FDA approves first artificial iris for use in US

Prostheses come in different colors, fitted to patient's eye

Lynne Adkins
June 05, 2018 - 8:52 pm

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Good news for patients with a specific eye issue: The FDA just approved the first artificial iris.

The iris — the colored portion of the eye — can be missing because of a genetic disorder at birth, trauma or cancer.  

Brandon Ayres, a cornea surgeon at Wills Eye Hospital, said without it, patients suffer.

"This will lead to severe glare, difficulty with driving, difficulty with vision, just difficulty with functioning normally," he said, "and there's a cosmetic aspect to an iris defect where your eye just looks different and people can be self-conscious about that."

The prosthetic iris is custom-made for each patient and implanted surgically. Ayers was an investigator in the study that led to this advancement. 

"They're all different as far as the coloration of the iris prosthesis," he added, "but they're all the same size. But in the operating room, we can cut the prosthesis to properly fit into the patient's eye."