All You Need to Know Before an ICL Eye Surgery: Risks and Side Effects

icl eye surgery

Contemplating ICL eye surgery to ditch glasses? It is a prominent choice for stable vision issues, especially if LASIK isn't your fit. But, like any procedure, there are some intricacies to know. From the usual suspects, such as infection and bleeding to retinal detachment and cataracts, it is vital to understand the ICL surgery side effects.

In this article, we'll simplify ICL surgery, ICL surgery side effects, how to manage the side effects, Is ICL surgery safe, and more so you're better equipped to decide if this path to better vision is right for you.

Common Side Effects of ICL Surgery

Before considering Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL) surgery, it's crucial to know Is ICL surgery safe. Discussing the ICL surgery side effects aspects with your eye doctor is paramount in making an informed decision about the procedure. Here are some common considerations:

Vision Loss:

There's a possibility that your vision might worsen following ICL surgery. The implantation of lenses may not be entirely successful or could potentially lead to further damage to your eyesight.

Changes in Vision:

Patients undergoing ICL surgery might experience changes in vision, such as double vision, halos, glare, or difficulties seeing clearly in low-light conditions.

Additional Surgery:

If the initial ICL surgery is not successful, additional surgeries are required. Adjusting or replacing the lens, especially if it's off-center or has moved, may necessitate further intervention.

Results Are Not Guaranteed:

While the goal can be a perfect 20/20 vision, it's essential to understand this outcome isn't guaranteed. Your vision can improve, but it might not meet your expectations. Issues such as lenses being too strong or too weak may require additional measures, such as reading glasses or contact lenses, and in severe cases, another surgery is a must.

Pressure Sensation:

Following surgery, you may experience a sensation of pressure in or behind your eyes. While this is common and can be managed with medication, excessive pressure has the potential to impact your vision and could lead to permanent damage.

Detached Retina:

Eye surgery, including ICL surgery, poses a risk of retinal detachment. This occurs when the tissue at the back of your eye, responsible for sensing light, becomes disconnected, potentially affecting your vision.


Post-surgery, if you experience persistent eye pain, it could indicate infection. While some discomfort is normal during recovery, any signs of pain, redness, swelling, or inflammation should be promptly addressed with your doctor.

How to Manage the Side Effects of ICL Surgery?

Managing the ICL surgery side effects involves a combination of post-operative care, adherence to your doctor's recommendations, and open communication about any concerns. Here are general guidelines for managing common side effects:

Follow Post-Operative Instructions:

Adhere strictly to the post-operative care instructions provided by your surgeon. Use prescribed eye drops, avoid strenuous activities, and follow a recommended schedule for eye protection.

Use Prescribed Medications:

If your doctor prescribes medications to manage symptoms such as pressure and discomfort or prevent infection, use them as directed. These medications are essential for a smooth recovery.

Attend Follow-Up Appointments:

Attend all scheduled follow-up appointments with your eye surgeon. Regular check-ups allow your doctor to monitor your progress, address any emerging issues, and make adjustments to your treatment plan.

Report Any Unusual Symptoms:

Be vigilant about your post-surgery symptoms. If you experience unusual pain, persistent redness, increased sensitivity to light, or any other concerning symptoms, report them to your doctor immediately.

Protect Your Eyes:

Shield your eyes from potential irritants, direct sunlight, and any trauma during the initial recovery period. Wearing sunglasses outdoors and avoiding activities that could expose your eyes to debris or chemicals is crucial.

Manage Discomfort:

If you're dealing with discomfort, follow your doctor's advice on managing it. It may involve using over-the-counter pain relievers or applying cold compresses, as recommended.

Stay Hydrated:

Proper hydration supports overall healing, including the healing process of your eyes. Ensure you drink an adequate amount of water unless otherwise advised by your doctor.

Avoid Rubbing Your Eyes:

Refrain from rubbing your eyes, as this can increase the risk of infection and disrupt the healing process. If you experience itching or discomfort, consult your doctor for suitable remedies.

Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle:

Adopting a healthy lifestyle improves your well-being and the healing process. Get sufficient rest, eat a balanced diet, and avoid habits that could negatively impact your recovery, such as smoking.

When Should you Visit the Doctor?

Understanding when to seek professional care is crucial for ensuring the success of ICL surgery and maintaining optimal eye health. Here are instances when a visit to the doctor is imperative:

Persistent Pain or Discomfort:

If you experience persistent pain or discomfort after ICL surgery, it's crucial to consult your doctor promptly. It could indicate issues that require attention.

Unusual Symptoms:

Report any unusual symptoms, such as increased sensitivity to light, persistent redness, or vision changes. These could be signs of complications that need immediate medical evaluation.

Signs of Infection:

Watch out for signs of infection, including persistent eye pain, redness, swelling, or inflammation. Promptly address these concerns with your doctor for appropriate intervention.

Changes in Vision:

If you notice significant changes in your vision, such as worsening eyesight, double vision, or persistent visual disturbances, consult your doctor to assess potential causes and solutions.

Excessive Pressure or Discomfort:

If you feel excessive pressure or discomfort in or behind your eyes following surgery, communicate this to your doctor. While some discomfort is normal, persistent or severe symptoms should be evaluated.

Scheduled Check-ups:

Adhere to scheduled check-ups as recommended by your eye doctor, both before and after surgery. These routine visits are essential for comprehensive eye health assessment.


Considering ICL surgery for better vision? It's a safe and effective option, but similar to any procedure, there are ICL surgery side effects. Being aware of these ICL risks is crucial to make a knowledgeable decision. If you have questions or concerns about ICL surgery, your doctor is the go-to person. They can deliver clear answers, discuss your worries, and guide you to make the best decision. Remember that communication with your doctor is pivotal, and a doctor is there to support you every step of the way.