We answer your questions
about Implantable Collamer
Lens (ICL) Eye Surgery.

Frequently Asked Questions About ICL and Laser Vision Correction

This table illustrates which conditions are treatable with ICL surgery or Laser Vision Correction.

Factors to Consider ICL – Implantable Collamer Lens LASIK PRK
Pre-presbyopic (under 45 years) Yes Yes Yes
Nearsighted Yes Yes Yes
Farsighted No Yes Yes
Astigmatism No, but later with PRK Yes Yes
RX Above – 12 Yes No No
Keratoconus Maybe No No
Thin Corneas Yes No Maybe
Enhancement option Yes with PRK Yes Maybe

Below is a list of questions commonly asked when someone is considering lens implant surgery. Click on the question below to link directly to the answer. Use your browser’s “Back” button to return to the list of questions. If you are unable to find an answer to your specific question here or elsewhere on the site, please . We will be happy to respond directly to you.


What Do I Need to Know Before ICL Surgery?


What Will Happen During the Surgical Procedure?


What Can I Expect After Lens Surgery?


What Do I Need to Know Before ICL Surgery?

 
What is Lens Implant surgery and how does it work?

Lens implant surgery is a non-laser refractive procedure to correct moderate to severe nearsightedness or myopia. A contact lens-like material, also known as a phakic intraocular lens, is implanted inside the eye and acts like an internal contact lens. The lens implant is placed near the iris where it works with your natural lens to provide clear vision at a full range of distances.

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Who can benefit from surgical implants?

This type of procedure is ideal for patients older than 21 and less than 45 years old. Patients 45 and older who are already presbyopic or in the early stages of presbyopia should consider other vision correction procedures. Lens implants are appropriate for patients with larger degrees of nearsightedness (-6.00 to -20.00 diopters) and either little or no astigmatism and patients who are not LASIK candidates because their corneas are too thin.

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What are the risks with lens implant surgery?

As with any surgery, there are certain risks to lens implant surgery. It is important to understand the risks and weigh them against the benefits to determine if this surgery is right for you. Although complications after ICL implant surgery are rare, the following conditions may have an increased chance of occurring: infection, retinal detachment, increased intraocular pressure, cataracts, loss of corneal endothelial cells and inflammation.

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What are the side effects?

Side effects are minimal. Most patients experience some temporary blurring for a few days and can also expect increased light sensitivity for a few weeks. Some patients may experience halos or rings around lights and glare at night. These side effects may make it difficult to see while driving at night or to complete tasks in a room with low lighting. These effects may diminish over time.

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Does insurance pay for an implant lens?

Most insurance plans consider lens implant surgery to be elective, but some may offer a partial benefit that can save you money on the cost of the procedure. Your employee flexible spending or cafeteria plan may also offer tax advantages for this type of vision correction procedure. We can help you understand your options and what questions to ask your benefits administrator. In addition, Furlong Vision Correction offers several different payment options, some starting as low as $77 per month, to help make vision improvement fit your budget.

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Can it correct astigmatism?

Lens implants do not directly correct astigmatism, but the process of surgery may reduce it. If you have moderate to high degree of astigmatism, you could correct your astigmatism with a laser correction procedure (LASIK or PRK) following the implant of the lens.

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What Will Happen During the Surgical Procedure?

 
How long does it take?

The surgical implant procedure is done on an outpatient basis and takes about 20 minutes. You'll need to plan to be at the surgery center for approximately 2-3 hours to accommodate the pre-op preparation and post-op recovery. You will need to arrange to have someone drive you home after the procedure.

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What will I feel during the procedure?

Patients experience virtually no discomfort during the surgical implant procedure. It's performed using a local or topical anesthesia (eye drop) to numb the eye and you are given a sedative intravenously to relax you. Mild discomfort for the first 24 hours is typical. If you experience post-operative discomfort, you may use Tylenol or ibuprofen during the first day or two after the procedure.

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Can both eyes be treated at the same time?

Yes, both eyes can be treated at the same time. If a patient wants to have their vision recover before the second procedure is done, the second eye can be treated approximately 1-2 weeks after the first eye has stabilized.

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What Can I Expect After Lens Surgery?

 
What precautions do I have to take after surgery?

You will be given a plastic shield to wear immediately after surgery and for the next five nights to protect your eyes while sleeping. For the first month, you should be careful to not touch your eyes for any reason and patients should avoid getting sweat, dust or smoke in their eyes. It is also better to avoid swimming for two weeks, but with care, there is usually no problem with showers.

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Will I still have to wear glasses?

Whether you will need to wear glasses or contacts after your procedure depends upon the severity of your nearsightedness. ICLs have been approved by the FDA to fully correct up to 15.00 diopters of nearsightedness. If you have larger degrees of myopia, you can have this procedure to reduce the amount of refractive error distorting your vision. Then you can either use lighter prescriptions of glasses or contacts or have LASIK or PRK surgery to correct the rest.

