Posterior capsule management in congenital cataract surgery

J Cataract Refract Surg. 2011 Jan;37(1):173-93. doi: 10.1016/j.jcrs.2010.10.036.


Management of the posterior capsule significantly affects the outcome of pediatric cataract surgery. Posterior capsule opacification (PCO) is rapid and virtually inevitable in very young children when adult-style cataract surgery is performed and the posterior capsule is left intact. In eyes with pediatric cataract, primary posterior capsulotomy and vitrectomy are considered routine surgical steps, especially in younger children. The site of intraocular lens (IOL) fixation and the surgical technique used also affect the prevalence of PCO. The present systematic review evaluates the options available to prevent PCO or ensure a clear central visual axis after pediatric cataract surgery. Newer approaches to posterior capsule management such as pars plicata posterior capsulorhexis, sutureless vitrectomy, sealed-capsule irrigation, and bag-in-the-lens IOL are discussed. Management of the posterior capsule in the presence of a preexisting posterior capsule defect and posterior capsule plaque and options to treat PCO are also reviewed.

Financial disclosure: No author has a financial or proprietary interest in any material or method mentioned.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Capsulorhexis
  • Cataract / congenital*
  • Cataract / etiology
  • Cataract Extraction*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Lens Implantation, Intraocular
  • Posterior Capsule of the Lens / pathology*
  • Posterior Capsule of the Lens / surgery*
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control*
  • Vitrectomy