Implanatable Contact Lenses

An excellent option for patients with high or complex prescriptions 

What are Implantable Contact Lenses?

Implantable Contact Lenses are an excellent option for patients who might not be suitable for laser eye surgery but whose natural crystalline lens is clear.

For these patients ICL implantation as an additive procedure is safer than lens replacement (RLE) and can provide better visual quality.

Also called phakic IOLs or ICLs, an Implantable Contact Lens is an intra-ocular lens which, means a lens inside the eye. The ICLs are surgically attached inside the eye to correct myopiahyperopia or astigmatism. It is an additive procedure, meaning that the ICL is added to your eye rather than removing your existing eye lens. By contrast, in lens replacement or cataract surgery we do not leave the natural crystalline lens inside the eye.

It is an excellent option when the natural crystalline lens is still clear and especially when the eye still has the ability to accommodate. We use the Evo ICL™ ICL (Implantable Collamer Lens).

What phakic IOLs treat

Who is suitable for ICLs?

ICL implantation is an excellent option for patients whose eyes are not suitable for laser eye surgery. It can provide a superior quality vision for patients who have higher prescriptions.

Whenever we perform laser eye surgery we remove a small amount of tissue from the cornea. The larger the refractive error to be corrected the more tissue has to be removed and this places limits on the amount of short and long-sightedness which can be corrected.

With phakic IOL implantation we are correcting the refractive error by placing a contact lens inside the eye. This allows us to correct almost any size of refractive error providing the eye has suitable dimensions and health to receive a lens.

As with all our treatments, it is very important that the eye is carefully assessed for its suitability to receive a phakic IOL.

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How do phakic IOLs work?

The refractive error of the eye is very carefully measured along with the dimensions of the eye. With this information, a bespoke lens is calculated for the eye and is implanted inside the eye. The Visian ICL ™ sits behind the iris just in front of the natural crystalline lens. The Artiflex ™ phakic IOL is fixed onto the front of the iris. Since this is an additive procedure the ability to focus for near with the natural lens inside the young eye is preserved. The lens can be implanted under a local anaesthetic or a general anaesthetic if preferred.

Options and alternatives

Laser eye surgery is our ‘go-to’ treatment for younger patients. However, for larger prescriptions or in patients with thinner corneas, phakic IOL implantation may be more suitable.

In older patients with signs of cataract, lens replacement cataract surgery is usually a better option.

ICL ™ (intra-ocular contact lens) implant surgery

ICL’s are small, ultra-thin contact lenses that are implanted into the eye to correct short-sightedness, long-sightedness and astigmatism. The ICL sits behind the coloured part of your eye and in front of your natural lens. Once implanted, the lens remains in your eye until you develop a cataract. Short sighted people develop cataract at a younger age – typically in their fifties.

The lens is not visible during normal social situations. If the light is shining straight into your face and someone looking at you comes very close then, they may see the lens if they have very good vision themselves.

The surgery to implant the lens usually takes about twenty minutes. It is usual to perform the surgery under a local anaesthetic with mild sedation, but we can arrange for a general anaesthetic if required.

You will be asked to use anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and topical lubricant drops for two to three months after surgery.

We ask you not to wear eye make-up for one week after surgery and to avoid tap/shower water going into the eye for one week after surgery.

No swimming for six weeks post-operatively.

Risks associated with ICL implantation

Details of the most important specific complications are given below. Each complication is listed along with how often the complication occurs eg 1 in every 100 cases performed. As you can see the complications which occur quite commonly are mild and easily treated. The complications which can cause reduced vision, are thankfully very rare:

Other issues sometimes arising from ICL implantation

Results at a glance

Laser procedures
Cataract procedures
%
Better than the national average of complication rates

My eyesight following the operation is brilliant and better than I thought possible, and this is all down to your excellent surgeon Mr James Ball and not to forget all the very dedicated people around him who make these operations possible.

Keith Garlick

Two of the best decisions I ever made in my life were firstly to have lens exchange and secondly to have Mr James Ball carry out my operation.

Patricia Walton

Within minutes I could tell there was a difference. But now, only a couple of months later, my sight is better than it was seven years ago! I can even read the really tiny print on the car sales ads! If you want that confidence you probably felt when you were younger, this is the ideal solution. Thanks to the treatment, I feel rejuvenated, independent and much younger!

John Hazelgreave

Many thanks for all your care and kindness. To me it appears a miracle that I can see so well. I feel very grateful. It is impossible to fully express my thanks.

Grace C.

May I offer grateful thanks for your expertise in operating on my eyes. It was intimated to me that you were the best, and from the results I am now enjoying, I am convinced that this is correct.

Jean D.

You are truly innovative. Thank you very much for curing the problems I have been having with my reading and near vision.

Sala M.

My work was becoming almost impossible. I had refractive lens exchange to both eyes with multifocal lens implants last July. I can now see better than 20/20 for distance and can read the tiniest print in newspapers - all without glasses! I have started reading for pleasure again, and I feel that my performance both at work and on the golf course has improved.

John

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Artifex ™ lens implant surgery

Artiflex ™ lenses are small, ultra-thin contact lenses that are implanted into the eye to correct short-sightedness, long-sightedness and/or astigmatism. An Artiflex ™ lens is attached to the iris with two tiny clips. Once implanted, the lens remains in your eye until you develop a cataract. Short sighted people develop cataract at a younger age – typically in their fifties.

The lens is not visible during normal social situations. If light is shining straight into your face and someone looking at you comes very close then they may see the lens if they have very good vision themselves.

The surgery to implant the lens usually takes about twenty minutes. It is usual to perform the surgery under a local anaesthetic but we can arrange for a general anaesthetic if required.

You will be asked to use anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and topical lubricant drops for two to three months after surgery.

We ask you not to wear eye make-up for one week after surgery and to avoid tap/shower water going into the eye for one week after surgery. We will also ask you not to swim for six weeks post-operatively.

What are the risks of Artiflex implantation surgery?

Details of the most important specific complications are given below. Each complication is listed along with how often the complication occurs in about 1 in every 100 cases performed. As you can see the complications which occur quite commonly are mild and easily treated. The complications which can cause reduced vision, are thankfully very rare:

Issues relating to Artiflex implantation

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The best way to figure out your treatment options is to request a call back by filling in the form below:

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Eyesight Guide - Private Eye Surgery in Leeds & York

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I felt I was treated as an individual and all my questions were answered. From my experiences – I can highly recommend Mr Ball.

Janet Howden

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Further information about eye conditions

More Useful Information

Read more about lens replacement

About our surgeons

Mr James Ball | Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

MA (Cantab) MB BChir FRCOphth CertLRS

I am a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at Custom Vision Clinic. My major interest is in refractive surgery and finding the best treatment suitable for each patient.

Mr Jack Gormley | Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon

MB ChB (Hons) FRCOphth CertLRS

I am a Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at Custom Vision Clinic and York Teaching Hospital, where I lead the Corneal and Refractive service. I have completed over 2,000 surgical and laser eye procedures.