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Implantable Contact Lens

It is an excellent alternative to Laser Eye Surgery for people that are not ideal candidates like those who suffer from dry eyes, thin corneas or have high prescriptions.

About


There are a few different types of ICL treatments and AVC are the pioneers of EVO Visian ICL, which is the safest and most advanced form of ICL treatment. Unlike other types of treatment, the EVO Visian ICL is FDA approved and has a proven safety record. Whilst you may have heard it called an Implantable Contact Lens (ICL), the EVO Visian ICL is officially called an Implantable Collamer Lens. It is an excellent alternative to Laser Eye Surgery for patients who are not ideal candidates like those who suffer from dry eyes, thin corneas or have very high prescriptions.

Think of it as a micro thin contact lens that is placed inside the eye (just behind the iris), rather than on the surface of the eye. It is made of Collamer (over 1 million collamer lenses have been implanted to date), which is a technologically advanced lens material that because of its collagen base, is 100% biocompatible and designed to function in harmony with your natural eye. There is no rejection by the human body, which means that ICLs can effectively serve as permanent contact lenses.

Unlike other types of ICL treatment, EVO Visian ICL treatment has been approved in Europe since 1997 and FDA approved in the US since 2005. In that time, over 700,000 eyes have been implanted with EVO Visian ICLs and there has been a proven safety record with a patient satisfaction rate of 99%.

The US military have approved EVO Visian ICL for their personnel and have been monitoring the results. They concluded EVO Visian ICL provides “excellent visual and refractive results”. The study showed excellent vision quality and stability of the lens inside the eye even in combat. Here at AVC we pride ourselves on being the first clinic in the UK to implant a hyperopic astigmatic ICL (in the eye of a doctor) and being the first clinic in the country to treat a very high myope (short-sighted) of -23D.

ICL is the fastest growing treatment of choice for patients between the ages of 21 to 45 and is often recommended as an alternative to laser treatment for those that have been found unsuitable, like individuals with high prescriptions, thin corneas, dry eye syndrome, etc. It can also be used to help patients suffering from Keratoconus who have had Cross-Linking treatment or where the disease has naturally stabilised.

This treatment is often opted over laser surgery as there is no permanent modification of the cornea which can cause dry eye, instead a lens is inserted behind the iris making it invisible and the procedure is completely reversible.

To be potentially suitable you must be:

  • Aged between 21 and 45
  • Within the following prescription range: Between -24 DS (short sight) and +11 DS (long sight), with up to -6 DC (astigmatism)
  • With a prescription that has not changed for at least 12 months
  • Healthy eyes, which must lack any significant eye disease like glaucoma
  • Good general health
  • Not allergic to the anaesthetic eye drops which will be used during the surgery

Although we are passionate about correcting the sight of all those we possibly can, AVC neither provides experimental treatments nor operate on those who suffer from conditions that prevent safe and ethical treatment.

With the best international surgical team in the UK, our combined expertise in non-laser treatments is without precedent. We take great pride in having the skills to help even those who have been turned down by other clinics. Book a consultation now to learn how Advanced Vision Care can perfect your sight and improve your quality of life today.

 

Common reasons patients are found unsuitable for treatment include:

  • Under the age of 21 – Your eyes might still be growing if you are younger than this age, having ICL surgery could lead you to later develop eyesight-related complications.
  • Over the age of 45 – As this treatment does not correct reading prescriptions (presbyopia) it is not ideal for those over the age of 45 given this is the age when presbyopia starts to develop.
  • Unstable prescription: Those whose prescriptions have changed significantly in the past year should wait until their vision stabilises
  • Specific medications – You would be ruled out for ICL surgery at our London clinic if you are taking immunosuppressant drugs.
  • Certain medical conditions – These include diabetes, herpes virus or hepatitis C. You would also be exempt from treatment if you suffer from an autoimmune disease like HIV or lupus.
  • Previous instance of serious eye trauma or retinal detachment.
  • You would be ineligible for treatment if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

 

Treatment


Implantable Contact Lens (ICL) surgery

An Implantable Contact Lens (ICL) is a small phakic intra-ocular collamer lens that is implanted in the eye in between the iris (the coloured part of the eye) and the natural crystalline lens meaning that it is not visible. At AVC we use state of the art EVO Visian ICLs. These lenses function in the same way as glasses and contact lenses by changing the way light is focused on to the retina. As a result, people with these lenses can benefit from sharper and clearer vision allowing more impressive depth and dimension.

