Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL) Surgery

Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL) Surgery is an alternative to laser eye surgery and offers the same degree of freedom from glasses & contact lenses. Book a consultation today & take the first step towards better vision. 

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ICL Surgery 1
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The ICL Surgery Evolution

The EVO Visian ICL® and EVO+ Visian ICL® are a small, highly flexible, biocompatible lens made of advanced Collamer® material that is inserted into the eye and floats in front of the natural lens. They can be used to correct short-sightedness (myopia), long-sightedness (hyperopia) and astigmatism. ICL surgery is an alternative to laser eye surgery and can be used to treat a wide range of spectacle corrections from -0.50DS to -18.00DS of myopia and from +0.50DS to +10.00DS of hyperopia as well as up to +6.00DC of astigmatism. ICLs are often employed when the cornea is too thin to support a high correction or if the cornea is irregular e.g. following a contact lens infection and is unsuitable for laser eye surgery. ICL surgery does not cause dry eye and many patients simply have a preference for this technology over others.

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How ICL Surgery Works

EVO Vision ICL Procedure Overview Animation

ICL surgery offers the same degree of freedom from glasses and contact lenses as laser eye surgery. Over 1,000,000 ICL procedures have been performed globally and David Anderson has been a certified ICL surgeon for over a decade using them both in primary refractive surgery but also more complex refractive cases e.g. in Keratoconus.

ICL Surgery FAQs

Let’s begin with some of the basics of ICL surgery:

Patients with good ocular health and a stable spectacle or contact lens prescription.

For myopia (short-sightedness)

  • Age range between 21yr to 60yr
  • Correction between -0.50DS to -18.00DS
  • Up to +6.00DS of astigmatism

For hyperopia (long or far-sightedness)

  • Age range 21yr to 45yr
  • Correction between +0.50DS to +10.00DS
  • Up to +6.00DS of astigmatism
  • Age less than 21yr
  • Patients with certain anatomic limitations within the eye e.g. interior anterior chamber depth of < 2.80mm
  • Patients with ocular hypertension or glaucoma
  • Patients with Fuchs’ Dystrophy (FCD) (could link to our FCD section in corneal transplants)
  • Patients with cataract

This is not meant to be an exhaustive list but to give you an idea of some of the criteria. When you attend for consultation you will undergo a thorough examination of your eye by David Anderson to determine whether you are suitable and whether this is the best choice for you, if not we will usually be able to offer an alternative. 

On the day that you come into hospital we will dilate your pupil by using eye drops. A local anaesthetic is administered, and the painless procedure will take around 15-20 mins. A small entry port is created, the ICL is rolled up and gently positioned within the eye. Sedation or general anaesthesia is available if required although most procedures can be performed using eyedrops. Following surgery you will rest for a while, have some refreshments and then have a post-operative check with David Anderson. You will be given eye drops to use over the next two weeks.
You will need to allow 3-4 hours for your hospital visit to allow for the surgery and post-operative check. We will also run through your treatment and aftercare with you and provide you with written (or electronic) advice. You will need someone to collect you or we can arrange transport for you.

We usually treat each eye on a separate day within a week. 

You will be able to see immediately after surgery but your vision will be blurred for a day or two whilst your pupil returns to its normal size and your eye heals. Your eye may feel some mild discomfort, usually a feeling that something is in the eye called a ‘foreign body sensation’ but you should not experience any pain. After a day of two you will notice a significant improvement in your vision.

You can quickly return to normal activities although strenuous exercise and heavy lifting should be avoided for a week. Avoid direct pressure to your eye during this time, we will provide you with a protective shield to wear at night.


You can use screens as soon as your eyes feel comfortable to do so, you cannot strain your eyes through visual effort.

We’d like you to avoid eye make-up for a week following surgery. Any other face make-up can be worn after 48 hours. 

Although the large majority of patients achieve excellent results without complications, it should not be forgotten that ICL surgery is a surgical procedure and surgery does carry risks which although small cannot be eliminated.

Over or under correction – These are the most common complication of any refractive surgical procedure. We perform a thorough examination of your eye prior to surgery to ensure the most accurate correction is applied.

Lens exchange for size – Although different types of accurate measurements are made pre-operatively to correct the correct size of the ICL, the dimensions of the space into which the ICL is placed cannot be visualized directly. This means that occasionally the ICL will need to be replaced with a slightly longer or shorter lens. This will be necessary in around 5% of all cases.

Halos and night glare – All refractive procedures carry the possibility of causing unwanted visual effects such as glare around lights and about 20% of patients will report these although not be troubled by them. You will already experience these in your vision if you have a spectacle correction and look at a point source of light, but will have adapted to them. All patients experience these effects immediately after surgery whilst the eye is healing but they do not persist in most patients.

Damage to the natural crystalline lens – As the ICL is placed inside the eye there is the possibility that it may rest on the natural crystalline lens and cause an opacity or cataract. This is reported in less than 1.5% of procedures but may rarely require removal of both the ICL and crystalline lens and replacement with an artificial lens.

Increase in eye pressure – Rarely, an increase in eye pressure can occur immediately following surgery which may require additional treatment. For this reason we will check the pressure of your eye before you are discharged home. Since the introduction of CentraFLOW® technology this risk is estimated at less than 1%. 

Infection – All eye surgical procedures carry a small risk of infection. Due to the quality of our hospital environment and surgeon experience this risk is extremely low, less than 1 in 1000. Although infections are usually treated to complete cure in the majority of cases, it is possible to suffer permanent visual loss. As an added precaution we routinely prescribe antibiotic eye drops for compulsory use after your operation.

Yes, the lens can be removed through the same small entry port through which it was inserted so that the eye is returned to it’s previous state.

As for laser eye surgery, you may have other questions not covered here, so please contact us and ask, we’re only too happy to help. A downloadable brochure about the EVO Vision ICL® is available here

Don't Just Take Our Word For It

Highly recommend
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Both my son, at 18 years and I, have been operated on, for two very different problems and procedures. Each time, David Anderson has been thorough and patient, with any questions we had, each procedure has gone smoothly, without any problems. Also would like to mention his fabulous secretary, Anita, who again was great with information and help. Have already recommended to a friend in Somerset worth travelling to for help, you can't be too careful where your eyes are concerned.
Visian ICL
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Excellent from beginning to end. If you are thinking of ICL I would absolutely recommend paying a little more for the service, knowledge and experience that Mr Anderson can offer.
Great service
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Great service, very thorough and professional and I know have near perfect vision. I was impressed they left my natural lenses and added new ones so still can focus in amd out and see!!
Mr Anderson Lens Implants
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Mr Anderson performed my eye surgery back in 2015 and I am beyond thrilled with the results. I was not a straightforward case by any means! His caring approach and expertise meant that I had the best possible experience and the outcome has been life changing for me. Forever grateful to him for my fantastic eyesight!

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