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Key Takeaways

  • When it comes to EVO ICL vs LASIK, there are some key differences between the two procedures. 
  • In many cases, if an individual is not eligible for LASIK surgery, they may still be eligible for EVO ICL
  • San Antonio Eye Specialists is a leading provider of refractive surgeries like LASIK, PRK, and EVO ICL in San Antonio and the surrounding areas. 

So you were told you're not an ideal LASIK candidate, but don't lose sight of other refractive options!

What is ICL? 

LASIK and PRK are excellent surgical procedures for millions of people, but it doesn't stop there, and it's not for some.  ICL, short for Implantable Collamer Lens, is a fantastic alternative refractive procedure.  The original Visian ICL was FDA-approved in the USA in 2006.  In March 2022, EVO Visian ICL was FDA-approved in the USA; however, this was not new technology across the globe but rather EVOlved technology.  Over a million recipients worldwide have this EVO ICL, including American singer and songwriter Joe Jonas. The Visian ICL was once accompanied by an extra procedure called the peripheral iridotomy but the EVO Visian ICL eliminates this procedure since the lens itself has perforations. 

EVO ICL Criteria and Benefits

  • Patients who have thinner corneas, or corneal irregularities may not qualify for LASIK.  LASIK and PRK are considered subtractive procedures because corneal tissue is contoured and removed by a laser to correct the refractive error.  EVO ICLs are additive procedures.  Microscopic access is made in the cornea to insert the ICL behind the iris (colored part of the eye), resting in front of the natural lens. The beauty of the ICL is that it can later be removed when a cataract develops.  But until cataract surgery is needed, ICL patients are enjoying hassle-free vision without glasses or contacts.
  • Patients with very high myopic prescriptions may not be suitable LASIK candidates, but have a greater opportunity with EVO ICL.  The range is from -3.0 to -16.0 D (Diopters), in addition to treating from 1.0 to 4.0 D of astigmatism. 
  • Patients with preexisting dry eye may benefit from ICL and it does not result in dry eye.
  • LASIK and PRK are permanent refractive procedures whereas EVO ICL implants are reversible if needed.
  • Enhanced night vision is an advantage because the corneal shape is not altered with the contouring of corneal tissue seen with LASIK and PRK.

EVO ICL is an elective procedure performed at our onsite, AAAASF-certified, surgical suite at San Antonio Eye Specialists.  The procedure is performed bilaterally on the same day, each eye taking about 10 minutes using topical and local anesthesia. 

Comparing EVO ICL and LASIK Refractive Surgeries

When considering vision correction, free of glasses or contacts, two popular choices are EVO Implantable Collamer Lens (EVO ICL) and Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK). Both procedures offer effective solutions, but they employ different methods which are suited to different individuals.

LASIK Surgery

LASIK is one of the most commonly performed, and popular refractive surgeries, across the world. It involves reshaping the cornea using a laser to correct the patient's vision. This process adjusts the way light enters the eye, improving focus and reducing dependency on glasses or contact lenses.

Ideal candidates for LASIK typically have mild to moderate myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), or astigmatism. They should also have stable vision for at least a year before surgery, as well as sufficient corneal thickness.

EVO ICL Surgery

More than 2 million recipients have EVO ICL lenses, worldwide.   EVO ICL  involves the implantation of a small, thin, biocompatible lens placed behind the pupil.  It is not visible to the naked eye. This lens works in conjunction with the natural lens of the eye to correct refractive errors.  The beauty of EVO ICL is its additive nature which can be removed at any time. 

EVO ICL is often recommended for individuals with moderate to high myopia who may not be ideal LASIK candidates. This could be for reasons such as having thin corneas or existing dry eyes.

Primary Differences Between LASIK and EVO ICL

A notable difference between the two refractive procedures is that LASIK is considered a subtractive procedure in which corneal tissue is contoured to correct the refractive error the patient has, while EVO ICL is considered an additive procedure involving the insertion of a removable lens, working in harmony with the eye, without changing its structure.