ICL can be used to treat individuals that have been found unsuitable for Laser treatment either due to their prescription or corneal thickness. It is a reversible procedure which can treat moderate to severe prescriptions, and is and is often elected over Laser treatment as no permanent changes are made to the cornea.

  • Does not induce dry eye syndrome
  • Sharp, clear vision
  • Excellent night vision
  • Does not affect the cornea and is suitable for those with thin corneas
  • UV protection is built into the biocompatible lens
  • A typically quick, 20-30 minute or less procedure and most people are able to resume daily activities in just a few short days with clearer vision
  • Treats a wide prescription range
  • ICL is invisible, undetectable and does not change the colour of the eye
  • One ICL is implanted every 8 minutes worldwide.

Removability for your peace of mind

The advantage of the Visian ICL is that it can permanently correct your vision, yet no natural tissue is removed in any way during the procedure. The procedure is completely reversible and if for the unlikely reason you need or wish to remove your Visian ICLs in the future please consult the clinic.

In harmony with your natural eye

For people who value health and wellness the Visian ICL is the choice for you. The collamer base of the lens material is biocompatible, meaning it is designed to function in harmony with your natural eye and the surrounding tissue in the eye easily accepts the lens rather than identifies it as a foreign body.

When arriving at the clinic on the day of surgery our friendly and experienced clinical team will guide you through every step of the way. The treatment will take less than 20 minutes per eye and each eye is treated individually, over two consecutive days to minimise the inconvenience of unbalanced vision.

  • Anaesthetic drops will be used to numb the eye. We don’t use needles.
  • A sedative is given and the pupil is dilated using drops.
  • A self-sealing micro incision is made at the edge of the cornea.
  • For hyperopic (long sighted) patients an iridectomy will be required. This is where two small holes are made in the iris using a laser.
  • The folded tailor-made lens is inserted in front of the natural lens.
  • As the micro incision is self-sealing there is no need for stitches.
  • Our specialist nurse will go through the precautions and medications that are needed before being discharged.
  • Your aftercare will begin the next day with a check-up for the treated eye.

On the day of ICL implantation you will be provided with an eye cover or goggles, anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and hydrating drops. You will be advised when to take the drops.

Lenses


At Advanced Vision Care we exclusively use the latest sophisticated Visian ICL’s. These are made from collamer which is composed of collagen and copolymer material hence it is biocompatible. ICL’s are often referred to as a phakic intracoular lenses (IOLs) meaning a lens is implanted into an eye with the natural lens untouched.

The EVO Visian ICL design has been constantly evolving to where it is today. The latest design of the Visian V4C lens with Centraflow technology has an innovative design feature which enhances the safety of the treatment and reduces the procedure time.

A recent study by Alfonso et al. showed a lower incidence of anterior capsular opacities with the latest Visian model due to its improved vaulting.

Traditional ICL’s require an iridectomy, which is the creation of a tiny hole in the iris to allow the flow of aqueous humour from the posterior to the anterior chambers of the eye. The need for this has been eliminated as this lens has a central aquaport which maintains stable intra-ocular pressure without compromising on the quality of vision. Currently this lens is only available for myopic (short sighted) patients and hyperopic (long sighted) patients will still require an iridectomy.

There are different lenses available to correct a range of prescriptions for distant vision:

  • Simple Lens: For long sight or short sight
  • Myopic Toric Lens: For short-sight with astigmatism
  • Hyperopic Toric Lens: For long-sight with astigmatism

This treatment uses lenses that only correct one field of vision (distance) and cannot be used to prevent or treat presbyopia (a reading prescription caused by the natural ageing of the eye); once developed reading glasses will be required and another treatment would be better suited for the patient; Clear Lens Exchange (corrects multiple points of vision; distant, near and intermediate). If a patient has already had implantable contact lens surgery, the lenses can be easily removed and a new lens can be placed in the lens capsule, this new lens will correct all visual fields to free you from glasses and contact lenses.

Technology


This is used to capture a digital reference image of the eye during the initial assessment which is used to create a surgical plan. This equipment is also used throughout the treatment allowing the surgeon to see all incisions and alignments in real time, improving accuracy and minimising errors especially whilst correcting an astigmatism.

