Should I have Lasik or ICL?



A number of people who are considering the Lasik procedure to correct their nearsightedness or farsightedness have of some potential problems of Lasik, and are wondering if there are other options. Though more than 95 percent of the Lasik patients have a very successful procedure without any major side effects, there are choices for people who wish to improve their vision. Let's compare two, and discuss these choices with a reputable ophthalmologist.

Traditional Lasik surgery uses a scalpel to create a small flap in the eye, and then a laser reshapes the eye in order to focus accurately. There are two more recent forms of Lasik, one that entirely uses a laser and does away with the scalpel. Another variation uses a three dimension waveform for people with unusual eye shapes, and both of these are worth discussing with your ophthalmologist.

Those people with very thin corneas or other issues that make Lasik not a good candidate for their particular case can consider implantable contact lens surgery. This is known as ICL in the eye surgeon's lingo, and is a good alternative to Lasik to permanently correct vision. These lenses function in exactly the same way as removable lenses, except that they remain permanently in the eye. Like Lasik, they reshape the eye in order for it to focus accurately. The patient will not feel the lens once the operation has been performed.

Lasik and ICL are similar in several ways. Lasik can improve vision affected by nearsightedness and astigmatism, and ICL can improve these vision deficiencies also. Both Lasik and ICL also have some of the same risks, one of these being that the correction is not accurate after the first operation is done. Lasik is a much more frequently performed procedure, and less than 3 percent (according to the FDA) of these patients need to undergo additional surgery to further correct vision after the first Lasik procedure is done.

Like any operation, there is a chance of infection in either a Lasik procedure or an ICL operation. Good post-operative care by the patient will minimize this and regular checkups at the Lasik or eye care center will nearly always clear this up without further complication. In a small percentage of the cases, either Lasik or ICL patients may not achieve perfect vision and may need to continue to wear corrective eyewear, though usually not at the same strength as the original eyewear.

One advantage of ICL over Lasik is that ICL is a reversible procedure, where the implanted lens can be removed later if that becomes necessary. Lasik involves the reshaping of the cornea to bring objects accurately into focus, and is permanent. However, for a typical, healthy patient either Lasik or ICL will generally bring about the desired improvement in vision.

Lasik is generally a less invasive procedure, and this is reflected in the current cost of the operation. The current price for a Lasik procedure is between $500 and $2500 per eye, depending on the type of procedure and the presiding physician. A typical price for ICL is between $1500 and $3000 per eye. Do some investigation into the options offered, and select the eye procedure that is best for your personal case.







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