Recovery times are also different for both procedures.   LASIK patients usually notice significant visual clarity typically within 24 hours,  while EVO ICL recovery tends to take 3-4 weeks until the patient has corrected vision. These are simply guidelines, every patient is unique and healing times may vary.

Choose San Antonio Eye Specialists for EVO ICL in San Antonio, TX

Dr. Iskander is a fellowship-trained refractive surgeon with over 20 years of experience specializing in helping patients achieve visual freedom by correcting refractive errors.  Dr. Iskander was one of the first surgeons in Texas to implant the EVO ICL and one of a few surgeons in San Antonio, Texas experienced in ICL implants since his introduction in Canada in 1999 before it was FDA-approved in the USA. Come meet Dr. Iskander at your complimentary evaluation to discuss your visual options.  Contact us online today to schedule your appointment. For your eyes...Don't compromise!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the eye surgery that Joe Jonas received? 

Joe Jonas underwent a procedure known as EVO ICL (Implantable Collamer Lens) or EVO.  This is another form of refractive surgery, separate from LASIK, that uses an implantable lens to achieve improved vision. For EVO ICL surgery in San Antonio, trust Dr. Nader Iskander, Dr. Timothy Lindquist, and the experienced medical professionals at San Antonio Eye Specialists. 

How long does EVO ICL last? 

The EVO ICL has the flexibility of being removed or replaced if necessary.  This is especially of interest for patients needing cataract surgery later on in life,  The EVO Visian ICL can be replaced with an intraocular lens (IOL) during cataract removal.

Is EVO ICL better than LASIK? 

Both EVO ICL and LASIK are excellent vision-correcting procedures.   Both procedures depend on individual patient factors such as the age of the patient,  eye health, and the refractive error in question. EVO ICL is often recommended for individuals who are not suitable candidates for LASIK, because of thin corneas, pre-existing dry eyes, or high levels of myopia and astigmatism. On the other hand, LASIK is a widely performed procedure with a strong track record for those with mild to moderate refractive errors for patients as young as 18 years of age with stable vision. Both procedures are safe and effective. A thorough eye examination and supporting diagnostics with our eye care professionals, Dr. Nader Iskander or Dr. Timothy Lindquist, at San Antonio Eye Specialists, is crucial to determine which procedure is best suited to a patient's specific needs and lifestyle.

Is EVO ICL reversible?

Yes, EVO ICL is a reversible vision correction procedure, which sets it apart from other refractive surgeries like LASIK or PRK. In the EVO ICL procedure, a small, biocompatible lens is inserted behind the pupil to work in conjunction with the eye's natural lens, adjusting the way light enters the eye and thus correcting the vision.

Unlike procedures that permanently correct refractive error by reshaping the corneal tissue, such as LASIK or PRK, the EVO ICL does not involve the reshaping or removal of corneal tissue.   EVO ICL is an additive procedure, meaning it is added to work in harmony with your natural eye.  


Is EVO ICL the surgery that Joe Jonas underwent? 

Yes, Joe Jonas had  EVO Implantable Collamer Lens (EVO ICL) to enhance his vision. Unlike LASIK, EVO ICL employs an implantable lens to improve visual acuity. Learn more about the EVO ICL journey by clicking here

How long does recovery from EVO ICL surgery take? 

While recovery times can vary from person to person, typically, patients start noticing visual improvement within a day or two after EVO ICL surgery, and most achieve optimal vision within a week. It's important to follow all post-operative care instructions given by your surgeon during this recovery period. Regular follow-up appointments are also necessary to ensure the eye is healing properly and the vision is improving as expected.

Does insurance cover EVO ICL?

No, EVO ICL is not covered by insurance. EVO ICL is considered an elective procedure.  We offer financing to make EVO ICL more affordable.  Start investing in your vision while experiencing visual freedom!  Learn more about our financing options here.

Are ICL Implants surgically implanted contacts? 

ICL stands for Implantable Collamer or Implantable Contact Lens.   Unlike regular disposable contact lenses, ICL implants are placed surgically and designed to remain in the eye long-term.