Has Anyone Heard of I -Brite, an Eye Whitening Procedure? Is It Safe?

A Dr in La peels the conjunctive off the eye, and it grows back within the day. Veins and spots are history. Has anyone heard of it? Are any other drs doing it other than him? His name is Dr Brian.

Doctor Answers 1

This is a tempting surgery that you should not have.

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I-Brite is a registered trade name of a procedure developed by Ophthalmologist Brian Boxer-Wachler in Beverly Hills.  He is without question one of the top refractive and anterior segment surgeons in the country.  He ran the refractive surgery service at UCLA before going into private practice.  His surgery removes some of the tissue called tenon's capsule that carries many of the blood vessels that can contribute to redness.  Additionally after surgery a drug called mitomycin C is used to help further reduce redness.  Apparently hundreds of patients have been treated.  The results on the website look very impressive.  

Unfortunately no reports on this body of work have been published in the scientific peer reviewed literature.  This can happen when a doctor is developing a proprietary method that they may plan on franchising or for other clinical or business reasons.  However, it makes it very difficult to express an opinion regarding the actual safety of the surgery.  Here is what we do know.  Other surgeons with backgrounds that do not match the depth and gravity of Dr. Boxer Wachler are starting to perform a similar type of treatment.  I would consider this at a minimum to be a type of experimental procedure and would suggest extreme caution in considering having such a service especially by a less experienced surgeon.  The tissue that is removed is precisely the tissue needed later in life if you should need a glaucoma surgery.  It is unclear at this time if a history of I-Brite surgery will prevent one from having vision saving glaucoma surgery should it ever be needed.  The mitomycin C is a very powerful drug that affects local circulation.  There is now a published case of eye wall necrosis following the a procedure described by the authors as "cosmetic eye whitening" associated with the use of mitomycin C.  The authors of this paper also feel that eye dryness played a role.  We do not know if there are other cases like this out there. The point is that serious and vision threatening complications are a possible outcome.  

Without detailed information about the clinical experience of this procedure published in the peer reviewed literature, my best advice is to avoid this surgery.  Wait unitl much more information is available about its safety.  Be safe not sorry.

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