A novel annular keratopigmentation technique appears safe and effective for individuals seeking to permanently change their eye color, according to research published in BMC Ophthalmology. This procedure may have the potential to treat patients with ocular pathologies, according to the report.
Researchers conducted a cross-sectional survey of patients who returned to the clinic for an eye color correction following Femtosecond Laser Assisted Annular Keratopigmentation (FLAAK). While waiting for their color retouch, consenting patients completed a questionnaire about their experiences after FLAAK. The research team assessed aspects related to side-effects or discomfort and patient satisfaction.
A total of 42 of 51 patients (mean age, 37.6 years; 27 women, 15 men) returning to the clinic for a color retouch completed the questionnaire. Questionnaires were completed on average 13.4 months (SD 7.8, range 5–38) following the initial FLAAK surgery.
The researchers report that 34 (81%) patients experienced pain, 32 (76%) patients experienced dry eyes, 23 (56%) patients experienced glare, 28 (67%) patients experienced red eyes, 30 (71%) patients experienced tingling and no patients experienced visual halos.
All symptoms after the novel annular keratopigmentation technique were temporary. Symptoms such as pain, tingling, glare and red eyes disappeared in less than 48 hours following surgery in approximately 50% of the cases and ocular dryness in 22% of cases.
The median duration of these symptoms in patients who still had symptoms after 48 hours was 7 days.
Overall, the patients’ satisfaction with the aesthetical result (scale ranging from 0 to 10) of the novel annular keratopigmentation technique was on average 8.1 (SD 1.6).
No serious adverse events were reported.
“The FLAAK procedure performed for purely aesthetic purposes appears to be safe and is associated with high patient satisfaction,” according to the researchers. “This is an important innovation in the field of cornea surgery, which also has potential in the treatment of patients with ocular pathologies.”
Study limitations include the relatively small sample size of patients who underwent the novel annular keratopigmentation technique and possibility of some recall bias.
Disclosure: One study author declared affiliations with biotech, pharmaceutical, and/or device companies. Please see the original reference for a full list of disclosures.
Alafaleq M, van Haselen R, Ferrari F. The safety and effectiveness of a novel annular keratopigmentation technique; a cross-sectional survey of patients. BMC Ophthalmol. Published online June 27, 2023. doi:10.1186/s12886-023-02911-7