Beauty procedures are never worth risking your health for. Particularly when it comes to something as precious as your sight.
However, for those working in the modelling industry, the pressure is on to conform to a certain beauty ideal; with sometimes disastrous consequences.
When 32-year-old Argentinian model Nadinne Bruna plumped for surgery to alter her eye colour, she could not have imagined the grave impact this would have on her life and career.
The Instagram model – who resides in Miami, Florida – wanted to change her lovely hazel eyes to a light grey through a procedure whereby silicone implants would be placed inside her eyes.
Unsurprisingly, this horrifying operation has not been medically approved in the US and so Nadinne jetted off to Bogota, Colombia in pursuit of her new eyes.
Nadinne reportedly paid a lowered fee of $3,000 for the operation, on the condition she gave a social media mention and a testimonial video.
Over the years, Nadinne and twin sister Danna have built an Instagram empire; sharing images of their various cosmetic procedures. It was a fairly usual occurrence for the sisters to have surgeries discounted in exchange for publicity.
Nadinne went under the knife back in September 2016, undergoing laser eye treatment. She may have got the light grey eyes she craved, but she had paid an agonising price.
The pressure of the implant on her optic nerve immediately led to issues such as blurred vision. For months afterwards, her eyes were red and painful.
Before this surgery my eyes were completely healthy. They were in really good condition. I was so naïve.
Ever since this surgery I have had blurry vision. For about a year my eyes were constantly red and itchy.
My pupils, they can’t adjust to light anymore so I’m very photosensitive now too. This surgery completely f***ed up my life.
Hoping to repair the damage, a devastated Nadinne returned to Colombia for two further treatments in March and June of 2017. However, she eventually had to get medical help at Miami’s Bascom Palmer Eye Institute.
Here, a group of doctors, led by Ophthalmologist Dr Ranya Habash, removed the gruesome implants and also gave her emergency glaucoma treatment in a bid to save her sight.
Dr Habash has explained how the damage to Nadinne’s eyesight is ‘irreparable’:
The issue with injecting a silicone plate into the eye is that it clogs the drain of the eye, just like as if a sink was blocked.
The pressure builds and builds inside the eye, causing inflammation and damaging the structures.
There’s a reason these procedures are not FDA approved and that’s because we’ve seen the long-term and irreparable damage they can cause.
Nadinne’s eye problems are something she will have to deal with for the rest of her life. She’s never going to be done with it.
Going forward, Nadinne, who now suffers from cataracts, will still require a cornea transplant. Shockingly, she has lost 80 per cent of sight in the right eye and 50 per cent in the left.
Fortunately, Nadinne’s sister has taken good care of her through the ‘deep depression’ she has experienced as a result of her ordeal.
My sister became like my mom. She had to do everything for me.
I make most of my money through my Instagram account and I couldn’t do photo shoots, not while my eyes were red. I’ve been living on my savings.
After this surgery I went into a deep depression. I’m a very strong person, usually very brave and very smart, but with this I was completely stupid. I trusted the wrong person.
Now I have the vision of a 90-year-old lady right but I’m hoping I can just keep my glaucoma under control.
Dr Eugenio Carbera, who conducted the original operation, has made the following comment:
Mrs. Bruna was our patient. However, I do not know any type of treatments that have been carried out on later dates and the results or diagnoses of them.
I can not comment and/or disclose information about patients’ cases or medical records.
Nadine reportedly does not have the financial means to take legal action against the Colombian surgery.
However, she hopes to use her Instagram presence as a means of warning others to do their research before going under the knife.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.