A New York City man says that he feels renewed confidence after undergoing a procedure in which his eyeball was tattooed while he was awake and fully aware.
William Watson, 58, underwent the unusual procedure for purely cosmetic reasons, according to The Daily Mail. Watson's eye was damaged in a childhood accident, in which he was struck in the face by a ball. The damage left his iris appearing cloudy, permanently white.
"It will be a big change," Watson admitted prior to the surgery. "I won't have the scar tissue no more and I'll be able to look people in the eye without people saying too much about it."
While the procedure didn't improve the condition of Watson's damaged eye, the tattoo gives the impression of a normal pupil. Watson, who works at Madison Square Garden, had long drawn unwanted attention and stares from strangers, prompting him to get the unusual tattoo. The procedure was carried out by Dr. Emil Chynn of Park Ave SafeSight, along with CJ Pento, a tattoo artist who works at Red Legged Devils tattoo shop in Brooklyn.
Eyeball tattooing is a relatively new form of extreme body modification, The Huffington Post notes, practiced by a small number of tattoo artists since it was pioneered 7 years ago. It involves direct ink injections into the sclera or whites of the eyes, creating a striking yet irreversible effect when performed at its most extreme. The long term impacts that such tattoos have on vision are unclear. A bill banning the practice was passed by the Oklahoma Health and Human Services Committee in 2009, as The Inquisitr reported, citing it as a public health issue.
Over the course of the hour-long procedure, Dr Chynn did the tattoo work while Pento assisted him. The pair practiced their work on a grape prior to attempting the actual tattoo. After Watson had been given an anesthetic, ink was injected into his eye, and then set into place with a swab.
"It felt like someone was rubbing it - that's about it," he noted after the surgery. "It went smoothly, no nothing whatsoever. It was nice."
Watson is already feeling the effects of the tattoo, which although purely cosmetic, has led to a renewal of his self-confidence.
"I can't believe how much better I look on the outside and how much better I feel inside," he said. "Dr Chynn gave me a way to normality I didn't even know existed six months ago. I feel much more confidence in myself."
After just a few weeks for the tattoo to heal, Watson's eyes appear nearly identical.
[Images via The Daily Mail]