What does it involve?
It is an operation to remove the opaque content of the crystalline lens in infants and children with congenital cataract.
When is it carried out?
When the cataract starts to affect the child’s visual development, it must be operated on as soon as possible. If visual development is only being slightly affected, it needs to be monitored regularly by an ophthalmologist, who specialises in treating cataracts in children (since they are different to adult cataracts and have very different consequences).
Paediatric cataract surgery is not without complications and risks, so it is preferable to wait if visual development is good in spite of the cataract. When the cataract is large and detrimental to vision, however, surgery should be performed as soon as possible.
For bilateral congenital cataracts, the most appropriate time for treatment is during the first 10-12 weeks of life and, for unilateral cataracts, during the first 6 weeks. It is within these timeframes that the best results can be achieved in terms of a good prognosis for the recovery of vision.