In 2009, 36 year old Beatriz Murillo decided that she didn’t like the brown color of her eyes and wanted to do something about it. She hopped on a flight to Panama with $8,000 and got silicone discs implanted on top of her irises that changed her eye color from brown to green. Two glaucoma surgeries and a corneal transplant later…Beatriz can no longer see. She can vaguely make out shapes and colors but that is about it.
Murillo lives in Toronto, Canada. The eye doctors there and doctors in the U.S. do not use the silicone iris implants because they can take your vision from you. They will treat patients who make the long trip to another country to have it done when they come back and have eyesight problems. In 2011 Murillo began to feel sharp pains in her eyes. She also had elevated pressure levels inside of her eyes. After the glaucoma surgeries she had the corneal transplant which her body rejected. The silicone implants have been removed, but she is now legally blind in both eyes. She is terrified because she is an artist and is afraid that she will never be able to paint again.
Dr. Ike Ahmed, who treated Murillo, has said that these silicone implants are obviously very dangerous. He has seen two other cases where there have been serious complications. He also warns that there is no safe way for you to permanently change your eye color. The eyeball is very sensitive, so one mistake or foreign body can cost you your eyesight.
Murillo is now hoping that she can get donor corneal implants so that she can have some of her vision restored. There is less of a chance of rejection with donor corneas because they will match the blood and tissue type, just like any other organ transplant. It is not a guarantee however.