An extraocular implant (also known as eyeball jewelry) is a cosmetic implant consisting of a tiny decorative piece of jewelry that is implanted into the superficial inter-palpebral conjunctiva or sclera of the human eye.
History and culture
Eyeball jewelry was first developed in the Netherlands as a radical new form of body modification in 2002. It was first developed at the Netherlands Institute of Innovative Eye Surgery and is marketed there under the name JewelEye. This procedure is completely legal in the Netherlands if it is performed by a licensed ophthalmologist under sterile conditions.
In Canada, several provinces have passed laws banning eyeball jewelry and sclera tattoos due to potential health risks, including Ontario and Saskatchewan.
Unlike subcutaneous implants and other new body modification procedures, the extraocular implant is currently only performed in a medical clinic setting. The procedure is relatively quick, but requires both eyes to be immobilized with pain-relieving drops, and that the layers of the eyeball where the implant is located are separated by fluid injection. Since very few people have undergone this procedure and it is relatively new, the long-term health effects are currently unknown.
However, the website of the Netherlands Institute for Innovative Eye Surgery says that the implant does not affect the function of the eye, that is, visual ability and mobility. In addition, patient satisfaction remains high, and no side effects from treatment were observed over a follow-up period of more than one year.
Currently, the only jewelry supplier for this implant is a company from Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The implant is made of platinum alloy and is available in several basic shapes, including euro sign, heart, musical note, clover, or star shapes, other shapes can be made by the company on request. The size of the decoration is about 3 mm across.