Surgery to Change Eye Colour

Most of us have seen or heard about coloured contact lenses, but have you heard about surgery to change eye colour? With modern technology, it is now possible to change eye colour with iris implant surgery. Iris implant surgery was originally developed for medical purposes. Initially, the procedure was used to treat traumatic eye injuries and medical conditions like aniridia, which is when the iris is missing, and coloboma, which is when part of the iris is missing.

Despite the original medical purpose of the procedure, some people now opt to have the operation for cosmetic purposes. These people have the surgery to surgically change their eye colour, despite the fact that their iris functions perfectly.

What Does Surgery to Change Eye Colour Entail?

During surgery to change eye colour, your surgeon will make a small incision in the cornea and place a silicone-based artificial iris, folded to fit through the slit, into the eye. The artificial iris will then be unfolded underneath the cornea, so that it covers your natural iris. It generally takes about fifteen minutes per eye to implant the iris, so all in all the procedure takes about half an hour. Surgery to change eye colour is performed under local anaesthetic, so while the procedure is happening you will be awake, but unable to feel any pain.

What are the Risks of Surgery to Change Eye Colour?

All surgical procedures carry certain risks. As such, with iris implant surgery, as with any eye surgery, there is a risk of your visual accuracy being affected. However, research shows that iris implant surgery for cosmetic purposes is more likely to result in complications as a result of the procedure.

Some of these complications include; blindness or partial vision loss; injury to the cornea; glaucoma, as a result of the increased pressure within the eye; uveitis, which is a form of eye inflammation that leads to blurred vision, pain and redness; cataracts, which happen when the clear lens of the eye becomes clouded; and corneal oedema, which is swelling of the cornea. It is important to keep in mind these risks when deciding if the procedure is right for you.

Why isn’t the Procedure More Popular?

Iris implant surgery for cosmetic reasons comes with multiple risks. Moreover, it is a relatively new procedure and a rather controversial one that has yet to be properly scrutinized by medical researchers. As such, there is little to no academically reliable research pointing to the fact that the procedure is effective, let alone safe. Because of this, the procedure isn’t performed in every country, and often people have to travel to have the surgery.

Another procedure that people use to change their eyes from brown to blue permanently makes use of a low-energy laser. The laser slowly removes the pigment from the stroma, which is a layer of interlaced tissue in the iris. This procedure is very rarely offered, as it too comes with multiple risks and is surrounded with controversy. Thus, it is important to note that while there are options available to surgically and permanently change eye colour, these are not without risk.

  • Please note that Cosmetic Clinic does not do all of the procedures written about in our blogs. Contact us for more information.

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