Is that a glimmer in your eye?

A medical procedure, implanting jewelry in your eye, could be outlawed in Illinois. The cosmetic surgery was developed in 2002 in the Netherlands by the Institute for Innovative Ocular Surgery and about 100 patients have had the implants in Europe. Dr. Thomas Steinemann, from the American Academy of Ophthalmology says this procedure has only been done a few times in the U.S.

A cut is made through the conjunctiva (the thin mucus membrane that covers the front of the eye) and a tiny metal charm, thinner than a piece of tin foil is slipped in. The result, a permanent "glimmer", is a far cry from the more traditional eyebrow piercing.

If you want to be the first in Illinois to try it, you could spend time in prison; Rep. Kevin Joyce (D-Chicago) is sponsoring a ban, now before the House after a committee approved it last week, on the grounds the procedure carries too many health concerns.

Dr.Steinemann said the eye is unsuited to unnecessary poking and slicing and is far more fragile than skin that's tattooed and pierced. The risks are unwarranted for the benefit of vanity.

llinois has never taken this sort of action before and it is not popular with everyone. Rep. Annazette Collins (D-Chicago) thinks the ban an intrusion on personal choices and she has support from some lawyers.

There is apparently a lengthy waiting list for this procedure.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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