What Are the Risks With Contact Lens Implants?

Contact lens implants are a relatively new and exciting procedure in vision correction surgery. Unlike the clear intraocular lenses that have typically been used in cataract surgery, these are prescription lenses surgically implanted in the eye to correct vision. Because phakic ICLs (implantable contact lenses) are a relatively new technology, long-term effects and potential risks of lens implantation are unknown. What about short term and immediate? What do we know about them?

All surgery carries a risk, regardless if it is an appendectomy or eye surgery. Eye surgery carries with it the fear of losing our vision if something goes wrong. Losing your sight from surgery is a very, very rare occurrence and corrective eye surgery has a solid safety record with some amazing results.

Some of the complications you should be aware of are similar to LASIK surgery; infection, difficulty with night driving, halos. These are the most common complications seen and are very low even considering that they may occur without surgery. You expose yourself to infection every time you remove your contact lenses. No matter how careful you are, daily handling of lenses gives infection an open door. Halos and difficulty with night driving can also be an effect of cataract development or even just dirty contact lenses.

Some complications that are unique to contact lens implants are lens rotation, loosening of the lens, inadequate lens power. Lens rotation and loosening of the lens can be caused by the lens not seating well in it’s setting, a complication of healing, or by trauma. All can be corrected with further surgery. Inadequate lens power can be from an initial error of the prescription, the changes the eye undergoes after surgery in healing or aging. The greatest advantage of ICLs is that they can be removed if there is a serious problem or replaced fairly easily if the eye changes with time and age.

Two of the more severe complications include the higher possibility of a detached retina and the potential of increased eye pressure which may contribute to damage of the optic nerve. There is very low incidence of either of these complications, but the surgery does increase the potential for them.

As stated earlier, ICL implantation is fairly new and therefore long-term effects are not known and are still being determined. The complications discussed in this article are the most common known risks that should be taken into consideration.

I recently underwent corrective eye surgery myself. There are a lot of options out there for correcting vision defects these days. I did a lot of research before making up my mind and would love to share that research with you on my website so you can make the best, informed decision for your own corrective vision needs.