BrightOcular Surgery Cost

Written by: Staff

BrightOcular, according to the company, is an artificial iris implant, developed in the United States, created from a thin, flexible, biocompatible, medical-grade silicone designed to alter your iris color for either cosmetic or for medical reasons such as to help treat or alleviate heterochromia, ocular albinism or other iris-related abnormalities by protecting the eyes from the bright sunlight rays.

Since your iris determines your eye color, often due to two types of pigments, melanin and lipofuscin, this artificial implant, when inserted into the eye, can permanently change to the color of your choice.

As the procedure isn’t FDA approved and highly avoided by United States surgeons, most, who are interested, often have to resort overseas to countries, such as Tunisia, India, Mexico, Lebanon, and Jordan, to have the procedure done.

BrightOcular Surgery Cost
Eye_iris” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by sarcaser

How much does BrightOcular cost?

The cost of the BrightOcular procedure will depend on the country you have the procedure, the facility, what’s included in the bill and the surgeon you choose.  From our research from those who did have the procedure done, the costs seemed to range anywhere from $6,000 to $10,000.  Being a cosmetic procedure and not FDA approved, your health insurance will not cover it, so it’s best to be prepared to pay out of pocket.  As most of the procedures will be performed overseas, you will want to factor in any travel expenses as well.

According to this CBS Local article, one patient traveled overseas to India to have the procedure done for $5,000 to $7,000.

On this VH1 article, the journalist, Christopher Rosa, emailed the company and received a response stating the procedure costs about $5,000 to $7,000.

How does the BrightOcular procedure work?

The procedure is commonly done in an ambulatory environment and will take about 15 minutes per eye, almost always done under a topical anesthesia.  As the implant is flexible, it’s able to be folded and inserted into the eye via a peripheral corneal surgical incision about 2.8 millimeters long, according to the website.  No sutures are needed for the incisions, and even though it is not FDA approved at the time of this publishing, the company claims the implantation technique has been performed worldwide for years by using FDA-approved techniques.

During the procedure, the surgeon unfolds the prosthetic iris, the color of your choice, and spread atop of the natural iris.

After the procedure, you will need someone to take home and it’s important to follow the doctor’s post-operative instructions such as avoiding any heavy lifting, bending and rubbing your eyes.  After recovery, you can resume your normal activities but will be asked to refrain from swimming for the next 90 days after the surgery completes.

Color choices available

The company offers a variety of color options, including sea green, ice gray, baby blue, olive green, amber, light brown, with multiple colors coming “soon” in the future.

Tips to know

While the color will be permanent, the procedure can easily be reversed by removing the implant from your eyes.

Risks, according to the company, include chronic uveitis, deformed pupil/s, endothelial cell loss, ocular hypertension and the alteration of the cornea.  One eye surgery expert on The Sun noted the procedure can carry potential risks related to the foreign material sitting next to the delicate inner cells of the cornea, which could cause long-term damages such as vision loss. However, do keep in mind that as this procedure is relatively new, long-term side effects are not yet known.

All patients are not considered a candidate for the procedure as a good doctor will want to measure your eyes and perform up to nine tests to determine if you are, indeed, a candidate.  Tests include a visual acuity and refraction test; anterior chamber depth of the eye test; intraocular pressure test; white to white corneal diameter test; gonioscopy of anterior chamber angle test; peripheral retinal examination and axial length of the eye test; and endothelium cell count

The iris is made of a medical grade silicone and colorants which have been tested and USP VI certified.  The materials used, as per the company’s FAQ, have been used in implantable devices by the FDA.

The recovery period is different, based on the patient’s circumstances, but for most, it will be normal to feel mild discomfort, such as redness in the eyes and/or blurred vision, for the following two weeks after the surgery completes.  Some patients may also feel tearing from the eyes and/or more sensitivity to the light.  Generally, after about 30 days, you will feel normal again, being able to resume your daily activities.  For prescriptions, patents are often prescribed eye drops to be used for six to eight weeks.

You can view BrightOcular before and after pictures on the official website.

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