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Platinum Eye Jewelry

Jewelers might like to know that a New York City eye doctor is pushing the envelope with a new type of fashion: eyeball jewelry.

Dr. Emil William Chynn of the Park Avenue Laser Vision Center recently gained mainstream notoriety for performing a cosmetic procedure to insert a piece of platinum jewelry into someone’s eye. The surgery starts with a lidocaine injection to numb the site. Then, an incision is made to create a small pocket in between the sclera (white part of the eye) and conjunctiva (clear part of the eye). The platinum sequin is then inserted into the pocket, but not directly. Because the implant is so tiny (about 3.5mm), it is placed in a drop of water on the eye membrane and floated into position.

The platinum implant can come in a variety of shapes – such as a heart, star, initials, etc. It is curved to fit the eye, so it can’t be felt once the eye heals. The procedure takes about 15 minutes and costs $3,000.

Similar to gold’s use in dentistry, platinum is an ideal metal for this type of procedure because it won’t react with the body and is unlikely to cause an infection. Still, the FDA and other ophthalmologists warn against the procedure, saying it has the potential for side-effects like irritation, inflammation, scarring, and bleeding.

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