For the last ten years, Dr. Gregg Homer has been developing a laser eye procedure to turn brown eyes into blue eyes. There is some fascinating science involved, but does it mean that this form of elective cosmetic manipulation is necessary? Is it any different from dying your hair, a piercing, or plastic surgery?
Before the irreversible procedure takes place, a picture of the iris is taken creating a blue print for the laser work. A specific frequency of electromagnetic radiation is applied to the iris. The totality of the procedure lasts approximately 20 seconds, but the results are permanent.
The laser targets melanin, the pigment in the eye responsible for brown color. Melanin is the polymer responsible for giving color to various areas of the body, most commonly the skin. It is not unique to humans, as melanin is present in most animals.
Dr. Homer began testing the procedure in 2004 on animals. After years of acquiring money from investors, he has performed the laser treatment on cadavers and now on live patients. In Mexico, 17 patients who possess very short-sided vision have had the procedure done in exchange for a lens transplant. Side effects can include double vision and glare, but have not been experienced. He is able to closely monitor the results because of his Spanish fluency. On the limited number of patients so far, there has only been success.
The procedure isn’t coming stateside anytime soon, it appears to still be three years away due to the lengthy approval necessary for medical treatments. However, overseas the technology could launch within 18 months.
Afternoon Inquisition Question: Does this differ in anyway from other elective cosmetic modifications? Does this simple procedure allow one to identify with a different race, as eye color is often very specific? Is this particular transformation more troublesome than others? Does it create a good type of diversity?