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New Laser Treatment May Change Eye Color

Laser Treatment to Change Eye Color in Development

Permanent eye color change may soon be a reality

A BBC News article reported that a laser system is being developed to permanently change eye color from brown to blue.  In a simple procedure, a scan is taken of the patient’s iris and a laser is applied for 20 seconds.  After an initial period of iris darkening, the pigment cells in the iris disappear leaving a bright blue iris.  The color change is complete after three weeks, and the result is permanent, since pigment cells do not regenerate.

The eye doctors at LaFollette Eye Clinic were initially concerned about creating pigmentary glaucoma with the procedure, but the article revealed the mechanism behind the color change.  The laser treatment changes the physical structure of the pigment cells, causing the body’s natural repair proteins to digest the damaged cells at a molecular level.  Other concerns remain, such as post operative light sensitivity, glare, and double vision.

Still in the developmental stages, the procedure is expected to be available in Europe in about 18 months; the US can expect availability in about three years.  Currently 17 patients have undergone the procedure.

Click here to read the entire article and decide for yourself.  Is this something you would consider having done to your own eyes?

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14 comments to New Laser Treatment May Change Eye Color

  • meme

    how much is it?
    is there any in new york city?

  • dr.andy

    Since the procedure is still in the testing stages, there is no price listed. It should be available in about 18 months in Europe, but New yorkers will have to wait about three years.

  • Aliana

    Hi,
    Do you think this procedure will be available in canada in that 18 month period for international ?
    I just want to know since I am from canada and want to know when this procedure might be available.

  • dr.andy

    Aliana, to date they are still saying the 18 month period is for “outside the United States,” without specifically mentioning Canada. I can only guess that this has something to do with U.S. Federal regulations.

    I have discovered that the price is estimated to be around $5,000 USD.

    If you’d like more information, you may try to reach the company at info@stromamedical.com.

    Good luck, and thanks for your question!

  • Aliana

    Dr. Andy
    thank you so much for your response, I have another question do you think they made the 18 month period from the date the article surfaced in november ?
    Thanks

  • dr.andy

    Aliana,

    I would think that the 18 months is from the date of the press release. Since a press release is usually written for immediate publication, then I would assume that the 18 months is from the time the article was published in November. It’s just an assumption, though.

    Best of luck to you!

  • Jessica

    I would definitely pursue this option if it were available in the states.

  • dr.andy

    Jessica, you’re not alone. Millions of people wear colored contacts every day for the same reason, and I’m sure there are a lot of people like yourself who would consider this. Thanks for the comment!

  • Mana

    I have dark brown eyes, what color variants would I be permitted with such a procedure?

  • dr.andy

    Hi Mana, thanks for your question. According to the article, the procedure will only change brown eyes to blue. Sice the procedure removes all pigment from the iris, there is not a variation that leaves some pigment. So there isn’t a chance to go from dark brown to a lighter brown. It seems that for the time being, blue is the end point for everyone who has the procedure. Thanks again for your interest!

  • Axel

    Hi Dr. Andy!
    Are we getting close to date of launch in the states? Has this procedure gone as planned in Europe? I want it! What’s the status/ estimated timeframe now?

  • dr.andy

    I wish I could give you more than before, but according to the Stroma Medical website the release date has not been announced. Further, they do not plan on announcing either release dates or pricing until after their clinical trials are finished. However, they do offer the chance to sign up for email updates through their website, so you may want to check out their web page. As always, thanks for the interest and the comment!

  • Paul

    Hi, I have dark brown eyes with a purple ring around them. I also have pigmentary glaucoma. Would this procedure stop the glaucoma by destroying the pigment? My eyes produce too much pigmentation and I am tired of using drops every day that are becoming less effective.

  • dr.andy

    Hi Paul, that is an excellent question! Unfortunately, the pigment that is affected by the procedure is different from the pigment that causes pigmentary dispersion syndrome (PDS) and pigmentary glaucoma (PG). So the procedure would not likely be considered a treatment for PDS or PG. They have an excellent slide show explaining PDS, PG, and the laser procedure here http://www.stromamedical.com/page/patient-info-faq but also remember to ask your eye doctor for more information and his or her opinion too. Thanks for the question and best to you!