Iris determines each person's eye color. It is the eye's pigmented part with a hereditary nature. Its color is usually brown, black, blue, gray or green, which generally depends on two types of pigments: melanin and lipofuscin (for some types of green). In the absence of any pigment which is called albinism, eye color can change into the color of its flowing blood.
Iris color is very different in different parts of the world and it is comprised of a combination of two or more different colors in some people. Brown, black and chestnut are the most common colors of eye or iris with about three quarters of the world's population.
Iris has an important role in controlling the amount of light entering the eye and protects the eye against harmful sun rays. Due to diseases or trauma to the eye, some people have no iris or defective iris.
An artificial iris is a thin, flexible, non-toxic prosthesis which is compatible with body tissue. Artificial iris is made of materials that are used in manufacturing intraocular lenses. For years, these lenses have been placed in the patients’ eyes (e.g., after cataract surgery); therefore, they are made of safe and biocompatible materials.
The BRIGHTOCULAR artificial iris implant is a United States invented device made of ophthalmic grade silicone which is used in intraocular lenses for decades throughout the world. BrightOcular is manufactured under Class-100 strictly controlled environment. The facility has ISO 13485 certification, which is one of the highest medical device manufacturing standards in the world.
The BrightOcular procedure is ambulatory, short, safe, and painless. It is performed under topical anesthesia and takes about 15 minutes for each eye. Since the implant is flexible it can be folded and inserted into the eye through a peripheral corneal surgical incision about 2.8 mm long. No corneal sutures are needed for this length of the incision. Anterior chamber intraocular lens implantation and phakic IOL implantation are performed worldwide for years and are also FDA approved techniques (ICL, Cataract Extraction).
History of Artificial Iris Implant Surgery
Artificial iris implant surgery was first performed by United States Pioneer Dr. Rosenthal and Dr. Rush from Germany in 1996. Since then, it has been operated on patients in Europe, Canada, Asia and the USA.
Applications of Artificial Iris Implant
This method was first invented for its medical applications. The following diseases are the main indications for this surgery. People who cannot have good vision due to the following reasons and the sun and environmental light hurt them use artificial iris implant surgery to have appropriate vision. During the recent years, cosmetic aspects have been added to these applications.
Medical Applications of Artificial Iris Implant
In people with the following problems, artificial iris implant is performed. Many of these problems such as light sensitivity and reduced vision are removed by surgery.
Correcting eye color in people who have eyes with two different colors (Heterochromia)
Treating patients with albinism (ocular albinism)
Treating patients who have no iris (anirida)
Treating patients who have rupture of iris following a trauma
Severe iris atrophy
Congenital absence of a portion of iris (coloboma)
Cystic and multi-layer iris (iridoschisis)
Cosmetic Application of Artificial Iris Implant (Permanent Change of eye Color)
Permanent change of eye color is another application of artificial iris which is done for beauty. Artificial iris is available in various colors and the surgeon puts the patient's desired color into her or his eyes. This color change is permanent; however, if there is a need for the removal of artificial iris for any reasons, it can be easily done.
The purpose of this surgery is not to correct refractive errors and, if the patient uses glasses or contact lenses to correct his/her vision before the eye color change surgery, s/he will still need them after the surgery. In fact, correction of myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism before or after placing an artificial iris can be done by laser and permanent change of eye color does not disrupt such actions.
Most artificial iris implant surgeries in the past have only been done for medical purposes and they are necessary and recommended for the patients to treat the above-mentioned diseases. This method is not recommended for merely cosmetic purposes. Nevertheless, in recent years many people intend and have successfully permanently change their iris color using brightocular artificial iris for solely cosmetic reasons.