American Academy of Ophthalmology issues warning about iris implant surgery to change eye color American Academy of Ophthalmology News, 11/03/2014 Following recent media reports about a cosmetic iris implant surgery to change eye color, the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the world’s largest association of eye physicians and surgeons, is warning consumers not to undergo the procedure, which has the capacity to cause serious eye damage, vision loss and blindness. Cosmetic iris implants have not been evaluated by any U.S. regulatory agency or tested for safety in clinical trials. While the implants are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, it has been reported in the media this month that the surgery is being performed overseas. During iris implant surgery, an artificial iris made of silicone is folded and inserted into a slit that has been cut into the cornea. Then the iris is unfolded and adjusted to cover the natural iris. Local anesthesia is used. Studies show that serious complications of the iris implant procedure can include: • Reduced vision or blindness; • Elevated pressure inside the eye that can lead to glaucoma, a potentially blinding disease; • Cataract, or clouding of the eye’s naturally clear lens; • Injury to the cornea, the clear outer area of the eye that focuses light and makes vision possible. If severe enough, a corneal transplant may be needed; • Inflammation of the iris or areas around it, leading to pain, blurred vision and tearing.