Oculase Articles

How long do implantable contact lenses last?

Mr Tariq Ayoub - 21 Feb 2022

Are you considering implantable contact lenses? You might wonder how long they last, if the surgery hurts, and how successful it is.  

We answer all these questions and more in our blog.  

What are surgically implanted contact lenses? 

An implantable contact lens is a synthetic lens designed to stay in the eye on top of your natural lens. They are soft, flexible implants similar to traditional contact lenses. However, unlike a standard contact lens, you don’t need to remove or replace it each day. You may also know this as an artificial intraocular lens.  

We use implantable contact lens (ICL) surgery as an alternative to laser eye surgery.  

This includes people who have: 

ICL surgery can treat myopia (short-sightedness), hyperopia (near-sightedness), and astigmatism, which are all examples of refractive errors. Read our blog to learn more: What can ICL eye surgery be used to treat? 

How long do implantable contact lenses last?

Implantable contact lenses are designed to be permanent, which means they could last for the rest of your life. Unlike a standard contact lens, you do not have to remove them daily.  

You do not need to clean these lenses. This means maintenance is minimal for this type of lens compared to traditional contact lenses. 

If you experience further eye problems later in life, such as developing astigmatism, we can correct this with laser eye surgery.   

A benefit of ICL is that the lens can be removed later on if clinically required. For instance, if cataract surgery is required later in life. The implantable contact lens procedure is also reversible if you decide later that you no longer want them.  

The ICL procedure

First, we need to assess your suitability for implantable contact lenses. We will explain the benefits and potential risks in detail once we are satisfied that you are suitable for this procedure.  

We will need to measure your eye so the implants can be custom made to fit comfortably and securely over your natural lenses. When we implant the lens, we will place it between your natural crystalline lens and your iris (the coloured part of your eye).  

Our ICL Surgery playlist includes a helpful animation explaining how we perform implantable contact lens surgery.  

How long does it take to recover from ICL surgery?

ICL eye surgery has a short recovery time of a few days. During this time, your eyes may be a little blurry. Watch our video to learn more about implantable contact lens surgery risks.  

We can arrange a follow-up appointment to check how everything is going a few weeks after the procedure. We discuss what to expect after ICL surgery further in our blog. Read it now to discover its benefits and what your recovery may look like. 

Frequently asked questions:

What is the success rate?

ICL surgery has a high success rate of 98%. Patient satisfaction rates are even higher at 99.9%. It is one of the most successful eye procedures.  

Is it safe?

Research shows implantable contact lens surgery is safe, stable, and effective.  

Do implantable contact lenses hurt?

Before we begin the procedure, we will administer eye drops to anaesthetise (numb) your eye, meaning the procedure is painless.  

How long does the procedure take?

It is a short procedure that usually takes 15 to 30 minutes. The time will differ depending on whether you have the procedure in one eye or two.

Can I have implantable contact lenses in both eyes at the same time?

Yes, we can do both eyes simultaneously or them separately, as you prefer.  

Is there an age limit?

We would usually surgically implant contact lenses in people under the age of 60, as it is not a recommended surgery for people older than this.  


Why choose Oculase?

At Oculase, our patients are our priority. Our expert ophthalmologists (eye surgeons) offer world-class care from years of dedicated experience.  

We deliver thorough consultations and testing to evaluate your eye health and recommend the best treatment plan for you. Book an appointment with one of our specialists today to discuss whether ICL surgery is right for you.  

Read our patient testimonials to better understand the high-quality treatment we offer our patients. 

Book Consultation

About the author

Mr Tariq Ayoub
Mr Tariq Ayoub, Consultant Ophthalmologist

Mr Ayoub has been rated as one of the top eye surgeons in the UK. He is a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon with Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust in London, one of the largest NHS trusts in England. He is also the Lead for the Emergency Department at Western Eye Hospital, as part of the Imperial College Trust.

Mr Ayoub completed his Ophthalmology training at the prestigious London School of Ophthalmology, namely at Moorfields Eye Hospital and Royal Free Hospital. During his career, he has received many prestigious awards from national and international organisations for his work in the field of ophthalmology.

His clinical interests include treatment for cataracts, vision correction, corneal disease, eye-lid disorders, trauma, and general ophthalmology. Mr Ayoub prides himself on the high quality of his work. With his extensive experience, he can holistically manage complex eye conditions to deliver the best care for his patients.

0330 128 1616

Our clinic sites are regulated by
The Care Quality Commission (CQC)

Book consultation

Affiliations and Memberships

Our consultants are proud to be associated with the following organisations

Facebook Twitter Youtube Quote Linkedin instagram left-arrow up-arrow right-arrow down-arrow