Implantable Collamer Lenses

Implantable collamer lenses (ICL) are very thin lenses that are implanted into the eye to correct focusing errors. The lenses are implanted behind the iris and in front of the natural lens that is left in place.

One can think of the ICL as a “contact” lens that is implanted in the eye. It works together with your natural lens to correct your vision.

As the natural lens is retained, so is accommodation (The ability to focus for close work). These lenses are better suited for younger patients who can still accommodate. They are also suited for patients that are contact lens intolerant or have high prescriptions.

What is collamer?

Collamer is a unique material that contains collagen. The name comes from a combination of “collagen” and “polymer”. This state of the art technology has some unique characteristics that make it an ideal material for a vision correction lens.

  • The material is biocompatible which means the lens is made to naturally be in harmony with your eye.
  • The material has a soft and flexible structure. It is easy to implant and they feel natural in the eye.
  • The Collamer material has unique properties that provide UV protection.

For more information on the Collamer lens material, see this link.

What are the benefits?

PIOLs are highly effective at treating both high glasses prescriptions and astigmatism. For most patients, vision after PIOL surgery is similar to vision in contact lenses before surgery without the discomfort and limitations on activity.

Glasses may still be required for some activities after treatment, particularly reading in older patients, but these will be a low prescription and relatively inexpensive.

Short sight and astigmatism normally stabilize in the late teens or early 20s, but natural prescription changes can occur at any stage in life. So laser vision correction is sometimes needed to enhance distance vision in the years after PIOL implantation.

For more information on the lens implantation procedure, see this resource from the Royal College of Ophthalmologists.


  • Am I suitable for ICL implants?

Am I suitable for ICL implants?

Patients with a shallow anterior chamber and a narrow drainage angle are not suitable for ICL surgery. Patients who are pregnant and nursing should not have any form of refractive eye surgery.

Mr Voyatzis will discuss with you the suitability for ICL surgery following a careful and detailed evaluation of your eyes.

How long does the operation take?

ICL surgery is a day-case procedure. Usually both eyes are operated on on the same day. The surgery itself usually takes 15 minutes per eye.

Does the procedure hurt?

No, this is a completely pain free the procedure. Anaesthetic drops are used to completely numb the eye before the beginning of the procedure. Additionally sedation can be given to keep you relaxed during the operation. There is also the option of a General Anaesthetic but it is very rarely necessary.

How quickly will my vision recover after ICL surgery?

Your vision will start to improve a few hours after the surgery, although it will continue to improve in the days following the operation. It is very important to understand though that the recovery time can vary significantly between individuals and even between the eyes of the same patient.

Are the ICL implants permanent?

No, the implants are readily removable.

Will I be able to feel or see the lens after the surgery?

No, the ICL can not be felt after it is implanted. It will also not be noticeable to yourself or others after the surgery.

Are ICL implants safe?

ICL implants are a popular and safe alternative to laser refractive surgery. The ICL lenses have been introduced more than 20 years ago and more than 800,000 lenses have been implanted worldwide since then. The ICL system has earned a reputation for proven patient satisfaction and long-term safety.

What are the risks?

Overall, ICL surgery is very safe and effective. As with any procedure though there are risks to consider.

The most common complication with any refractive procedure is overcorrection or under-correction. Because the EVO lens can be removed, adjustments can be made to reduce any sort of overcorrection or under-correction. The same risks apply to the second surgery.

Halos & Night Glare

In any refractive procedure there is a possibility of halos and glare around lights at night. The symptoms usually improve with time.

Damage to the Crystalline Lens (Development of cataract)

Since EVO is placed inside the eye, there is potential risk in touching the eye’s natural (crystalline) lens. While occurring in less than 1.5% of patients, any damage to the natural lens may cause an opacity (cataract) of the lens. In the most serious case, this may require removal of the cataractous natural lens and replacement with a synthetic lens.

Increase in Eye Pressure

In some cases, an increase in eye pressure can occur as a result of the procedure. If this occurs, it may quickly be corrected with additional medication or surgical intervention.

Risk of Infection

All surgical or refractive procedures involve some form of invasiveness, which means there is a risk of infection. This potentially very serious complication is very uncommon (Less than 1 in a thousand).

Do I need long term follow up after ICL surgery?

Yes. An annual review of your vision and eye health is advisable.

How much does the ICL implantation cost?

For prices and enquiries, please contact:

Miss Ines Ribeiro
+44 (0) 2074594045

Appointments and Enquires

To find out more about our services or book a consultation please use the contact form, or get in touch directly with:

+44 (0) 207 459 4045