The Complete Patient Guide to Evo ICL

The Evo ICL (Implantable Collamer Lens) has gained global recognition as a leading vision correction procedure with over 1 million successful surgeries performed worldwide. It is rapidly becoming one of the most popular and trusted options for achieving freedom from glasses and contact lenses.

In our “Complete Patient Guide to the Evo ICL” we’ll discuss what every patient considering a vision correction procedure needs to know, such as:

  • What is the Evo ICL?
  • Who is a Good Candidate?
  • What to Expect Before, During, and After Your Procedure
  • Risks & Benefits of Evo ICL
  • How to Choose a Surgeon

Read on to learn more about the life-changing Evo ICL.

What is Evo ICL?

ICL stands for “Implantable Contact Lens” or “Implantable Collamer Lens”

Instead of using a laser to change the shape of the cornea, the ICL is a lens implant that corrects the need for glasses or contact lenses. The collamer material used in the lens is biocompatible, meaning it is well-tolerated by the eye and provides exceptional visual clarity.

ICL technology has been FDA-approved in the United States since 2005. However, like most other technologies, there have been significant advances since then, including the FDA approval of astigmatism-correcting ICL’s in 2018, and the EVO ICL in 2022.

Over 1 million ICL procedures have been performed worldwide. The technological advancements of the EVO ICL have made the procedure safer than ever before. For many patients, it offers superior safety & vision outcomes compared to LASIK.

Patient Guide to Evo ICL

Reversible Vision Correction

The Evo ICL doesn’t involve any laser re-shaping of the cornea & is reversible. These benefits compared to LASIK make the EVO ICL particularly suited for patients such as those with thin corneas, irregular corneas, or prescriptions too high for treatment with LASIK.

Many patients are good candidates for both LASIK and EVO ICL. In these situations, it’s important to have an experienced doctor who can guide you through a detailed discussion of the pro & cons of each option so that you can choose the best procedure for you.

With the EVO ICL, patients can enjoy clear and sharp vision without the need for glasses or contact lenses. In the United States, the EVO ICL is able to correct myopia and astigmatism, including prescriptions that are much too high for other procedures such as LASIK or PRK. (Note: The EVO ICL is not available for farsighted patients in the U.S.)

Who is a Good Candidate for Evo ICL?


Per the FDA’s labeling of the EVO ICL, it is approved for patients between the ages of 21 and 45 years old.

Of note, it can be used in patients outside of this age range, however, it is considered “off-label”. The off-label use of medical devices or medications is common practice and legal. “Off label” refers to the use of a product in a manner that is not specified in the FDA-approved labeling of a product.

If you fall outside this age range and are interested in the Evo ICL, please discuss it with your doctor.


The EVO ICL is approved for patients who have between -3.0 D and -20.0 D of nearsightedness, and no more than 4.0 D of astigmatism.

The lens can correct up to -15.0 D of nearsightedness. It may be used in patients with a higher prescription to reduce their nearsightedness.

For example, if your prescription is -20, the EVO ICL will reduce it significantly. However, you are still likely to have approximately 5.0 D of nearsightedness. To correct the remaining about of nearsightedness, it is common to consider LASIK or PRK in addition to Evo ICL.

Anterior Chamber Depth

The EVO ICL is implanted just behind the iris and in front of the natural lens. This space is part of what’s called the “anterior chamber”. During your consultation, your doctor will measure the depth of the anterior chamber to make sure it is large enough to safely fit the lens implant. This measurement is called the “Anterior Chamber Depth”. The Evo ICL is approved for patients who have an anterior chamber depth of 3.0mm or greater.

Vision Stability

Similar to other vision correction procedures, your vision should be stable before you proceed. You and your surgeon should both want a long-lasting outcome from your procedure. The good news is that most people have stable prescriptions by age 21. If your prescription is not stable, you should discuss with your doctor the reason and have regular eye exams until it stabilizes.

