The Visian ICL (Implantable Collamer Lens) is used to correct some forms of nearsightedness.  Often times it is used in patients that have too poor of eyesight to use LASIK or SMILE or other forms of surgery.  Unlike contacts or glasses, this lens is semi-permanent and is surgically put into the eye. This is also a great option for those that have thin corneas or sufferers of dry eye.  As LASIK often times creates worse dry eye issues. This can be used on patients with astigmatism as well. And, at times can be combined with LASIK to even further improve a patient’s eyesight.


ICL is considered to be a permanent correction.  However, should your eyes change over time and the lens is no longer performing it can be removed and replaced with a new lens.  ICL is simply a lens that is implanted into your eye. There are risks with this surgery, as there are with any surgery. However, it is a relatively low-risk surgery and is done rather quickly.  The procedure itself takes about 15 minutes to complete. However, you will be at the appointment for about four hours for prep and post-surgery recovery.  

What to Expect with ICL Procedure

Typically they do not use local anesthetic with ICL as the procedure is so quick.  Most people do just fine with the numbing drops used to numb the eye. However, some people need a little something to help with their nerves and anxiety.  For this group, an anti-anxiety medication is prescribed.


Feeling anxious about surgery is very common.  When you are at the surgeon’s office deciding if this sort of surgery is right for you, be sure to ask a lot of questions.  Remember, the surgeons do this every day and forget that you don’t. So, asking questions is certainly expected. And, you have a right to be a bit nervous, since this is the only set of eyes you have.  Getting the answers to your questions can help ease the nerves a little. This can also be a good time to prepare yourself on what to expect in the surgery.


Most people report this surgery isn’t painful at all.  You may feel some pressure on your eye. However, you will not feel the incision.  It will go by rather quickly as the surgeon will be speaking to you the entire time.  You don’t have to worry about blinking either, as there is a device that will hold your eyelid open so that it doesn’t disrupt anything.  The only thing you need to do during surgery is to follow the surgeon’s instructions on where to look. Remember, where you look is where your eye will go.  And, stay calm, sit back and the ICL will be done in no time.

Is ICL Covered by Insurance?

The cost of the ICL is typically not covered under insurance.  It is considered a cosmetic type of surgery. It is great for patients with myopia and has been performed for over 10 years with great success. It isn’t a procedure that has been advertised as much as LASIK but it’s been around for a very long time as well.  And, it costs slightly more than the cost of LASIK.