Purpose: The purpose of the study was to compare the results of three techniques of cataract surgery in children. Two methods included intraocular lens (IOL) implantation and one used contact lens correction of aphakia.
Design: Nonrandomized clinical trial.
Participants: Seventy-seven eyes of 50 children between the ages of 2 1/2 and 16 years who had cataract surgery for the treatment of uncomplicated cataract.
Intervention: Thirty-one eyes underwent a "conventional" style of implantation, and a "phaco-style" of surgery was used in 24 eyes. A contact lens was used as the primary means of aphakic correction in 22 eyes.
Main outcome measures: The visual results and complications of each type of surgery were compared.
Results: Corrected visual acuities did not differ significantly between the three groups 6 months after surgery. The incidence and type of complications were significantly different. Better lens centration, less long-term iris changes, or wound-related problems were observed with "phaco-style" modification of the technique of IOL insertion.
Conclusions: Pediatric IOL insertion eliminated the need for contact lens wear and did not lead to a significantly different corrected visual acuity 6 months after surgery compared with lensectomy with contact lens correction. Adoption of some of the techniques of modern small-incision cataract surgery for pediatric IOL procedures produces a significant reduction in postoperative anterior segment complications compared with a standard limbal approach. Such modifications allow pediatric IOL insertion to be a safe alternative for the correction of pediatric aphakia.