ICL vs Lasik, which is a better surgery?
There are many ways to correct refractive errors and improve eye power. LASIK surgery and Intra Collamer Lens (ICL) surgery are two popular types of surgeries for correcting refractive errors. A person with weak eyesight might have heard about both of these terms, as these surgeries help in eye power removal. LASIK has been in use for a long time. It was invented in the 1970s and approved in 1995 by the Food and Drug Administration to improve eyesight lacking factors. Just after 10 years, a different type of corrective eye surgery was established i.e. ICL. To find out which surgery, ICL vs LASIK is better, one can take help from the points explained below in mind.
In LASIK surgery, the procedure includes altering your cornea with the help of a laser. Whereas in ICL surgery both the cornea and natural lens remain intact, an artificial lens is put in the eye. With the help of technological advancement, both of these surgeries have a high rate of success. However, ICL surgery has become more in use rather than LASIK surgery these days. To understand the difference between both let’s first understand in detail the procedure of both of these surgeries individually.
What Is LASIK surgery?
Lasik is the abbreviation used for Laser in Situ keratomileusis. This surgery is one of the many ways to fix the vision of people who have Myopia, Hypermetropia, and astigmatism. Refractive errors occur when the light rays do not fall on the retina (inner layer of the eye) resulting in eye conditions like nearsightedness and farsightedness. In LASIK, the cornea that is the outermost part of the eye is reshaped with the help of a laser to let the light rays being focused on the retina. A thin flap is cut in the epithelial layer of the cornea following the reshaping of corneal tissue with the help of a laser.
Pros of LASIK surgery
- The success rate of LASIK is quite high. There are minimal chances of facing any complications if you are careful enough after surgery.
- Surgery is quick and painless.
- Minimal used of specs or not at all, after surgery.
- Recovery duration after the surgery is less.
Cons of LASIK surgery
- The chances are very rare. But an unsuccessful surgery can affect your vision permanently.
- You still may have to wear eyeglasses and contact lenses.
- You may suffer from dry eyes for up to 6 months or even more.
- There are chances of infections after the surgery
What is ICL or Phakic IOL Surgery?
Implantable Collamer lenses or phakic IOL’s are the micro artificial lenses implanted in the eyes to correct refractive error. The treatment of conditions like myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism is done by putting ICLs between the natural lens and iris of the eyes. This lens makes the existing lens bend the light rays towards the retina. ICL is just like contact lenses that are permanently embedded in the eyes.
ICL is another effective surgery to correct refractive error. Like other corrective surgeries, it does not guarantee the complete correction of vision problems. However, it can reduce the use of eyeglasses and contact lenses.
Pros of ICL
- Unlike LASIK, this surgery does not cause the problem of dry eyes.
- UV protection is inbuilt in ICL lenses.
- These Collamer lenses are biocompatible and cause no hindrance in functioning.
- The high power of nearsightedness can be fixed with ICL surgery.
- These lenses could be implanted in even thin corneas.
Cons of ICL
- ICLs can cause severe eye problems like glaucoma, if not correctly positioned.
- High eye pressure could be developed because of artificial lenses.
- You may face an early cataract.
- ICLs are expensive, and everyone may not afford them.
- You may need another surgery if any complications arise.
Difference between ICL and LASIK
In case of any complications after surgery, ICL implantation is reversible, meaning the Collamer lens that is implanted in the eye can be removed. whereas in LASIK it is not possible, as the process includes the use of a laser to reshape the cornea. In LASIK, there is nothing inserted in the eyes, but the eye’s structure is changed forever, which is irreversible.
ICL lens is inserted inside your eye to help your natural lens focus better. And just like contact lenses can be removed, ICLs are removable too but with a surgeon’s help. However, it can not be done multiple times. Hence, one of the major benefits of ICL is that even though it corrects vision forever, it can be eliminated or replaced if needed, using a very easy procedure. The difference between ICL vs LASIK are-
The Collamer that is used to make the ICL is a biocompatible product. That guards the eye against the sun’s dangerous ultraviolet rays while permitting natural light to reach the eye without any other changes. It is an added benefit of the procedure, decreasing the possibilities of growing eye conditions like cataracts and macular degeneration. Lasik surgery does not include any protection from UV radiation.
No Dry Eyes
Tear film dysfunction is one of the most general side effects of LASIK. Almost all patients report signs of dry eyes after the surgery, and these symptoms variably continue for up to about 6 -12 months. Even though this is not a critical complication concerning vision, it can create symptoms like burning or scratchy feeling in the eyes, blurred vision and eye strain, and many more. ICL surgery does not have any signs of dry eyes before and after the surgery.
Safety point of view
ICL will usually give more eminent quality and greater acuity vision than LASIK. But the procedure of LASIK surgery is safer than ICL’s because a small incision is needed at the surface whereas in ICL the doctor needs to go inside the eye to implant the lens.
Depending on your eyes, ICL may be quite better than LASIK after the surgery.
Both of the surgeries take 1-2 days of recovery but in the case of Lasik, it takes almost 2 weeks to recover properly for the healing and settling of the flap. ICL is relatively quick in terms of patient’s comfort too. ICL also does not require any extra care like contact lenses.
The doctors advise restricting some activities that can slow your healing process like, avoid swimming pools or massive exercise that may put extra pressure on your eyes. You may observe some burning or gentle pain or grittiness in the eyes on the day of surgery. Still, the discomfort disappears eventually.
ICL gives better night vision than LASIK with null complaints of halos, distortions of light, and consciousness to bright light.
The ICL surgery does not tamper with the balance of the cornea as no corneal flap is raised, nor is any corneal tissue eliminated as in LASIK. But sometimes rupturing or damage is observed in the endothelium of the cornea during the surgery. ICLs have a higher risk of infections because the surgeon has to go inside the eye to implant the lens. In terms of comparison of ICL vs LASIK, LASIK is a surface basis surgery.
The clear drawback of ICL is that it’s more expensive than LASIK, but if you are somebody with wealth and wellness, the variation in pricing may not matter. Given that the ICL provides possible freedom from glasses with a much greater quality of life than LASIK. the cost of both the surgeries will differ according to hospital, doctors, and area, and most important your eye health.
ICL vs LASIK
|Basis of difference
|Removes corneal tissue
|No- They are laser-based
|Reversal OR removal
|It can be removed but not reversible
|Days of recovery
|2 weeks for flap healing
|Suitable for thin corneas
|Up to limits
|Contributes to dry eyes
|Yes, up to 20%
|Clarity of vision
|Better than LASIK
|Not better than ICL
Both LASIK and ICL surgeries are good on their own terms. If you are not suitable for LASIK, we recommend you choose ICL. Consider other factors like cost of surgery, complications, pros, and cons of both the surgeries. Then choose what suits you the best. Still, for the best decision and result, ask an experienced doctor. He/she will probably perform some tests and let you know which will be the surgery for you.
To know the difference between both the surgeries i.e ICL vs LASIK- do visit our website Eyemantra. Our expert will guide you about Lasik Surgery and ICL surgery in detail. We also render various services like spec removal, Computer Vision Correction, Paediatric Ophthalmologist, etc.
You can call us at +91-9711115191. You can also mail at [email protected] for booking appointments with us.