Revisiting secondary capsulotomy for posterior capsule management in pediatric cataract surgery

Zachary P. Elkin, W. Jordan Piluek, Douglas R. Fredrick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Purpose To evaluate the development and treatment of visual axis opacification following pediatric cataract extraction with intraocular lens placement (IOL) without primary posterior capsulotomy and anterior vitrectomy (PPC+AV). Methods The medical records of children who underwent cataract extraction and IOL at an academic medical center were reviewed retrospectively for development of posterior capsular opacification (PCO) to identify risk factors for development of treatment-requiring posterior capsular opacification. Results A total of 63 eyes of 47 children 7 months to 16 years of age were included. The rate of PCO formation following cataract extraction without PPC+AV was 90%. Of those, 96% required a secondary capsular procedure to clear the visual axis; 55% had a clear visual axis after 1 procedure, almost exclusively with a YAG capsulotomy, and 3.5% did not require any secondary capsular procedure. Younger age was the only statistically significant characteristic associated with both PCO formation and need for more than one secondary capsular procedure. Children <3 years of age had an average of 2.1 capsular procedures. Conclusions Cataract extraction and IOL without PPC+AV leads to an expected high rate of PCO formation, which can be effectively managed with a secondary capsular procedure in all age groups. Leaving the posterior capsule intact at primary surgery is an option to discuss with parents to avoid a more complicated primary surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)506-510
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of AAPOS
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Ophthalmology


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