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Implantable Collamer Lenses (ICL)

Getting Vision Correction Surgery in Singapore?

Eye conditions such as myopia (short-sightedness) is a very common problem among Singaporeans that unfortunately starts for most people at a young age. Singapore is among the world leaders for the highest occurrence of myopia in children of ages seven to nine years. This could be due to many factors such as too much near vision use of the eyes, early use of interactive devices, poor visual lifestyle habits and genetics.

With such a high prevalence of myopia in Singapore, it is important for people to educate themselves on the various options available to treat this and other eye conditions besides the use of glasses and contact lenses. Of all possible solutions, vision correction surgery (e.g. LASIK, PRK, EpiLASIK, SMILE, ICL etc.) offers a one-time and long-lasting effect that gives the myopic patient perfect vision without glasses.

What is Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL)?

ICL or Implantable Collamer Lens (also interchangeably known as Implantable Contact Lens) surgery is a corrective soft lens that is placed within the eye to correct myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism. The lens is implanted in front of the natural lens of the eye and behind the iris, via a small cornea incision, and bends light rays onto the retina to form a clear image.

This procedure, although similar to LASIK by correcting refractive errors, does not require the need to remove corneal tissue. It also has the potential to provide very high-quality vision after surgery.

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Who should consider ICL Surgery?

In general, implants can treat much higher degrees of myopia of up to -18D (-1,800 degrees), Hyperopia of up to +4.5D (+450 degrees) and Astigmatism of up to 6D (600 degrees), while LASIK is usually limited to a maximum of -12D to -14D (1,200 to 1,400 degrees). Hence, implants are especially suitable for those with high myopia but can also be used to correct lower degrees if the patient is suitable. ICL surgery is a very good alternative for patients who are not good candidates for LASIK or PRK due to thin or abnormal corneas or who have a pre-existing dry eye.


One benefit of implants is that it is reversible, and can be removed or replaced when the refractive error changes.

Another positive to the procedure is that it is quick. An average surgery takes 10 to 20 minutes, and recovery generally happens overnight

ICL are unnoticeable to both the patient and observers.


While safe, the procedure carries with it small risks. The level of risk is similar to LASIK but the type of risk is different. For example, there is a risk of infection, just like LASIK. But unlike the latter, the infection may occur on the inside of the eye as opposed to the outside in LASIK.

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