We report the outcome of intraocular lens implantation in 20 children with visually significant cataracts (seven traumatic, 13 non-traumatic). Six patients had anterior and 14 had posterior chamber implants. The mean age of the whole group at the time of surgery was 5.9 years (range 0.3 to 15.1 years), while the mean period of follow-up was 2.4 years (range 0.8 to 5.9 years). Postoperatively 10 patients developed a transient fibrinous uveitis, four required lens repositioning, one needed lens removal, and eight required posterior capsulotomy. Complications warranting secondary surgical procedures occurred predominantly in eyes with posterior chamber implants. Co-operation with conventional amblyopia treatment was satisfactory in eight out of 16 patients. Postoperatively nine out of 18 patients had peripheral fusion, four patients regained visual acuities of better than 6/9, and visual acuity did not improve beyond 3/60 in six cases. In 19 eyes the optical pathway to the retina is clear and the implants are stable with no evidence of persisting inflammation. Contact lenses remain the initial treatment of choice in infancy, but modern intraocular lenses are well tolerated and have a role in the visual rehabilitation of patients with contact lens and probable contact lens failures and older children with uniocular cataracts.
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