Small pediatric cataracts that do not significantly reduce the vision may only require careful observation to ensure that the eye continues to develop well. Occasionally, glasses, contact lenses, or eye patches are used to aid the affected eye’s development.
Pediatric cataracts that significantly impair a child’s vision require surgery. Congenital cataract surgery may occur as early as a few months after birth.
Pediatric cataract surgery is performed under general anesthesia in the operating room. In some cases, a lens may be implanted inside the eye. This plastic lens implant is held in place by a natural membrane.
After cataract surgery, treatment usually involves glasses, bifocals, contact lenses, and/or eye-patching therapy.
Your doctor will give you a prescription for an antibiotic eye drop. Your child should start taking the drop 3-4 days before their scheduled procedure.
You will receive a phone call from TESC’s pre-op nurse the day before your child’s surgery. Our nurse will give you instructions including when to arrive for surgery, when and what your child may eat or drink, and what to bring for your child’s procedure the next day.
Your child’s parent/legal guardian must be present on the day of surgery to sign medical consent forms and remain in the waiting room for the duration of the procedure. Please bring your insurance cards and a photo ID to your procedure the next day. Please ensure that your child leaves all jewelry, extra money, and personal items at home.
You will be able to sit with your child for the recovery process. When children wake up from surgery, they may seem distraught and disoriented. This is perfectly normal and will pass. Additional pain medication is available if your child’s anesthesiologist determines that it is needed.
When your child is awake, they will be offered clear liquids to drink. Your recovery room nurse will give you instructions on how to manage your child’s diet for the rest of the day. They will discuss the prescription eye drops that your child had started before surgery, as well as what you can expect for your child for the next few days. You will be given a written copy of any post-operative instructions.