For $5,000 You Can Turn Your Eyes From Brown To Blue With Laser Surgery

A new type of laser surgery pioneered by California-based Stroma Medical can turn your eyes from brown to blue. But not without a whopping $5,000 fee, of course. It has yet to receive approval in the United States by 37 patients in Mexico and Costa Rica have undergone the procedure, which permanently turns their eyes from brown to blue.

The procedure works not by changing the actual color of the eye, but by removing melanin from the eye. Blue eyes are colored blue because of how light scatters. Brown eyes, on the other hand, are colored brown because of melanin, the pigment that gives skin and hair their color. The pigment absorbs a majority of the light that hits the eye, and the small amount reflected back looks brown to us. So when the melanin is removed: BAM! Blue eyes.

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According to Stroma’s chairman Dr. Gregg Homer, “The fundamental principle is that under every brown eye is a blue eye. The only difference between a brown eye and a blue eye is this very thin layer of pigment on the surface.

If you take that pigment away, then the light can enter the stroma—the little fibers that look like bicycle spokes in a light eye—and when the light scatters it only reflects back the shortest wavelengths and that’s the blue end of the spectrum.”