How long do implantable contact lenses last?
Mr Tariq Ayoub - 21 Feb 2022
Do you need implantable contact lenses? You might be wondering: how long do implantable contact lenses last, does the surgery hurt, and how long will your recovery take.
Keep reading to have your questions answered.
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. Though, 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 for people who cannot have laser eye surgery.
This includes people:
- With very thin corneas
- Who have had corneal transplants
- With very high prescriptions
- Who have dry eyes
We can use ICL surgery to treat myopia (short-sightedness), hyperopia (near-sightedness), and astigmatism. These are all examples of refractive errors. We would usually surgically implant contact lenses in people under the age of 50, as it is not a recommended surgery for people older than this.
We can also insert these lenses during cataract surgery, recommended by NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) as a way of limiting the need for glasses after surgery.
Keep reading to learn how we surgically implant contact lenses.
Implantable contact lens treatment procedure
Firstly, we need to assess your suitability for implantable contact lenses. Once we are happy that you are suitable for this procedure, we will explain the benefits and potential risks in detail.
We will need to measure your eye, so the implants can be custom-made to fit over your natural lenses comfortably and securely. When we implant the lens, we will place it between your natural crystalline lens and your iris (the coloured part of your eye).
Research shows that implantable contact lens surgery is a safe, stable, and effective procedure.
Frequently asked questions:
How long does the procedure take?
It is a short procedure that usually takes from 15 to 30 minutes. This 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 at the same time or separately, as you prefer.
Do implantable contact lenses hurt?
Before we begin the procedure, we will administer eye drops to anaesthetise (numb) your eye. This makes it a painless procedure.
How long does it take to recover from ICL surgery?
ICL eye surgery has a short recovery time of a few days. During which your eyes may be a little blurry. We can arrange a follow-up appointment to check how everything is going a few weeks after the procedure.
Watch our video to learn about the risks of implantable contact lens surgery.
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 every day.
If you experience further eye problems later in life, such as developing astigmatism, we can correct this with laser eye surgery.
The implantable contact lens procedure is also reversible if you decide later down the road that you no longer want them.
Why choose Oculase – The Eye Clinic?
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. So we can recommend the best treatment plan for you.
Book an appointment with one of our specialists today to prioritise your eye health.
Read our patient testimonials to get a better idea of the high-quality treatment we offer our patients.
Implantation of multifocal (non-accommodative) intraocular lenses during cataract surgery. NICE interventional procedures guidance IPG264 (2008). Available from www.nice.org.uk/IPG264
Güell JL, Morral M, Gris O, Gaytan J, Sisquella M, Manero F. Five-year follow-up of 399 phakic Artisan-Verisyse implantation for myopia, hyperopia, and/or astigmatism. Ophthalmology. 2008 Jun;115(6):1002-12. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2007.08.022. Epub 2007 Nov 5. PMID: 17980432. Available from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17980432/
Sachdev, G., & Ramamurthy, D. (2019). Long-term safety of posterior chamber implantable phakic contact lens for the correction of myopia. Clinical ophthalmology (Auckland, N.Z.), 13, 137–142. https://doi.org/10.2147/OPTH.S185304
Nunez, K., 2020. ICL Surgery Procedure, Benefits, Side Effects, and Precautions. [online] Healthline. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/icl-surgery