Purpose: To evaluate retrospectively the surgical technique, visual outcome, and complications of pediatric cataract extraction (CE) and intraocular lens (IOL) implantation.
Methods: Forty-three patients ages 2 to 12 underwent CE with IOL implantation with a minimum follow up of 1 month.
Results: All IOLs were implanted in the posterior chamber with 17 (40%) in the bag, 25 (58%) sulcus fixated, and one (2%) partially in the bag (one haptic in the bag, one in the sulcus). Primary posterior capsulectomy was performed in 12 (28%) cases. A final visual acuity of at least 20/40 was achieved in 26 (60%) and at least 20/80 in 32 (74%). Posterior capsule opacification developed in 18 (42%) and pupillary capture in 7 (16%). Seventeen (40%) patients had postoperative visual acuity worse than 20/40. Of these, nine (53%) had this visual outcome as a result of presumed amblyopia.
Conclusions: Posterior chamber IOL implantation affords a safe and effective method of visual rehabilitation for cataractous children 2 years of age and older. Amblyopia and antecedent posterior segment trauma, rather than IOL-related or surgical complications, are the limiting factors in final visual outcome.