PURPOSE: To assess the efficiency of simultaneous surgery in bilateral congenital cataract not only in patients with a high anesthesiologic risk profile. METHODS: A retrospective study was carried out on 40 bilateral congenital cataract patients (80 eyes) who presented to the outpatient department of pediatric ophthalmology of the University Federico II of Naples in the period from 1990 to 2005. All patients had undergone cataract extraction from both eyes in a single surgical session. Visual rehabilitation was achieved in all patients by corneal lenses; successively 25 patients had a secondary intraocular lens implant in the posterior chamber after a period of 2.5-3 years. RESULTS: The mean age at cataract surgery was 7 months (1-17 months). Visual acuity (VA) was assessed in 52 eyes: 8 eyes (15%) presented VA <or=20/200, 21 eyes (41%) showed VA 20/200 < 20/40, 23 eyes (44%) presented VA >or=20/40. Ocular motility disorders were seen in 28 patients (70%). Eight patients had postoperative complications: the formation of secondary membranes in five patients, and secondary glaucoma in three patients. There were no cases of endophthalmitis. CONCLUSIONS: Simultaneous surgery in bilateral congenital cataract may be taken into consideration not only for patients with a high anesthesiologic risk profile.
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