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Children with congenital and childhood cataract require frequent follow-up visits and examinations in general anaesthesia: considerations for the strain on families

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BACKGROUND: Children with cataract require frequent monitoring to detect complications, adjust refractive correction and treat amblyopia. This is time consuming for the families. The aim of the study was to evaluate how often children with cataract are seen as outpatients or under general anaesthesia during the first 7 years of life.

METHODS: We performed a retrospective chart review of all children with congenital and childhood cataract born between 2000 primo and 2017 seen at our institution. The cumulated number of outpatient visits and examinations and/or surgeries in general anaesthesia was extracted for age 1, 3, 5 and 7 years.

RESULTS: Children who had cataract surgery were seen significantly more often than children without surgery. During the first year of life, children with bilateral surgery had a median of nine outpatient visits, children with unilateral cataract had 11 and children without surgery had five outpatient visits. At 7 years of age, half of the children operated bilaterally before 1 year of age had undergone at least five procedures/examinations in general anaesthesia versus 1/4 of those with unilateral surgery and none of those without surgery. Children were seen less frequently with advancing age.

CONCLUSION: The management, treatment and follow-up of children with cataract are demanding, requiring frequent hospital visits and repeated examinations and/or surgical procedures in general anaesthesia over many years, but mainly during the first year of life. Surgical patients are more complex and require closer follow-up. This message is important to convey to the parents at the onset of the disease.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Ophthalmologica
Volume97
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)778-783
Number of pages6
ISSN1755-375X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019

ID: 59166746