Refractive eye surgery in treating functional amblyopia in children

Binocul Vis Strabismus Q. 2006;21(4):231-4.


Purpose: While excimer laser refractive surgery is recommended and highly successful for correcting refractive errors in adults, its use in children has not been extensively exercised or studied. We report our experience treating children with amblyopia due to high anisometropia, high astigmatism, high myopia and with associated developmental delay.

Setting: Review of patient records of our refractive clinic.

Methods: A retrospective review was made of all 11 children with stable refractive errors who were unsuccessfully treated non-surgically and then underwent corneal refractive surgery and in one case, lenticular surgery. Seven had high myopic anisometropia, 2 had high astigmatism, and two had high myopia--one with Down's Syndrome and one with agenesis of the corpus callosum.

Results: The surgical refractive treatment eliminated or reduced the anisometropia, reduced the astigmatic error, improved vision and improved the daily function of the children with developmental delay. There were no complications or untoward results.

Conclusions: Refractive surgery is safe and effective in treating children with high myopic anisometropia, high astigmatism, high myopia and developmental delay due to the resulting poor vision. Surgery can improve visual acuity in amblyopia not responding to routine treatment by correcting the refractive error and refractive aberrations.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Amblyopia / surgery*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cornea / surgery*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Keratectomy, Subepithelial, Laser-Assisted / methods*
  • Keratomileusis, Laser In Situ / methods*
  • Lasers, Excimer
  • Male
  • Photorefractive Keratectomy / methods*
  • Refractive Surgical Procedures*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Visual Acuity