Karolinne Rocha, M.D., performs MUSC Health's second artificial iris implant after performing first in country after FDA approval in 2018.
Learn more about this procedure So the artificial iris implant procedure is usually indicated for patients with an iridium to means patients without the iris or the color part of the eye. Right? So that can be a congenital problem. Congenital and the media or acquired. For example someone that had trauma or maybe someone that had a complicated cataract surgery. So we actually were able to perform the very first artificial iris implant after FDA approval in the United States here at that M. U. S. C. In december of 2018. So the device was actually approved in 2018. So it's a very unique procedure basically the what we do, we take a picture of the patient's control arrow. I and actually the implant is usually made in Germany comes from Germany and it's all handmade, you know to copy the patient's contra lateral eye. So it's a small incision procedure. We don't need to open the cornea completely. So the incision is about to 75- three. And now we can uh we fold the irish and we use a very small injector to inject the iris, the artificial iris into the eye. This is a very important procedure because a patient with an iridium a usually presents with very severe photo phobia or light sensitivity. Right? And sometimes they complain of blurry vision or double vision. The iris is not only a cosmetic procedure but it's a functional procedure because those patients, they have really severe light sensitivity. So it's really important to be able to offer this procedure here. The muc I would like to describe a case that we performed recently. This was a 73 year old male that had a traumatic injury many years ago in 2013. And he had a ruptured globe. And during the trauma he lost the iris, the colored part of the eye and his crystalline lands. So he had again traumatic and your idea and uh he was a fake it. So she he was not able to see his vision was just counting fingers. And he was wearing a fake contact lenses, a very thick contact lense. But again he had severe light sensitivity. He was not able to drive during the day because of the sun and even at night because of halos and glare. So this was definitely a complex case. You know, we started the case. We need we always need to do an interior attract to me to clean all the Beatrice first and then we plan a secondary intraocular lens implant. And then uh the artificial iris implant. So this is all performed using just a small incision. And we just uh prepare you know the cornea because we need to future the lens first and then future the artificial iris implant. When we when we perform an artificial iris implant initially. You know, during the FDA trials, some of the investigators, they were just injecting the implant inside the eye. But then um uh we had some case reports showing that, you know when that implant moves inside the eye that can cause what we call the drug syndrome. You ve this glaucoma high fema syndrome. So now then we've learned that it's important to future. So in preparation for the implant, we usually do what we call pary to me. Then we open we use a little katari and then we create just two little square groups with a 69 blade. Uh and then we use uh it's clear Autumn is, you know, just to create tiny tiny holes in this Clara where we um basically passed the futures for the artificial virus, M. U. S. C. The tertiary center. So we always see a lot of complex cases right patients that had eye injuries, trauma to the eye and and they usually come to see us with no vision at all. Right. The area fake kick had traumatic and Meridia. And I think this procedure is definitely a part of what we call the anterior segment reconstruction. Right? We're really reconstructing the I. And the anatomical structures. So I think it's a very exciting procedure with not restoring you know, the cosmetic side of things when you're doing um iris implant. But there's the functional, so the patients they can see better and they can again drive at night. They can just play golf and be able to see again and have a normal life in terms of visual recovery, right? We may expect pressure spike when they after surgery. So we always ask our patients to come back when they after surgery. And some patients, they may develop a little corny redeem or some corneal photos. So the recovery, it's really variable. It really depends on the case, patients may be saying, well within the first week, after surgery may take a few weeks.