General Eye Health

Other general eye conditions that could make someone a poor candidate for EVO ICL include cataracts, glaucoma, and Fuchs Dystrophy. These conditions are uncommon in 21-to-45-year-olds. As part of your evaluation, you will have a comprehensive eye exam to detect any condition such as these.

Pregnancy or Nursing

For patients who are pregnant or nursing, it is advisable to postpone EVO ICL. Hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy and breastfeeding can impact the stability of your prescription.

More Information:

Two great resources for information about determining if you’re a good candidate for the Evo ICL are:

The Evo ICL Procedure: What to Expect

Pre-Operative Evaluation

As part of your vision correction consultation, your doctor will do many tests to determine which procedure is best for you. These tests will include checking your prescription and measuring different parts of the eye. Many of these measurements are similar to those for LASIK. One of the important additional measurements is called the “Anterior Chamber Depth”.

The Anterior Chamber Depth (ACD) is important to determine if you are a candidate for the procedure. If your ACD is too small, it means that there is not enough space to safely implant the lens.

Procedure Day

On the day of your procedure, you’ll check in to the front desk of your surgical center and be taken back to the pre-procedure area. Typically your name and date of birth will be confirmed in addition to the procedure that you’ll be having. Also, it’s important to have a driver to-and-from the surgery center that day.

Next, you’ll have basic vital signs checked, make sure nothing has changed with your overall health since you were last seen by your eye doctor, and then your eyes will be dilated with eye drops.

Once you’re ready for surgery, you’ll head to the procedure room. It’s important to note that only one eye will have the procedure at a time.

Either right before you head to the procedure room, or right after, you’ll be administered sedatives to help you relax, and additional numbing eyedrops.

The skin around your eyes will be cleaned and a sterile drape will be placed over the area. After you are covered with the sterile drape, your doctor will spend a few minutes getting your lens implant ready. Your doctor will be working off to the side getting the lens ready while you are just resting comfortably.

After the lens is ready, the insertion process is quite fast. All that most patients notice is a light show as the lens unfolds and is moved into position. The procedure can take less than 10 minutes.

After your first eye is done, all of the above steps are repeated on the other side. Your surgeon will give you instructions for eyedrops after surgery. Aside from those eyedrops, your job is to go home and relax. Congratulations… You just had the EVO ICL and gained years of independence from glasses and contact lenses!

Recovery & Post-Operative Care

Your surgeon will give you instructions for after your procedure. Typically, most patients are required to take antibiotic & anti-inflammatory eyedrops for several weeks.

Most patients are seen for their first follow-up visit on either the same day of the procedure or the next day. During this visit your vision and eye pressure will be checked.

It is common to experience sensitivity to light and irritation in your eye. The irritation can be described as having an eyelash or grain of sand and is typically resolved with lubricating eyedrops. Wearing sunglasses can help alleviate discomfort. Severe pain is not common. If you experience severe pain, it is crucial to contact your doctor immediately.

Your doctor will also review activity restrictions. It is important to avoid rubbing your eyes, and certain activities like contact sports or swimming in the early postoperative period.

Most patients are legal to drive without glasses or contact lenses the very next day after surgery. However, you should wait until your doctor gives you the approval to drive. For most patients, it’s the first time in their life that they’ve ever been allowed to drive without glasses or contacts!

Benefits of the Evo ICL

Patient Guide to Evo ICL

There are many benefits to choosing the Evo ICL for your vision correction procedure. These benefits are making it one of the faster growing procedures worldwide… especially in the United States.

Clear Vision!

One of the primary benefits of the EVO ICL is the achievement of clear and crisp vision. The collamer lens used in the procedure provides excellent optical clarity, allowing patients to experience outstanding visual acuity.

Many individuals report improved clarity, sharpness, and contrast sensitivity, resulting in a significant enhancement in their overall visual experience.

Quick Results & Fast Recovery

With the EVO ICL, patients often experience rapid results and a relatively fast recovery process. Many individuals notice a significant improvement in their vision within a short period after the procedure. Unlike some other vision correction options, the EVO ICL offers quick visual recovery, allowing