Doctor Hani Sakla Warns about Surgical Eye Color Change

Complications and Risks

The color of the eyes is the most attractive facial feature and is recently becoming an obsession for many people who are willing to change their eye color permanently; however, is this type of surgery safe for the eyes? Doctor Hani Sakla, consultant in ophthalmology at Ebsar Eye Surgery Center in Dubai, and member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery explains more.

The cosmetic iris implant surgery is done by transplanting an artificial iris; a silicon-like plastic material above the natural iris which gives the eye its color. Many people are dissatisfied with the natural color of their eyes, so they decide to undergo artificial iris implantation surgery.

This surgery is dangerous and can damage the person’s vision. When the artificial iris is left above the original one, it closes the angle between the iris and cornea causing damage due to chronic inflammation. Thus, it is a result of friction between the artificial iris and the tissues of the eye’s corner that leads to its obstruction and causes high level of eye pressure.

The tissue of the original iris is very sensitive, and as a result of its contact with the artificial iris, chronic inflammation, adhesions between the iris and the eye lens, and a possible cataract may occur. In some cases, we can save the patient’s vision only if the eye tissues were healthy, as we remove the cataract and implant new lens inside the eye, and then remove the artificial iris.

This surgery is considered unethical and not recognized by any medical authority- as there are no studies that have demonstrated its efficacy.

As for UAE, it is prohibited according to the laws which state that any harm caused to a healthy organ in the body is considered illegal. When we add an undesirable organ inside a healthy eye, we are triggering tremendous damage to that eye.

Although it was believed that the artificial iris will remain in the eye indefinitely, we have treated three cases for patients from other countries suffering from certain eye disorders. The last case was a woman who had undergone the transplantation surgery in Iran, but then insisted we remove it after suffering from infections and weakness in vision. Later on, we discovered that she is facing problems in her original iris and atrophy in her muscles, which are responsible for controlling the amount of light entering the eye.

In conclusion, I recommend people not make uninformed decisions without further knowledge of the outcome of such surgeries. Also, I would advise they think carefully before undergoing any surgery related to sensitive areas in the body, such as the eyes.

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