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Intraocular phakic implants

You want to get rid of your glasses or contacts, but you’re not suitable for laser eye surgery : intraocular phakic implants are a wonderful vision correction solution!

Phakic Intraocular Lens Implants(IOLs)

Intraocular phakic implants/ICL suitability criteria

Phakic implants (also called ICL for Implantable Collamer Lens) are a great solution for people with myopia, astigmatism, presbyopia or hyperopia who cannot benefit from laser surgery. It might be because of a too severe visual defect, of a too thin cornea or a keratoconus. Sometimes, people choose intraocular phakic implants at once because they don’t want to have laser surgery. At your pre-operative assessment, we will be able to determine what is your best option and your suitability for intraocular phakic implants.

How Intraocular phakic implants/ICL work?

Surgery-implanted lenses, also known as intraocular lenses, are a solution for those who seek permanent correction of vision disorders such as myopia, hyperopia, presbyopia and astigmatism. These implants resemble contact lenses, and we can place them behind the iris through a small, self-sealing incision in the line between the white of the eye and the cornea. Unlike traditional contact lenses, you will not feel an intraocular lens in your eye. In addition, phakic implants require no maintenance. Nor do they require the ablation of your corneal tissue. They function in the same way as glasses or contact lenses except that they become integral parts of your eye by being implanted behind the iris to compensate for your vision defects. Visual recovery is fast.

Phakic implants

The intraocular lens is small and flexible, allowing it to be folded and injected painlessly in just a few seconds through a small incision in the cornea. Once injected, it unfolds and is positioned effortlessly between the iris and the crystalline lens The selected implants are made from Collamer, a combination of collagen and polymer; a material that is 100% bio-compatible with your eyes. They are one of the latest technological advances in vision correction technology. This FDA-approved technology also corrects large refractions. The first implants were inserted in 1993 in Europe, so we now have more than twenty years of usage and experience without serious complications.

What are the advantages of intraocular phakic implants/ICL?

Excellent vision quality

Due to its unique anti-reflective properties and its high-water resistance, the Collamer lens can diffuse light in the same way as a natural crystalline lens. This allows cleaner and clearer vision. There are no halos or glare, no poor night vision, nor effects associated with other types of implants.


The collagen present in the Collamer lens attracts fibronectin, a substance naturally present in your eye, which means it is perfectly accepted by the body.


It is invisible. It functions as a conventional contact lens, with the difference that it is placed inside the eye and not on its surface. Other than the fact that it corrects your visual disorder, you cannot see it, or feel it, so you’ll forget it’s even there!


It is removable. This lens is designed to remain indefinitely in the eye. However, we can remove it if necessary, as it does not alter or damage in any way the structures of the eye or the cornea.

UV protection

Long-term exposure to UV radiation can damage your eyes and increase the risk of blurred vision, and also includes the development of cataracts and retinal problems. Intraocular lenses contain a UV blocker that prevents UVA and UVB rays from entering the eye, so your eye is protected.

What are the disadvantages of intraocular phakic implants/ICL?

Implants surgery is more invasive than laser surgery, it can therefore induce some transient side-effects such as an increase of pressure in the eye or a mild inflammation. Those side-effects won’t last and are not deleterious for the eye.

What are the intraocular phakic implants/ICL risks?

Sometimes there is a residual correction (remaining visual error) that requires laser touch-up (about 1% of cases). We have experience with these touch-ups, and they don’t pose a problem. Sometimes (less than 1% of cases) it is necessary to replace the implant with a different size.

Intraocular phakic implants/ICL surgery steps

Before your operation

The entire procedure for intraocular lens implantation lasts about 30 minutes. The procedure is painless, and we can use either local or general anesthesia. On the day of your surgery, we will prescribe you an anxiolytic to relax you. You will return to the operating room, and we will give you a sterile operating robe to wear. The procedure can then begin.

During your operation

During your operation, you will be lying on an ophthalmological chair. After following strict antiseptic rules, we will perform your anesthesia of your choice. The procedure consists of two steps:

The creation of one or two small openings at the base of the cornea, which we will use to position the lens.

The insertion of the correction lens, chosen according to your visual impairment.

The procedure is not painful and is perfectly safe.

We use the ZEISS OPMI LUMERA 700 Microscope. After your operation During the first hours, it is advisable to rest with eyes closed. We recommend you wear transparent goggles while sleeping during the first week. Following your surgeon’s instructions, you will start the antibiotic and anti-inflammatory treatment on the evening of the procedure as indicated on the prescription. It is essential not to expose yourself to “at-risk” atmospheres during the first week.

Avoid all situations that may expose your eyes to microorganisms (bacteria, viruses, fungi). It is essential to observe strict rules of hygiene, in particular, to wash hands thoroughly before putting in your eye drops. You should also avoid rubbing your eyes, and of course, avoid eye trauma. Doctor Donate provides post-operative follow-up and will check your eyes the next day, then a week later, and then a month after the surgery.

What are the intraocular phakic implants/ICL results?

Studies in phakic implants show a satisfaction rate of higher than 99%. The results of this surgery are excellent. This technique allows operated patients to see without glasses or lenses as well as with the best possible correction (or even better). More than 50% of patients with myopia see 12/10 or more after the surgery, and 87% of patients with hyperopia see 12/10 or more. The visual quality is much better and the field of vision is increased. In some rare cases, it may be necessary to carry out additional laser treatment on the cornea to optimize the result.

Visit the Bellecour Vision Clinic channel

Consult the testimonials of our patients who relate their experience in our clinic. In this video, our patient Elsa B. recounts the progress of her operation and the benefits of phakic implants.