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EYEBALL implants!?!?

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A close-up view of the latest fad

Jewelry set into eyeballs: Dutch surgeons have placed tiny implants in the eyes of six people

Neal Hall

Vancouver Sun

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Get ready for the latest fashion accessory -- the eyeball implant.

Dutch eye surgeons have already implanted tiny pieces of glittering jewelry called "JewelEye" in more than half a dozen people, including one man who obviously realizes the crucial role eyes play in social interactions.

So far, implant styles are limited to a tiny 3.5-millimetre half moon or heart inserted into the mucous membrane of the eye.

But the "specially designed material can be molded in all kinds of shapes and sizes," says the website for the Netherlands Institute for Innovative Ocular Surgery, which developed the cosmetic surgery two years ago.

The 15-minute procedure, called a cosmetic extraocular implant, involves administering a local anesthetic. It apparently doesn't interfere with vision or movement of the eye.

"In my view it is a little more subtle than [body] piercing. It is a bit of a fun thing and a very personal thing for people," Gerrit Melles, director of the Rotterdam-based institute, told Reuters.

The miniature piece of jewelry is inserted in the conjunctiva -- the mucous membrane lining the front of the eyeball -- in sterile conditions using an operating microscope. Because it is under the membrane, it doesn't cause irritation.

"Without doing any harm to the eye we can implant a jewel in the conjunctiva," Melles said.

"So far, we have not seen any side effects or complications and we don't expect any in the future."

The institute, which carries out the procedure in cooperation with an eye clinic near the city of Utrecht, said it has a waiting list for people who want the implant.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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