Keratopigmentation, a procedure aimed at altering the color of the eye’s cornea, has gained traction in recent years for both medical and cosmetic reasons. Whether it’s to address vision impairments, enhance aesthetics, or fulfill a personal desire for a particular eye color, individuals are increasingly exploring this innovative technique.

However, one crucial aspect that often dictates decision-making is the cost associated with keratopigmentation. This article delves into the factors that influence the cost, potential complications, and the role of skilled ophthalmologists in ensuring successful outcomes.

What is Keratopigmentation?

Keratopigmentation, also known as corneal eye tattooing or eye color change procedure, involves introducing natural pigments into the cornea to achieve a desired color change. The procedure may be performed using different techniques, including corneal tattooing, iris implants, or laser-assisted color change surgery. Each method varies in complexity, permanence, and associated risks.

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Dr. Ferrari’s Annular Keratopigmentation Method

  • Anesthesia and Duration: The procedure is painless and brief, typically lasting around one hour. It is performed under local anesthesia, ensuring patient comfort throughout the operation.
  • Surgical Technique: Annular keratopigmentation, spearheaded by Dr. Ferrari is the method that is used, and involves a controlled operation. It begins with the creation of a circular micro-tunnel in the cornea using a specialized femtosecond laser.
  • Pigment Application: Following the creation of the micro intracorneal tunnel, pigment is meticulously applied to cover the natural color of the eyes, thereby achieving the desired color change.
  • Preservation of Eye Structure: Importantly, the surgery does not impact the internal structures of the eye. Unlike some other methods, it does not involve the use of eye implants, contributing to its safety and efficacy.
  • Safety Measures: Surgeons on the Neoris platform emphasizes safety through three key rules of caution:
  1. The procedure necessitates the use of a specialized femtosecond laser, specifically adapted and programmed for this purpose.
  2. Surgeons must employ this critical instrument to execute highly precise surgical movements, ensuring accuracy and effectiveness.
  3. Only Neoris dyes are utilized, currently including blue, green, brown, and white, to achieve optimal and reliable results. Neoris dyes are the only dyes in the market developed specifically for keratopigmentation.

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How Much Does Keratopigmentation Cost?

The cost of keratopigmentation varies based on factors like the surgeon’s expertise, the clinic’s  location, and the chosen procedure. On average, prices range from $6,500 to $12,000. Additional costs may arise for procedures like additional laser treatment or medical procedures. 

Certified clinics that offer keratopigmentation ensure safe and reliable services, so patients should take the opportunity to inquire about procedure costs, potential additional expenses, and the use of specialized color pigment options for eye color alteration.

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5 Factors That Affect The Cost of Keratopigmentation

Various factors influence the cost of color change surgery. Average prices vary depending on primary factors like the surgeon’s expertise, the application process, and the chosen color-change technique. Additional factors such as clinic location and necessary treatments also impact the overall cost. The average cost of keratopigmentation can fluctuate depending on the following factors:

Surgeon Expertise

When considering keratopigmentation, it’s essential to prioritize the skill and expertise of the surgeon performing the procedure. An ophthalmologist with years of experience and a successful track record in performing keratopigmentation surgeries may command higher fees. Patients should seek out surgeons who specialize in eye pigments and have a reputation for achieving satisfactory outcomes, even if it means paying a premium for their expertise.

Type of Procedure

The chosen method for keratopigmentation can significantly impact the overall cost of the procedure. While traditional techniques like corneal tattooing may be more affordable, advanced methods such as femtosecond laser-assisted keratopigmentation may come with a higher price tag due to the use of specialized equipment and technology. Patients should discuss the available options with their surgeon to determine the most suitable and cost-effective approach for their specific needs.

Clinic Location

The geographical location of the clinic where the keratopigmentation procedure is performed can also influence the cost. Urban areas with higher costs of living and overhead expenses may have higher procedure fees compared to rural or suburban regions. Factors such as rent, staff salaries, and administrative overhead can contribute to variations in pricing between different locations.

Additional Treatments

In some cases, additional treatments may be necessary before or after keratopigmentation, depending on the individual’s eye health and specific requirements. For example, eye drops might be necessary for the healing process. Additional procedures and post-operative care can add to the overall cost of the treatment. Patients should factor in these potential additional expenses when budgeting for keratopigmentation and discuss them with their surgeon during the consultation process.

Equipment and Technology

The use of advanced equipment and technology during keratopigmentation procedures can also impact the overall cost. Techniques that involve femtosecond lasers or specialized pigments may require additional investment in equipment, which can contribute to higher procedure fees. Patients should inquire about the technology used by their surgeon and understand how the costs of equipment may affect the cost of their treatment.

