November 22, 2013
Having a twinkle in your eye no longer just implies that you might be in love. Early adopters of a new surgical procedure currently sweeping youth culture quite literally have sparkling metal in their eyes, according to MyFoxNY.com, and this is due to the deliberate injection of tiny platinum jewelry pieces into their scleras, or the outer white layer of their eyeballs.
Think tattoos, except that objects are literally being injected into the eyes rather than ink into the skin. The procedure has taken place hundreds of times in Europe and Los Angeles but is only just now hitting the New York scene. And one young woman says it will completely change the way she interacts with her friends and family.
“It’s going to be a conversation maker,” says Lucy Luckayanko, who recently had multiple platinum hearts surgically implanted onto her eyeballs. “I will be able to tell people. It will be unique. It will be sort of my unique factor.”
How does it work? An ophthalmologist first injects lidocaine into the eyeball in order to numb it and proceeds to make a small incision where the jewelry is to be placed. The incision, which divides a small pocket between the sclera and the conjunctiva, or the clear part of the eye, allows just enough room for the piece of jewelry to sit.
“To me, this is just another way to advance the science of ophthalmology,” says Dr. Emil Chynn, medical director of Park Avenue Laser Vision, which is the first in New York City to offer the procedure. “It’s a very thin piece of platinum that’s designed for insertion on the top of the eye. It’s not in the eye, so there’s no risk of blindness or anything at all.”
Eye jewelry costs $3,000 a pop, not approved by FDA
The $3,000 procedure is obviously not for the faint of heart, nor has it ever been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In fact, the American Academy of Ophthalmology issued a recent statement decrying the procedure and warning patients to take note about its potential dangers.
“[There is not] sufficient evidence to support the safety or therapeutic value of this procedure,” stated the group to MyFoxNY.com. It goes on to warn consumers to “avoid placing in the eye any foreign body or material that is not approved by the FDA.”
But people like Luckayanko are hardly phased by these warnings. More concerned about showing off to their friends and family their alleged uniqueness, she and others are more than willing to throw down stacks of cash to be among the first to have the metal objects placed in their eyes, even though the long-term safety of the procedure has never been verified.
“My concern would be that it might cause foreign body granuloma or scar tissue,” says Wayne Bizer, D.O., a comprehensive ophthalmologist from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, who disapproves of the procedure for its safety risks. “The implant could also allow bacteria to get beneath the conjunctiva causing a serious vision-threatening infection or possibly erode the sclera, the white part of the eye.”
As far as Luckayanko is concerned, the popularity factor is worth these potential risks.
“Fifty percent of my friends are like, ‘What is it? Why do you need it? Oh my… are you crazy? You’re going to put something in your eye?'” stated Luckayanko to reporters. “But 50 percent of my friends are like, ‘Oh my… it’s super cool!'”
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This article was posted: Friday, November 22, 2013 at 5:26 am