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Coloured Ocular Implants: Controversial eye colour surgery could leave you blind

Coloured Ocular Implants: Controversial eye colour surgery could leave you blind

Ever wanted dreamy blue eyes? Coloured Ocular Implants (also known as Cosmetic Iris Implants) claim to be able to change eye colours permanently. However, case studies around the world have shown that this surgery may be highly dangerous.

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What are Coloured Ocular Implants?

Firstly, these implants are marketed under the ‘BrightOcular’ or ‘New Color Iris’ brands. However, it is important to note that this procedure can be extremely dangerous. As a matter of fact, it is neither approved by the Ministry of Health (MOH) in Singapore, nor the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States. What’s more, a doctor in New York who has seen many patients for post-operation complications, laments the surgery as a ‘public safety hazard‘.

Therefore, if you are thinking of undergoing this procedure, please read this article carefully before making a decision.

Coloured Ocular Implants/Cosmetic Iris Implants:

  • Use viral social media marketing tactics and “celebrity” endorsements to entice customers.
  • Are not approved by the Ministry of Health (MOH) or the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
  • Have not undergone clinical trials and safety tests in Singapore or the United States.
  • Are unlicensed and illegal to implant in Singapore.
  • Currently, the surgery can only be done in Africa, Mexico, Turkey, Lebanon or India.

Our Experience with Coloured Ocular Implants

Just recently, we have had a patient come to our clinic due to complications with the aforementioned iris implants. Soon after having the procedure done in Lebanon, the patient developed bullous keratopathy, cataract, and glaucoma. As a result, she was at risk of becoming blind. Following her initial eye assessment here, Dr Lee Hung Ming had to perform multiple procedures to rectify the problems. Firstly, the iris implant had to be removed. Subsequently, a corneal transplant was performed. On the contrary, these surgeries could have easily been avoided.


The side effects and complications from the procedure include:

  • Reduced visual clarity, blindness in serious cases.
  • Inflammation, tearing of the eyes, and pain.
  • Increased eye pressure, which may lead to glaucoma.
  • Development of cataract.
  • Corneal damage.
  • Corneal transplant.

Ophthalmic associations have warned against the surgery:

  • The American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Glaucoma Society and the Contact Lens Association of Ophthalmologists strongly discourage consumers from undergoing this surgery (read more).
  • Iris Implant Surgery to Change Eye Color Can Be Dangerous, American Academy of Ophthalmology Warns (read more).
  • American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery Clinical Alert: Ocular Complications of Cosmetic Anterior Chamber Iris Implants(read more).

Alternative Options:

While we are all for technological breakthroughs and advancements in the medical field, patient safety is of utmost importance. If you really want to change your eye colour, one of the options is to use coloured contact lenses. However, contact lenses are medical devices. As such, lenses need to be fitted by a licensed optometrist. Moreover, be wary of buying unlicensed lenses as they could contain toxic chemicals.


At Lee Hung Ming Eye Centre, our mission isrestoring vision, enriching lives.We believe that knowledge is power, and routinely publish articles on eye health and developments in the ophthalmic industry. Head over to our resources sectionto read more.

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