Kiwi eye care experts call for total ban on controversial practice of 'eyeball tattooing'

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1 NEWS

Leading eye care experts in New Zealand and Australia are calling for a ban on the controversial practice of eyeball tattooing, after a horror story emerged where the procedure caused temporary blindness in the eye of a Canadian model.

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists (RANZCO) are calling for the ban of the high risk procedure which changes the colour of the white part of the eye.

They say when the tattooing goes wrong it can have "devastating lifelong consequences."

Some tattoos can cause infections more than a decade after being inked.
Source: 1 NEWS

Canadian model Catt Gallinger learned about these consequences first hand, when ink began leaking from her left eye which had recently been tattooed, causing temporary blindness.

Ms Gallinger posted images of the shocking complications to social media this week, highlighting the dangers to a wide audience.

The practice of eyeball tattooing is also happening in New Zealand, with Auckland ophthalmologist Zak Prime telling Radio NZ he has treated at least two patients who have had complications from the procedure in Auckland this year.

1 NEWS NOW also reported on a story from Australia yesterday, where a woman had developed cancer-like symptoms linked to ink from a 15-year-old back tattoo.

Doctors at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney removed a lymph node from her armpit and found a cluster of cells filled with black pigment.

They said the case highlights "the importance of a careful tattoo history and physical examination for cases of lymphadenopathy".

Dunedin gastroenterologist Dr Steve Johnson said it was not common, but it has been reported for a number of years.

"You can get localised swelling, granulomas, or little nodules over your tattoo site. Or you can develop these enlarged lymph nodes," he said.

"Considering the number of people who get tattoos, this is actually a fairly rare complication."

New Zealand is one of the most-inked nations in the world, with one in five Kiwis having a tattoo.

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