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If my vision is still not corrected, can I have a re-treatment?

It is possible that some nearsightedness will remain after surgery, especially for those patients with severe degrees of myopia. An additional laser vision correction surgery may be performed to further improve your vision once your eyesight has stabilized for several months following the lens implant.

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Leah F.
San Francisco, CA

9/29/2017
Yelp

Gotta pay my overdue Yelp gratitude here. Furlong has an all-star staff. Carol specifically is a wonderful human being and professional. They're prepared for every possible scenario. My story varies slightly from others in that I did experience bad halos/glares for roughly 2 weeks following surgery (which is...

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Matt C.
Fullerton, CA

7/29/2017
Yelp

Dr. Furlong was a recommendation from my optometrist. My first visit was fast and easy. My optometrist had already done my dilation so they just needed to take measurements and double check that I was a candidate. Everyone was very professional and friendly. I was nervous about everything but my patient counselor...

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Shilpi R.
Sunnyvale, CA

10/11/2017
Yelp

I recently had LASIK done with Dr. Furlong and it was an amazing experience. I wanted to have LASIK so that I could wake up first thing in the morning and not worry about contacts or glasses! As an optometrist myself I knew the ins and outs a little bit more but everything was on point! Their waiting room is always...

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Gabriel N.
Union City, CA

4/19/2017
Yelp

This has easily been one of the best decisions I have made in my life. After having glasses for most of my life, it's crazy to think I can now wake up and see clearly. I was referred here by my optometrist, Dr. Toy, in early 2016. I came for the free consultation where Dr. Furlong and his staff determined that I...

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Randy M.
San Jose, CA

6/15/2016
Yelp

Five stars.  Why?  I was suffering from rapidly progressing cataracts at the relatively young age of 37.  I was forced to take time off of work until the first surgery was complete.  My left eye had deteriorated from 20/300 in January to "hand motion (I could see light differences and movement only)" the day...

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Himi A.
Fremont, CA

9/30/2017
Yelp

My lasik surgery experience at the center was fabulous! The staff is very friendly, customer service is great! Interaction with Dr. Furlong was directly in the surgery room. Everything was very smooth and the location is super hygienic and has the top technology.

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Betty M.
San Francisco, CA

3/30/2017
Yelp

Just got my lasik surgery done last week by Dr. Furlong, and so far so good! I got referred to Dr. Furlong from my optometrist. A little pricier than competitors, but it's YOUR EYES, not the situation to be looking for a discount. They take a lot of time to make sure that you're comfortable and informed, and the...

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Jennifer H.
Fremont, CA

2/11/2017
Yelp

One of the best decisions I've made in my life! It took me about 2 years before I actually made a decision and not to sound super corny or anything... I should've done it sooner! It's definitely easier saying that knowing my LASIK surgery went well so I completely understand anyone's fear or hesitation with...

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A S.
Sunnyvale, CA

8/17/2017
Yelp

My mom had cataract surgery with with Furlong Vision this past month. It was a smooth experience.  She had one eye done first, followed by the second eye a few weeks later.  She saw Dr. Furlong for consultation in June.  He gave her a detailed exam and performed various scans.  She decided to go with femto laser...

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Leigh B.
Half Moon Bay, CA

8/8/2017
Yelp

Dr.Furlong did PRK for my insanely farsighted eyes in September 2016. I am now seeing 20/20!!! I couldn't be happier with the results. I also appreciated that he was honest when he didn't recommend PRK for my thin corneas... better safe than sorry! Thanks again, best money I could have spent on myself.

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Mike B.
Santa Cruz, CA

4/12/2017
Yelp

I rarely write reviews on Yelp, but for something as important as LASIK, I did a lot of research & visited several places in Silicon Valley. I recommend you do too! You get what you pay for...don't budget on your eyes! You want the best technology & an experienced & personable  Doctor. Dr. Furlong is...

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Yee L.
Palo Alto, CA

4/22/2017
Yelp

Super thorough and professional.  The staff accurately explained exactly what to expect and answered all my questions in an even-handed way with lots of detail about risks and benefits.

Theres no guarantee of results, but turns out my vision was corrected to better than 20/20 and I'm very happy with the results.

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Best Place for LASIK in Silicon ValleyVoted Best LASIK Doctor by Santa Cruz Good TimesTwice named a Premiere Cataract Surgeon by Ocular Surgery NewsAngie's List Super Service Award for high-level customer serviceJefferson Award - the "Nobel Prize" for community and public service for the Furlong Vision Correction Gift of Sight programOfficial laser vision correction and eye surgeon and Legacy Partner of the San Jose Earthquakes