Implantable Contact Lens

Overview  |  Video FAQs  |  Suitability  |  Advantages  |  Risks  |  Recovery

Is poor vision quality affecting your day-to-day life? You may wish to have ICL surgery for a permanent solution.

What is implantable contact lens (ICL) surgery?

Implantable Contact Lens, also known as Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL), gives you sharp, clear vision without the need for glasses or traditional contact lenses. During ICL surgery, we implant a specially designed custom refractive lens in the eye through a tiny self-healing incision.

This ICL lens sits in the space in front of your natural crystalline lens (behind the coloured part of your eye, known as your iris), allowing you to see clearly and sharply without any glasses or contact lenses. The ICL lens can remain in the eye permanently, is not visible to the naked eye, and does not have to be removed to be cleaned, unlike traditional contact lenses. Learn more about contact lens use on our blog: Contact Lens: Risks, Side-effects & Alternatives.

The procedure

Our video below – How is Implantable Contact Lens (ICL) surgery performed? – covers how we perform ICL surgery. The procedure takes between 20 and 30 minutes per eye, after which you have a permanent lens implant.
However, the procedure is reversible, and we can remove the lens implant if appropriate; if for example you need cataract surgery later in life or you have a major prescription change. This offers you peace of mind and flexibility for the future.

Video FAQs

Who is suitable for ICL eye surgery?

Almost all prescriptions and eyes can be treated with ICL, so long as there is enough space in the eye to safely fit the ICL lens. This ranges from very low to very high prescriptions.

If you aren’t deemed suitable for laser vision correction (such as if you have a very high prescription, your corneas are too thin or you suffer from dry eye issues or another eye surface condition), then ICL surgery may be the very best option for you. Other factors also influence whether you are suitable, such as the space available in the front part of your eye.

ICL may be the most appropriate vision correction procedure for you if you have:

  • A very high prescription
  • Stable keratoconus
  • Thin corneas
  • Dry eyes
  • Other minor corneal problems

Suitability is also dependent on your:

  • Age <45 (ICL is indicated up to 65 years old)
  • Lifestyle
  • Eye examination
  • Work and hobbies
  • Consultation eye scan results

During your consultation, Mr Ayoub will discuss whether this or an alternate procedure is suitable for you depending on your circumstances.

The range of spectacle prescriptions that can be treated effectively is approximately:

Advantages of ICL surgery?

ICL surgery has several advantages over other types of refractive surgery. It can provide you with a sharp, clear vision and offer you freedom from glasses and contact lenses.

What are the benefits of ICL surgery?

  • Freedom from glasses and contact lenses
  • Fast recovery time – around a few days
  • Excellent night vision
  • Sharp, clear vision
  • Quick and pain free procedure
  • UV protection
  • No dry eye syndrome
  • No removal of any natural tissue
  • Biocompatible – made with collagen
  • We can remove ICL implants


Results show that patients achieve excellent vision during the day and night after ICL. It doesn’t worsen dry eyes, and ICL implants are removable, providing you with future flexibility and peace of mind. Find out more about how long implantable contact lenses last in our blog here.

Contact us to learn more about the cost of ICL surgery at Oculase.

Implantable contact lens risks

During your consultation, we will discuss all ICL surgery risks with you and how likely they are. Implantable contact lens surgery is safe and effective and the likelihood of complications is rare. 

Mr Ayoub discusses ICL surgery risks in more detail in our video: What are the risks of Implantable Contact Lens surgery? He also covers how we counter these complications.

What to expect after ICL surgery

You will notice an immediate improvement in vision after the surgery; as your eyes heal, your vision will continue to get sharper. Find out how long ICLs last after surgery here.

Read our blog to learn more about recovering from ICL surgery: What to expect after ICL surgery: Benefits and recovery. This blog offers aftercare tips and discusses how to prepare for ICL surgery. We also cover when you should speak to a doctor about symptoms after ICL surgery.

Watch our videos below to learn more about implantable contact lens surgery.

Book an appointment

If you are interested in ICL or are not suitable for laser eye surgery, take control of your vision with implantable contact lenses.

Allow our expert eye specialists to assess your eyes and provide educated guidance. We offer thorough consultations, examinations, and testing to recommend the best treatment option for you. To hear the Oculase experience of others, read our patient reviews.

Contact us today to book an appointment.


    The alternatives to ICL surgery are LVC or RLE surgery.

    The surgery is generally pain free as anaesthesia in the form of drops is used during the surgery to numb the eye.

    You also have the option of sedation or general anaesthesia if you prefer.

    Yes you have the option of having both eyes done on the same day. Mr. Ayoub will discuss this option with you during the consultation

    Infection, Lens Exchange, Cataract, Raised eye pressure, Retinal tear/detachment

    Generally most people are ready to return to work/general day-to-day activities 3 days after surgery. However, heavy lifting and strenuous activity should be avoided for 2 weeks after surgery. Mr. Ayoub will discuss your personal circumstances with you during your consultation.

    Driving can be resumed when the legal standard is met, typically one week after surgery. Mr. Ayoub will discuss your personal circumstances with you during your consultation.

    The surgery is reversible. The implant sits on top of the natural crystalline lens in the eye. As this natural lens ages, a cataract may develop in this natural lens. In the unlikely event of a major prescription shift or need for lens exchange or should you require cataract surgery, the ICL implant can be readily removed.

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