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Permanent Eye Color Change

Updated on May 29, 2013

Artificial Iris Diaphragm Implant

Amazing as it may seem, it is possible to permanently change the color of your eyes using an artificial iris diaphragm implant, which is inserted via intraocular surgery.The technology was originally designed for people suffering from oculocutaneous albinism (light sensitivity due to lack of eye pigment) and has been used for that purpose for decades but is now on offer as a cosmetic enhancement. It is in no way a correction surgery for vision problems.

Implants are made from extremely thin silicone material and are designed to sit permanently in the eye, however the implant can be removed again if  required. The procedure is evidently relatively simple: a very small incision is made in the clear part of the eye (the cornea) and in front of the colored part (the iris). The colored sterile silicone implant is then folded and inserted into the eye, under the cut flap. The disc covers the iris, apart from a small hole which is open for the pupil.

As the incision is small (about 2.8 mm long), there is no need for a stich and the area heals quickly, with only mild itching and irritation for a few days, provided everything has gone according to plan. The whole procedure takes about 15 minutes for each eye and involves only a a topical anasthetic and post op, after-care eyedrops to aid healing and prevent infection.

The Catch

As with all surgical procedures, risks can occur and every potential contender for the surgery must undergo an extensive opthamalogical examination to rule out potential high risk factors. According to Bright Ocular, US manufacturers of the device: "proper patient selection is very important for the success of the procedure". However, the bottom line is, unless you have a genuine pigmentation problem, this operation is not necessary, except for reasons of vanity. A reasonable question to ask it worth taking any risks at all with your eyesight, just for a frivolous cosmetic procedure?

Some opthamologists in the US have expressed concern over the procedure, which as far as I know is only availabe at the present time in Panama. The cost is around 7 to 8 thousand dollars, plus there'll be travel and accomodation expenses on top of this. Although some people who have had the procedure have presented positive testamonials, there have also been disturbing reports from former patients claiming the procedure left them with severe eye pressure, corneal cell loss and inflammation in the eye.

Advantages Over Coloured Contacts

  • It's a permanent solution for those dissatisfied with their eye color
  • Less noticable than contact lenses
  • Suits peope who can't tolerate handling and using lenses


  • May cause blindness or blind spots
  • The implant may interfere with the pupils abilitiy to adapt to dark lighting conditions
  • Increased risk of glaucoma, iritis and other eye diseases
  • Far more expensive than contacts
  • You may have to use expensive eye drops for extended periods of time

A Positive View

A Negative View

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