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Retina Replacement by Dr Shibu John Varkey


Dr Shibu John Varkey holds the position of a Chief Medical Officer and Eye Surgeon, Phaco & Refractive at the Vasan Eye Care Group, Trichy. He created history by performing India’s first permanent eye colour change surgery on a 25 year-old woman hailing from New Zealand

The process
After a thorough eye examination to ascertain that there was enough space within her eye to accommodate the implant and also to evaluate for any risk factors, the implantation of a prosthetic iris of olive green colour was carried out in both her eyes through a 2.8 mm window made in her cornea. The procedure took about 15 minutes per eye. The results were there to be seen as soon as she walked to a mirror straight off the operating table, joy exhilaration, relief, gratitude. The operation was done on a young lady whose natural eye colour was brown and had been using green contact lenses for last seven years. She wasn’t satisfied and found it cumbersome and risky to wear different coloured lenses everyday. The lenses used to shift in the eye making clear vision difficult. The procedure for the implantation is US FDA approved as for phakic IOL surgery.

After effect
This procedure not only provides safe and permanent cosmetic benefits, but can also be used in cases of injury or those with defective eye colour due to albinism, coloboma or birth defects. Proper case selection and precise surgical execution are paramount in avoiding long-term complications. Glaucoma, corneal damage, cataract are possible in improper case selection and faulty surgery.

Infrastructure and the cost
Vasan Eye Care has a team of the most experienced eye surgeons in India and most of them are rated among the top 5 per cent in the country. Dr Shibu John Varkey has extensive experience in the field of phakic IOL surgery and this experience helped him in performing the iris colour change implantation in India.

The surgery
Phakic Intra-Ocular lens or Implantable contact lens is a very thin lens that is implanted in the eye over the natural lens of the eye. The natural lens is not removed. It is used for treating extremely high refractive errors which are not possible to treat with other procedures. Besides beauty, it also find its application in extreme myopia of more than about –10.0 dioptres.