Implantable Contact Lens: Is It Safer than LASIK?

January 15, 2024

A wish for many – is to eliminate the use of glasses and contact lenses for life, yet many aren’t aware of the various options available to permanently correct their vision, if not improve it. Picture this, having to constantly remember your glasses or wearing contact lenses to fit your style, it is a hassle, isn’t it?

Enters refractive eye surgery, working its magic through different types of procedures correcting your shortsightedness, longsightedness and astigmatism. The procedures usually involve reshaping the cornea or replacing the eye’s natural lens. The similarity of these two procedures is that they both aim to achieve the 20/20 vision that many dream of, while the obvious difference is the method used to get to that goal.

As we move further into the discussion, we shall unveil the two most common refractive eye surgeries that have improved the lives of many patients; the Implantable Contact Lens (ICL) and the no-blade LASIK surgery. While we take a friendly stroll through these options, we will discover to see better through the popular debate of Implantable Contact Lens vs LASIK, whether ICL surgery is indeed safer than LASIK procedure for your precious eyes!

Breakdown of ICL Surgery – What and How is It Done?

Simply put, an ICL procedure involves an artificial lens made of a polymeric material in which during the surgery, an eye surgeon permanently implants the ICL between your eye’s natural lens and iris (the coloured part of your eye). The ICL works with your natural lens to bend (refract) light on the retina, and this produces clearer vision.

The ICL surgery is usually done as an outpatient procedure, taking up to thirty minutes to complete. However, one should expect to be in the eye specialist centre for a couple of hours, to rest post surgery before having someone else drive them home.

All There is Behind the Door of LASIK Eye Surgery

To the ones curious to know what LASIK eye surgery is and how it works, here is your answer. This particular surgery involves the utilisation of two different lasers. The femtosecond laser forms a corneal flap, followed by reshaping using an excimer laser, for the light to pass through and reach the retina.

Similar to ICL surgery, LASIK eye surgery takes around thirty minutes and is commonly done as an outpatient procedure. Bear in mind that you will be required to stay a little longer to rest before heading back and should arrange for someone to pick you up.

Implantable Contact Lens vs LASIK – The Differences

There are several differences between them that one ought to understand. The first and most obvious difference is that one requires tampering with the cornea which is the LASIK surgery, making it a little less preferred compared to the ICL which is gaining popularity nowadays in the world of refractive surgery amongst eye surgeons and patients.

Relating to the first factor earlier, due to the requirement of having an incision done to the cornea, also affects the eligibility for those who have thin corneas, making them disqualified for LASIK eye surgery. Thus, an ICL surgery becomes a better option instead.

As ICL procedure is designed to treat moderate to extreme myopia and astigmatism, which indicates those between the ages of 21 to 45 years old, it has become a safe and effective alternative for those who couldn’t correct their vision through LASIK eye surgery.

The best part that gives more assurance for those who opt for ICL surgery is that it is a reversible procedure which is not the case with LASIK eye surgery. This allows eye specialists to treat their patients and make changes according to evolving technology as well as changing the needs of their patients, if required.

However, there isn’t any high risk involved in terms of the procedures for both ICL surgery and LASIK eye surgery. In fact, both refractive surgeries are a matter of eligibility first, preference next upon the advice of your eye specialist based on your eye examination, assessments, and visual goals.

Having said that, we can put the worry away when it comes to which is the best, implantable contact lens vs LASIK eye surgery as they both deliver great results in their ways for thousands of patients across the globe.

At the end of the day, whether you go for ICL surgery or LASIK, the goal is the same: crystal-clear vision without the hassle of glasses or contacts. Your eyes are valuable assets that play a vital role in your quality of life, so make sure to discuss your options thoroughly with your eye doctor before taking the plunge. Remember, your eyes are worth it!


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