UV protection. ICLs are made to remain in the eye for a lifetime – they are “invisible” and the patient does not feel or see the lens once it is inside the eye.

Similar to LASIK, ICLs are able to provide 24/7 visual freedom without the use of contact lenses and glasses.

Types of Implantable Contact Lenses

At Lee Hung Ming Eye Centre, we use the FDA-approved Visian ICL by STAAR Surgical. Originating from Switzerland, STAAR Surgical is known worldwide for their medical devices – they are a leading developer and manufacturer of implantable lenses and companion delivery systems for the eye.

Read more about Visian ICL, how it compares to LASIK and other refractive surgeries, on the official STAAR Surgical website here.

Advantages of Implantable Contact Lenses

Treats a Wide Range of Refractive Errors

ICLs are able to treat a wide range of refractive errors. In other words, it is a suitable treatment for patients with high degrees of myopia or astigmatism. As a result, many people who are unsuitable for LASIK can consider ICL.

Excellent Results

Most notably, implantation of ICLs do not require any structural alteration of the eye. Whereas in LASIK, the cornea has to be altered using lasers. Consequently, the results from ICL treatment tend to be comparatively more predictable and stable. ICLs have a proven track record – to date, more than 375,000 lenses have been implanted worldwide.


ICLs received FDA approval for the treatment of myopia in the U.S. in December 2005. In addition, it received CE Mark in 1997, permitting sale in various European countries.


Unlike LASIK, ICL is reversible. ICL implants can be removed even after surgery.

How is an Implantable Contact Lens procedure done?

The ICL procedure is a 15-min day surgery. This reversible procedure is fast, precise and safe. Prior to implantation, some anaesthetic eyedrops will be applied to minimize discomfort. The doctor then creates a micro opening on the cornea to insert the lens. As the ICL is tiny and soft, it can be folded and inserted painlessly into the eye. Once in the eye, the lens unfolds into position. Furthermore, the incision does not need any sutures, it will seal naturally and heal in a short time. As a result, most patients experience an immediate improvement in vision quality. Generally, patients can return to daily activities the very next day.

Who are good candidates for Implantable Contact Lenses?

ICLs are recommended for patients who:

– Have high myopia or astigmatism
– Have thin corneas
– Are unsuitable for LASIK due to the factors mentioned above
– Want a surgery that is reversible

ICLs have been proven to be effective in patients within a wide range of refractive errors. Unlike other methods, the ICL procedure can treat up to -20D of myopia, +10D of hyperopia and -5D of astigmatism. As such, many people who are unsuitable for LASIK are good candidates for ICL.

Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding are not advised to undergo the treatment. The refractive status (degree) of the eye should also be stable for the past 1 year.

Undoubtedly, there are inherent risks present in every surgery. For example, some risks include the need for a second surgery, temporary swelling or inflammation, cataracts, increases in eye pressure, retinal detachment, endothelial cell loss and reduced visual acuity.

Nonetheless, Implantable Contact Lenses are an excellent treatment option to consider. As such, it is important to find an experienced surgeon. Owing to their experience, skilled surgeons are able to minimize surgical risks for better treatment results.

Book an ICL Assessment

If you have any questions or queries, feel free to contact us at 6470 3366 or

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* Online bookings are subject to confirmation by our staff and slot availability. Please wait for our response before coming down to the clinic