New surgery can change eye color


by Karen Grace / KENS 5

Posted on May 18, 2012 at 10:31 AM

SAN ANTONIO -- Do you have brown eyes that you would like to turn blue permanently?

A cosmetic procedure is raising eyebrows in San Antonio. These days, when Mother Nature doesn't give you what you want you can buy it, dye it or implant it.

But can you go under the knife to change your brown eyes to blue? Dr. Gregg Homer in Laguna, Calif., says you can.

"The procedure takes less than 20 seconds," Homer said in a Skype interview. His controversial laser surgery has skeptics around the world rolling their eyes.

"The important thing is that under every brown eye is a blue eye," added Dr. Homer. But one local doctor has major concerns about the procedure.

Dr. Jane Lindell Hughes is an ophthalmologist. She has concerns about the procedure, which blasts the brown right off the iris.

Within three weeks, the eyes go from a darker color to a lighter blue.

"When we remove the pigment, it just reveals the natural blue eye," said Homer.

"There are some potential complications that could occur during and after," said Dr. Hughes.

She researched the procedure and worries that cataracts could form. While that is a treatable problem, she says the risk for Glaucoma is a bigger concern.

"The pressure on the inside of the eye is too high and that can cause permanent damage," she said.

So we asked, if someone really wants to change their eye color, what would she recommend? Her response: Good, old-fashioned colored contact lenses.

Will patients in the U.S. be able to toss their contacts when they want to change their brown eyes for good?

Homer says the procedure will be commercially available within the next year outside the U.S.

"We are in the middle of testing," he said. "So far, we've had no problems at all and we don't anticipate any."

The procedure is expected to cost about $5,000.