Eye trauma can result in a wide range of injuries that may require expert repair of iris defects. Blunt or penetrating trauma to the eye can result in disinsertion of the iris root at its base. This type of injury causes the appearance of a black opening at the border between the colored part of an eye and the white surrounding. Another type of problem is a tear of the iris at the pupil margin. Instead of being round as it normally is, the pupil can become distorted. This is known as pupillary peaking. Eye trauma can result in iris defects that produce an abnormaly large aperture. An excessively large aperture allows excessive light to enter the eye. In addition, the large aperture can be cosmetically disfiguring. Fortunately, non-complex surgical techniques are available to fix iris deformities.
Iris implants that resemble the normal iris can make ideal remedies. Customizable iris implants that are foldable allow placement through a small incision. A surgeon first takes a detailed photograph of the patient’s normal eye and then send that photograph to the manufacturer who then fabricates an implant that matches the characteristics of the normal eye. Implantation of the iris implant is through a small incision. Surgery is usually less than one hour.
Iris implants can be very useful in patients with aniridia. An iris implant in these patients produces a functional pupil by limiting the amount of loight that enters the eye. The iris implant does not expand and contract like a normal pupil, but the amount of light coming into the eye is curtailed to a reasonable level.
The first artificial iris implant was performed in th 1980s. A Dutch company known as Ophtec BV hand-paints iris implants for use in surgery. As iris implants continue to advance in appearance and functionally, many patients will enjoy their advantages.
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