While celebrities sporting gold and silver grills on their teeth has become passé, the latest trend is to implant bling—in the eye. A few ophthalmologists in Los Angeles have been implanting eye jewelry for some time in those looking for a permanent twinkle to the tune of $3,000 to $4,000. But now the trend has come to New York: a Park Avenue laser vision specialist recently did his first implant.
(Could Boston be next?)
“To me this is just another way to advance the science of ophthalmology,” said Dr. Emil Chynn, the surgeon who did the procedure, in an interview with Fox News (video posted above). He implanted a very small heart-shaped piece of platinum just under the superficial conjunctiva, a filmy membrane that covers the white part of the eye.
To me, it looked the woman had something clinging to her eyeball that shouldn’t be there – and her reddened eye looked pretty angry about it.
Chynn said that the implant could cause a little temporary bleeding in the eye and that any infection risk would be prevented with antibiotic eye drops given prophylactically. He also insisted that “there’s no risk of blindness” from the procedure.
But the American Academy of Ophthalmology disagrees. The group, which represents the nation’s ophthalmologists, sent me a list of dangers posed by eyeball jewelry implantation including blindness from infections, severe bleeding, puncture of the eye, and conjunctivitis or pink eye.
“The American Academy of Ophthalmology has not identified sufficient evidence to support the safety or therapeutic value of this procedure,” read the statement. “It urges consumers to avoid placing in the eye any foreign body or material that is not proven to be medically safe or approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.”