This week, gossip blogs buzzed with news that The Family Hustle star Tameka "Tiny" Harris stopped by a doctor's office during a trip to Tunisia and underwent eye implant surgery, swapping her brown irises for new ice grey peepers. You're probably wondering, 'Is this a real thing?' Yes, yes it is.
Jezebel spoke with Tiny's Tunisian surgeon Dr. Menif Montasser to figure out how this form of plastic surgery is even possible.
"This surgery is done under local or general anesthesia with three incisions, one is 2 millimeters and the other two are 0.8 millimeters in the eye's peripheral," Montasser told Jezebel. "The implant is folded in to an injector, then it's injected in the eye after filling the eye with viscoelastic."
Three hours later, the patient can have the surgical bandages removed. A procedure like Tiny's takes about five to ten minutes per eye, and gets a patient in and out of the operating room and back at her hotel within four hours. Quicker than a trip to the DMV!
"The next day she woke up with new ice grey eyes and no pain or redness," Montasser says of her recent patient. "She enjoyed her time in Tunisia for the rest of week."
Montasser says the surgery, which is illegal in America, is safe though patients must follow strict instructions during the two to three month recovery period. The implants are permanent unless a patient really needs them out, in which case a doctor can remove the implants with "the same incision of 2 millimeters without any problems."
And while this may sound wild to us, iris implants are old news outside of the States.
"The implant was created by doctors and biomedical engineers of BrightOcular but the original artificial iris implant invention goes back from over two decades ago," Montasser explained. "It's solely used for aniridia cases, which are currently used in the U.S. Europe, and Asia."
Obviously Tiny underwent the surgery for less serious reasons than missing corneas, but she loves her new look just the same.
"I looked in the mirror and I was like 'They're amazing, I love them," Tiny told ABC News.
Then ABC cut to a U.S. doctor saying that these implants could cause cataracts and glaucoma.
As for what her surgery might mean on a deeper level, a number of people on Twitter weren't happy with Tiny's changes, saying she's officially bought into the white standard of beauty with comments that sound similar to those decrying skin lightening. Naturally, Tiny told ABC that 'it's her body, she can do what she wants' and she's right, regardless of how her choices might appear to larger society.
Ultimately, all of this eye changing pumps about $8 million into the industry, according to Dr. Montasser. How much is a permanent colored contact really worth to you?
Image via ABC News.