If your short-sightedness (myopia) is so severe that LASIK is not an option, or your eyes are too dry for LASIK, you may be a good candidate for implantable contact lenses (ICLs).
But LASIK is generally a cheaper way to correct vision, so what is the cost of ICL, and is it worth it?
Here at Focus, ICL surgery costs £7,500 for the complete treatment of both eyes. Still, ICL surgery costs can vary according to location, clinic popularity, and the type and prescription of lenses.
While ICL is more expensive than LASIK, it is often recommended as an alternative for those unsuitable for laser eye surgery.
What Does ICL Cost?
The cost of ICL surgery will vary, depending on what type you need, where you live, and who performs the surgery.
Because corrective eye surgery of this type is viewed as cosmetic, it is not provided by the NHS so it will need to be undertaken at a private clinic.
At Focus, ICL surgery costs £7,500 for both eyes, but we have several finance options available that allow you to spread the treatment’s cost, with prices as low as £75.86 per month.
The ICL treatment prices at Focus include the following:
- The cost of your initial optometrist appointments and consultations
- The surgical procedure costs. Though the procedure only takes 15-30 minutes, this also includes all of the care immediately before and after your operation
- Aftercare. You will need regular follow-up appointments to ensure everything is going well and the lenses settle without any problems
Is ICL More Expensive Than LASIK?
ICL is more expensive than LASIK, though it’s essential not to be fooled by offers of LASIK treatment for £500 per eye. These are usually teaser prices and don’t indicate the total cost when you factor in preliminary appointments and aftercare costs.
LASIK procedures at Focus start from £4,800, though the cost of correcting higher range prescriptions (such as those patients considering ICLs) is £5,600. This is still considerably cheaper than the £7,500 cost of ICL.
Why Is ICL So Expensive?
ICL is more expensive than laser eye surgery for several reasons.
While LASIK uses a laser to remove corneal tissue, with ICL, the ophthalmologist makes a tiny incision in the eye, and the rolled-up soft lens is inserted. It unfolds and is carefully pushed under the iris.
While both treatments involve fairly short-duration procedures, LASIK is performed in a laser suite, while ICLs are implanted in a fully-sterile operating theatre.
ICL surgery uses a specially-made lens, which is only available from STAAR Surgical in Switzerland. The ICLs themselves are expensive and must be ordered individually for each patient.
Your ophthalmologist will measure your prescription, assess your vision, and determine the chamber depth at the front of your eye. With the required specifics, we will order your lenses from the manufacturer, STAAR Surgical.
The surgery is also more complex than LASIK, as the surgeon has to make an incision in your eye and insert the lens manually, so the procedure takes longer than laser treatment.
Is ICL Surgery Worth It?
In some cases, ICL will be suggested where patients aren’t suitable for LASIK, and it’s the only available procedure to correct a patient’s impaired vision.
The option of ICL can be surprising for some people as the procedure is more invasive and expensive than LASIK, so it’s often something patients will take some time to think about.
The nature of the treatment does mean that it has some minor risks compared to LASIK, such as an increased risk of eye infections after surgery, although this is very uncommon (1 in 6,000 for ICL and 1 in 21,000 for LASIK).
If you’re wearing glasses or contact lenses every day, and ICL is a suitable treatment, then the impact of the procedure on your day-to-day life can be profound. Here’s what some of our patients have to say:
[INCLUDE ICL TRUST PILOT EXAMPLES]
While ICL is significantly more expensive than LASIK surgery, both are quick surgeries with few complications.
However, LASIK is only suitable in some instances. If you’re not ideal for LASIK, then ICL could be an excellent option if:
- You have a high degree of short-sight – typically -8.00 dioptres up to -20.00 dioptres
- You are aged between 21 and 60. If aged over 40, then age-related presbyopia (the need for reading glasses) can also be factored in
- Your vision has been stable for 12 months
- You don’t have any eye conditions, such as cataracts or glaucoma
- You don’t have an auto-immune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis or Sjogren’s syndrome. Immunosuppressant drugs and oral steroids can be associated with altered healing and should be discussed with our consultants.
If you’ve been considering implantable contact lens surgery, or you’ve been told you’re not suitable for LASIK, our team will be happy to discuss your options and answer any questions you may have.
Book your free telephone consultation, and our team member will be happy to help.