icl vs lasik which is safer

ICL vs. LASIK: Which is Safer?

July 16, 2021

One of the more recent developments in corrective vision surgery is a procedure referred to as ICL surgery in Calgary. This procedure involves an eye surgeon near you inserting an Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL) into your eye to correct your vision.

While it is helpful to have many corrective eye surgery options for patients, the increase in options can make it more difficult to choose which is best for you. Our team at Clarity Laser Vision helps you understand the difference between ICL and LASIK eye surgery in Calgary in this blog post.

One of the most important differences between ICLs and LASIK is the type and amount of eyeglass prescription that can be treated with each procedure. In most cases, ICLs can treat a large range of nearsightedness from moderate to severe. However, currently, ICLs are not approved to treat farsightedness or astigmatism. On the other hand, LASIK can treat nearsightedness and farsightedness with or without astigmatism; however, it cannot treat very severe cases of nearsightedness as ICLs can.

If you are thinking about ICL surgery as an alternative to LASIK, you need to consider your current contact lens or eyeglass prescription and what is in your best interest regarding safety. Most eye doctors agree that since ICL is more invasive than LASIK, it should only be used on those who are not candidates for LASIK. To determine whether you are a viable candidate for ICL surgery near you, you need to meet with one of our qualified eye doctors at Clarity Laser Vision to review your situation and discuss the risks and benefits of moving forward.

During ICL surgery, a small Collamer lens, smaller than a contact lens, is inserted into the eye. Depending on the ICL used by the surgeon, this lens is either placed in front of the iris or directly behind it. Before or during the procedure, your eye surgeon will also create a small incision in the iris to allow for fluid movement to occur in that part of the eye, as the ICL will block the natural passage of fluid through the eye.

Recovery from ICL surgery is quick, both in terms of comfort and visual recovery. The lens is meant to be a permanent placement, and it will not require any maintenance, adjustment, or cleaning.

The main difference between ICL and LASIK surgery is that ICL surgery is associated with a significantly larger risk of infection when compared to LASIK. The reason for this is that your eye surgeon has to go inside your eye to place the ICL, whereas LASIK is performed on the cornea without any need to enter the inside of the eye. Other risks that are associated with ICL surgery include:

  • The triggering of a traumatic cataract
  • Damage to the backside of the cornea
  • Damage to the iris during insertion, leading to irregular shape and light sensitivity
  • Increased pressure, increasing the risk of glaucoma

When determining which corrective vision surgery is best for a patient, most doctors recommend LASIK over ICL surgery because it is less risky. However, this does not mean that there are no situations in which ICL is the best treatment option for the patient. Generally, most eye doctors concede that ICL surgery can be a good option for those who are not candidates for LASIK and have the correct kind of ocular anatomy.

If you would like to learn more about these procedures, please contact our team at Clarity Laser Vision today!