Serious ocular complications of cosmetic iris implants in 14 eyes

J Cataract Refract Surg. 2012 Mar;38(3):387-93. doi: 10.1016/j.jcrs.2011.09.037. Epub 2012 Jan 11.


Purpose: To report the presentation and subsequent management of a series of patients presenting with cosmetic iris implants.

Setting: New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, New York, New York, USA.

Design: Case series.

Methods: In this evaluation of patients with NewColorIris cosmetic iris implants, data collected included patient demographics, visual acuity, intraocular pressure (IOP), endothelial cell count, and slitlamp examination findings at presentation. Medical and surgical interventions and the postoperative course were recorded.

Results: Fourteen eyes of 7 patients (ages 22 to 60; 71% men) were identified. Nine eyes (64%) presented with decreased visual acuity, 7 (50%) had elevated IOP, 5 (36%) had corneal edema, and 5 (36%) had anterior uveitis. All 14 eyes had explantation of the iris prosthesis (range 4 to 33 months after placement). The minimum follow-up after implant removal in all eyes was 2 months (range 2 to 28 months). Intraoperative complications included suprachoroidal hemorrhage during explantation in 1 eye. Postoperative complications included corneal edema (8 eyes), cataract (9 eyes), and increased IOP/glaucoma (7 eyes). Secondary surgeries included Descemet-stripping automated endothelial keratoplasty (5 eyes), cataract extraction with intraocular lens placement (7 eyes), trabeculectomy (3 eyes), glaucoma drainage implant placement (3 eyes), and penetrating keratoplasty (1 eye).

Conclusions: The cosmetic iris implants may result in severe ocular morbidity. Complications in our series included uveitis, glaucoma, corneal edema, and decreased visual acuity. Although explantation helped stabilize symptoms, additional medical and surgical intervention to control IOP and corneal decompensation was required in many cases.

Financial disclosure: No author has a financial or proprietary interest in any material or method mentioned.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anterior Eye Segment / surgery
  • Cell Count
  • Corneal Edema / etiology*
  • Corneal Edema / surgery
  • Corneal Endothelial Cell Loss / pathology
  • Descemet Stripping Endothelial Keratoplasty
  • Device Removal
  • Eye Color*
  • Female
  • Glaucoma Drainage Implants
  • Humans
  • Intraocular Pressure / physiology
  • Iris*
  • Keratoplasty, Penetrating
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Ocular Hypertension / etiology*
  • Ocular Hypertension / surgery
  • Postoperative Complications*
  • Prostheses and Implants / adverse effects*
  • Uveitis, Anterior / etiology*
  • Uveitis, Anterior / surgery
  • Visual Acuity / physiology
  • Young Adult