RLE / CLE and Cataracts Technology - The VERION Image Guided System

AVC is the first clinic in the UK to possess this equipment. It allows for smaller incisions and is able to optimise every phase of the lens insertion. The device also controls the intra-ocular pressure throughout the treatment and enhances the control of the surgeon, consequently improving the patient’s outcome and accelerating the recovery process.

CLE and Cataracts Technology - centurion vision system

Designed to provide superior visualisation throughout the surgical procedure, this microscope is able to expand the visual field with a highly stable, 6x greater red reflex zone, providing excellent visual detail with superior visualisation of the retina.

CLE and Cataracts Technology - ophthalmic microscope

Price Guide


  • ICL Consultation – £200* (non-refundable)
  • Simple Lens ICL – £3350 per eye (deposit of £1250 per eye – deducted from final cost)
  • Myopic Toric Lens – £3650 per eye (deposit of £1250 per eye – deducted from final cost)
  • Hyperopic Toric Lens – £3950 per eye (deposit of £1250 per eye – deducted from final cost)
  • ICL for Keratoconus – £3950 per eye (deposit of £1250 per eye – deducted from final cost)
  • Private Consultation – £250* (non-refundable)

Our ICL surgery package includes:

  • Cost of the surgery
  • 1 year aftercare including all check ups
  • 24 hour emergency phone service
  • 1 month supply of drops
  • Free fine tuning (if necessary) in the first year
  • Access to the largest independent optometrist network in the country

An annual follow up is advised once the aftercare program is completed (charged at £100 per visit)

*Fee includes comprehensive testing with the latest technology and the opportunity to meet with the AVC Medical Director and Lead Surgeon, Dr CT Pillai either at initial consultation or at a later date. We ensure everybody benefits from his expertise, has a definitive answer about suitability and is given a bespoke treatment plan.

Interest Free Finance

To make vision correction treatment more affordable, we provide flexible interest free finance plans. Using our flexible finance options, you can spread the cost of your surgery with interest free monthly repayments, meaning you don’t pay more than the actual cost of your surgery.

At AVC, we value flexibility and give our patients the option to pay a larger deposit to reduce the cost of the monthly repayments. We have partnered with Hitachi Finance to provide finance plans that are not only interest free but can be paid off early without being penalised.

From

£175.00 (per month)

12 months interest-free finance

is available starting from just £175.00 per month for complete treatment per eye, with a deposit of £1250 (APR 0%) per eye, subject to application. If you wish to pay a larger deposit, even lower monthly finance rates are available, all interest-free.

Your 4 step treatment plan


Our 5 star treatment is all about what is best for you

Prior to your consultation

Your first point of contact will be with AVC’s highly trained and knowledgeable patient coordinators.

Consultation

At AVC, we believe that it is essential to be selective to ensure that every patient has the best treatment to suit their visual and lifestyle needs which is why determining suitability is incredibly important.

Treatment

Unlike other eye clinics, AVC has both our laser and non-laser theatres under one roof, enabling you to be treated in one convenient location.

Aftercare

Your aftercare begins immediately after treatment when you are taken to the recovery room to relax and, when you are ready to leave, our specialist nurse will examine you before you go home. Your first post-operative check is usually conducted within the first two days of treatment.

Why choose AVC for an ICL treatment?


First Class Surgeons

Our non laser surgeons are pioneers and international trainers for Implantable Contact Lens surgery and technology. Dr Goran Helgason, one of our non laser surgeons, is a testament to the effectiveness of the treatment having had ICL implants over 10 years ago.

First Class Treatments

We are one of the leading providers in ICL treatment in UK and Ireland, implanting highest numbers of lenses per year. We are the first clinic in the UK to have the latest technology in lens Implant treatment; The Alcon Refractive Suite.

First Class Service

To make it easier for patients to get the best treatment possible, AVC has partnered with the UK’s leading health insurance providers. AVC offer truly bespoke treatments. We stand out as we are not affiliated with any lens manufacturers or paid consultants. We are completely independent, consequently we are able to use the best lenses suited to each patient’s needs.

FAQ's

Please scroll within the section faqs

ICL is the treatment of choice for those patients between the ages of 21 to 45 who are not ideal candidates for laser eye surgery due to high prescriptions, thin corneas, dry eye syndrome or other reasons. It can also be used to help patients suffering from Keratoconus who have had cross-linking treatment or where the disease has stabilised.

ICL treatments have been performed for over 20 years and more than 700,000 ICL procedures have been conducted successfully worldwide. Prior to being available, ICL lenses were subjected to extensive research and development. They have been approved in Europe since 1997 and FDA approved in the US since 2005.

