Eyeing a new jewelry trend

Dutch eye surgeons have implanted tiny pieces of jewelry called “JewelEye” in the mucous membrane of the eyes of six women and one man in cosmetic surgery pioneered by an ophthalmic surgery research and development institute in Rotterdam, media outlets report.

The procedure involves inserting a 3.5 mm (0.13 inch) wide piece of specially developed platinum—the range includes a glittering half-moon or heart—into the eye’s mucous membrane under local anesthetic at a cost of 500 to 1,000 euros ($600 to $1,200), CTV news, a Canadian national TV network reports.

“In my view it is a little more subtle than (body) piercing. It is a bit of a fun thing and a very personal thing for people,” Gerrit Melles, director of the Netherlands Institute for Innovative Ocular Surgery, told Reuters.

The piece of jewelry is inserted in the conjunctiva—the mucous membrane lining the inner surface of the eyelids and front of the eyeball—in sterile conditions using an operating microscope in a procedure taking about 15 minutes, Reuters reports.

“Without doing any harm to the eye we can implant a jewel in the conjunctiva,” Melles told Reuters. “So far we have not seen any side effects or complications and we don’t expect any in the future.”

The technique was developed by the NIIOS in 2002. It says no side effects of the treatment have been noticed, and “patient satisfaction is high.”

The Rotterdam-based institute, which develops new ocular surgical techniques in corneal, cataract and retinal surgery, developed and patented the jewelry made with special materials and the surgical procedure.

So far, the institute, which carries out the procedure in cooperation with an eye clinic near the city of Utrech, has reportedly said it has a waiting list of people who want the implant.