Background: Guidelines for intraocular lens (IOL) implantation in children regarding patient selection, age limitations, operative techniques, including management of the posterior capsule, and refractive goals are not universally agreed on.
Methods: The authors placed posterior chamber IOLs in the capsular bag of 79 eyes in 57 children. Patient age ranged from 10 months to 17 years. Follow-up averaged 2 years. Patients were selected on the basis of age, cataract morphology, laterality, and lack of potential complicating factors. In general, postoperative refractions were intended to be mildly hyperopic with the magnitude dependent on patient age.
Results: Seventy-nine percent of patients able to report a postoperative visual acuity showed 20/40 or better visual acuity. Vision was limited by amblyopia in the remaining patients. There were no significant complications. The posterior capsule opacified on average 2 years after surgery regardless of patient age.
Conclusions: Implantation of posterior chamber IOLs in carefully selected children appears to be effective and safe. Consideration should be given to primary posterior capsulectomy-anterior vitrectomy at the time of lens implant in children who are not expected to be candidates for yttrium aluminum garnet (YAG) capsulotomy within 18 months of surgery.