The US military regularly implant Visian ICL for their servicemen/women and have been monitoring the results. Their study concluded that Visian ICL provides “excellent visual and refractive results”. The study showed excellent vision quality and stability of the lens inside the eye, even in combat. The treatment has shown to be an effective, safe, predictable and stable way to correct high and low levels of short-sightedness (myopia), long-sightedness (hyperopia) and astigmatism.

As with any procedure, safety is not only dictated by the technology used but also by the surgeon performing the treatment. AVC surgeons are internationally-renowned surgeons and recognised experts in the field of lens treatments and teach other surgeons how to perform this procedure.

Implantable Contact Lenses are suitable for a wide range of prescriptions from -23D to +11 with astigmatism up to 6D. AVC has made history by being the first clinic in the UK to treat an astigmatic hyperope (a long sighted individual with a high prescription and a significant astigmatism).

ICL is the standardised treatment for higher prescriptions and is recommended by the American Association of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) and the European Association of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ESCRS).

The ICL is made of collamer, a highly biocompatible advanced lens material which contains a small amount of purified collagen. Collamer does not cause a reaction inside the eye and contains an ultraviolet blocker that protects the eye.

There is no chance of rejection as the ICL is made of a collamer material that is completely bio-compatible with the body’s natural chemistry.

The ICL implant is designed to remain inside the eye indefinitely. It can be thought of as a permanent contact lens that is maintenance free. However, the lens can be removed at any time in the future should it be necessary.

Implantable Contact Lenses (ICL) are often referred to as a phakic IOLs meaning a lens is implanted into an eye with the natural lens in place. An Intra-Ocular Lens (IOL) replaces the natural crystalline lens and is used to treat patients aged 45+ that require reading glasses (presbyopia) or have cataracts.

AVC has been offering ICL treatments since 2006 and we are the leading providers of ICL treatment in the UK. Our world-renowned expert surgical team have been performing this procedure for more than 15 years and are trainers in this field.

Visian ICL lenses are much smaller than a contact lens and they are implanted behind the iris (the coloured part of the eye) and they are not visible to those looking at you. Given the location of the implanted lens, it will remain permanently in place and cannot be felt.

No, you cannot feel the lens.

The advantage of the Visian ICL is that it can permanently correct your vision; yet no natural tissue is removed in any way during the procedure. If for the unlikely reason you need or wish to remove your Visian ICLs in the future, it can be done.

After attending the consultation tailor made lenses are ordered from the manufacturer. Lenses sometimes can take up to 4 to 8 weeks to be manufactured and sent to our clinic.

Once the lenses have arrived the procedure will take approximately 30 minutes per eye and we will treat each eye on two consecutive days, meaning that the amount of time spent with one eye uncorrected is minimised, allowing for a faster recovery.

Anaesthetic drops are applied to numb the eye meaning that nothing is felt throughout the treatment. The drops wear off without any side effects soon after the procedure is finished.

Visual improvement is noticeable almost immediately after treatment and patients can see 95 -100 % better within two to three days following treatment.

Patients are required to attend regular after care appointments the first year after treatment; these are included in the cost of your treatment. There is no other maintenance required but we recommend having an eye examination every year at the AVC clinic or with a qualified person in the field.

ICL surgery does not prevent or slow down cataract formation. However, if a cataract operation is required, the ICL implants can be safely removed and normal cataract surgery can be performed.

Every ICL implant is customised to each individual’s prescription and the lens is tailor-made. The procedure requires more extensive pre-operative assessments, measurements and calculations. There is also a larger surgical team required for the procedure.

Laser surgery permanently modifies the cornea and, as ICL treatment does not affect the cornea, it is possible to have ICL after Laser treatment.

"Having worn glasses and contact lenses for many years, my new lenses have given me such freedom and I feel very privileged to have had the opportunity to have this procedure."

Anne Brown

"I now have 20/20 sight (from approx. -8.00) and am extremely happy.
A big thank you to everyone at Advanced Vision Care."

Phil Scott

"My vision has improved by the day. I have so much more confidence in myself and it’s all thanks to the surgery and people behind it. I could not be more happier."

Marium Hussain

"I couldn’t have picked a better clinic to take care of me and my eyes, and would like to thank everyone of you for making this happen. I have been recommending AVC even before the surgery and will continue to do so."

Sinduja Chandrapalan

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