Could Laser Eye Color Surgery Work?

I saw this on around the net -- a dr in LA says he's developed a laser to permanently turn brown eyes blue. Based on your experience with eyes, is this truly possible? Is it safe??



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Doctor Answers 5

Procedure that changes eye color

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This procedure could possibly work for changing eye color, but could also potentially damage the eye permanently by causing glaucoma or iritis.

New York Ophthalmologist

Laser treatment to change Iris Color

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Actually, I believe it was a lawyer who patented the idea of changing the eye color through a laser procedure and not a medical doctor.  Until this procedure undergoes FDA clinical trials that demonstrate it as safe and effective, it would be wise to avoid an off-label use of the laser for this purpose.  In the future, it might be accepted by the medical community but it would require rigorous testing first.

Jay Bansal, MD
San Francisco Ophthalmologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Laser Eye Color Surgery

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I saw the same article and video regarding changing the color of the iris from brown to blue with a laser. While, with modern technology, virtually anything is possible, that doesn't mean it is prudent. To make this topic understandable, the reason a brown iris is brown, is that it contains more pigment than a blue iris. Therefore, if a device were used to knock some pigment off of the iris it would certainly become lighter, if not blue. Several concerns arise here. The first is that dislodged pigment has to go somewhere and there is actually a type of glaucoma called pigmentary glucoma, in which the iris pigment falls off the iris naturally, and the collected pigment clogs the outflow channel of the eye causing glaucoma. So, could'nt this procedure cause exactly that? Second, once the pigment is dislodged from the iris there is no putting it back ,so you had better like the "new" color of your iris. I think it is way too early to jump into this procedure....both for patients and surgeons.

Anthony J. Kameen, MD
Baltimore Ophthalmologist

Sounds like a bad idea

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Liberating pigment from the iris is a good way to cause glaucoma.  We see this every day as a result of trauma.  Blue contact lenses are safer, and let you change your mind.  

Benjamin Ticho, MD
Chicago Ophthalmologist

Not a good idea

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There is actually a medical condition in which the iris becomes lighter by losing its pigment. That leads to increased intraocular pressure because the pigment disperses in the anterior segment of the eye and blocks the outflow of fluid causing glaucoma, or permanent loss of field of vision. Brown eyes differ from blue eyes because they have more melanin pigment that creates a darker color. When laser is applied to the iris one can destroy that pigment by dispersing it in the eye. It could lead to complications including inflammation, or uveitis, and potentially glaucoma. My suggestion is to wear colored contact lenses that not only look great, but are a safe and reversable way of changing your eye color.

Natalie Borodoker, MD
New York Ophthalmologist

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