The Benefits of Keratopigmentation

Is Keratopigmentation Covered By Insurance?

The cost of keratopigmentation is not covered by insurance policies as it is considered an aesthetic procedure and not a medical necessity. Since individuals who seek a change in eye color do so for aesthetic reasons and not medical reasons, insurance providers don’t cover the cost of cosmetic eye color change surgery. However, your surgeon may be willing to create a financial plan to help you cover the cost of surgery. 

Before and After Pictures of Keratopigmentation

Is Keratopigmentation Safe?

Keratopigmentation is safe when performed by a skilled surgeon. Surgeons on the Neoris platform have performed more than THREE thousand operations, which represents nearly 90% of the operations performed worldwide so you can rest assured that you’re in good hands.

While the cosmetic procedure for permanent eye color change has a bad reputation in ophthalmology, this is because the two most popular methods of permanent color change are colored implants and laser depigmentation of the iris. Colored implants, similar to permanent contact lenses, are dangerous and can lead to vision loss, and laser eye color change through depigmentation can lead to complications such as glaucoma.

To avoid these risks, Dr. Ferrari has developed a new, safe eye color change procedure that minimizes the potential risks outlined above. To avoid vision loss or intraocular complications, surgeons on the Neoris platform make a circular micro-tunnel in the cornea with a femtosecond laser, enabling them to apply a special pigment that covers your natural color, this controlled color-change procedure presenting a safe alternative.

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Are Colored Contact Lenses A Viable Alternative?

Colored contact lenses offer a temporary solution for individuals considering eye color alteration. They provide flexibility and convenience, ideal for those exploring different eye colors before committing to keratopigmentation. With options ranging from brown pigment to green color, contact lenses allow for experimentation without permanence.

However, for lasting results without the hassle of upkeep, keratopigmentation is the ultimate solution. This cosmetic surgery offers precise pigment selection, ensuring patient satisfaction with their chosen eye color. While colored contact lenses serve as a viable alternative, those seeking a permanent change will find keratopigmentation to be the ideal choice.

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How To Find The Best Surgeon For Your Keratopigmentation Procedure

Selecting a skilled and experienced ophthalmologist is paramount to ensure a successful keratopigmentation procedure. Factors to consider when choosing a surgeon include:

  • Qualifications and Training: Look for ophthalmologists with specialized training in corneal procedures and a residency in ophthalmology. Surgeons with decades of experience in refractive surgery and eye pigments are preferable.
  • Track Record: Research the surgeon’s previous cases and patient outcomes to gauge their success rate and reputation in the field.
  • Consultation Process: Schedule an initial consultation with the surgeon to discuss the procedure, potential risks, and expected outcomes. A reputable surgeon will provide a comprehensive assessment and accurate price quote based on individual needs.

Keratopigmentation Pre and Post Operation Information

How to Properly Prepare for the Surgery

  • Take a shower and wash your hair: Do this on the day of the surgery to ensure the surgical environment is as clean as possible.
  • Wear clean and comfortable clothes: This helps maintain a hygienic environment and ensures your comfort.
  • Come without makeup or face powder: This minimizes the risk of contamination during the surgery.
  • Remove your fake eyelashes: If you wear them, take them off before the procedure.
  • Have a light lunch: Eat something light before the surgery.
  • Do not wear contact lenses: Avoid wearing them on the day of the surgery.

After the Surgery

  • Blurred vision: Your vision will be slightly blurred for a few hours post-surgery.
  • Use prescribed eye drops: Start applying the drops (which will be prescribed on the morning of the operation) 2 hours after the surgery.
  • Wear sunglasses: Protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses when you go outside.
  • Accompaniment: It is advisable to come accompanied, but if you are alone, you will be able to see well enough to take a taxi or walk back to the hotel.
  • Smoking: It is allowed to smoke after the operation.
  • Alcohol consumption: You may consume alcohol after the operation unless you are taking the “Izalgi” painkiller prescribed on the morning of the surgery.
  • Showering and hair washing: Wait 2 days before taking a shower and washing your hair. Taking a bath is allowed.
  • Corrective lenses: Wait 2 weeks before wearing corrective lenses.
  • Swimming: Avoid going to the pool for 2 weeks.
  • Sports: Wait 3 days before resuming sports activities.
  • Traveling and flying: You will be able to travel and fly the day after the procedure.
  • Driving: It is strongly recommended not to drive during the hours following the procedure.

Keratopigmentation Services

The surgeons on the Neoris platform are ophthalmic surgery professionals, renowned worldwide for their unrivalled expertise. With a team based in clinics around the world, they have successfully performed thousands of keratopigmentation operations. This remarkable achievement accounts for almost 90% of all such procedures performed worldwide.

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