Research & Innovation
Boston Children's Hospital is extending the boundaries of cataract surgery in babies and children. Our Ophthalmology Department includes a mix of researchers and clinicians working side by side and training fellows from around the world. The result of this collaboration is improvement in the way cataracts and other eye conditions are treated in even the smallest eyes.
A laser can be used to treat "after-cataracts," which develop after cataract surgery and must be removed to allow normal vision. Adults must undergo this procedure in a sitting position, but for children and babies, it would be impossible to hold still. A special laser used at Children's, called a supine YAG laser, allows children to be cradled in a horizontal position after being anesthetized. Learn more.
We participate in the Infant Aphakia Treatment Study, which aims to determine whether contact lenses or intraocular lenses are the better way to focus a baby's eyes following cataract surgery. The study will follow infants between the ages of four weeks and seven months who were treated for cataracts for five years. Learn more.
We’re also expanding our ability to treat children of progressively younger ages, in an effort to preserve as much sight as we can. Our doctors have successfully treated babies as young as a few days old with cataract extraction and as young as 6 months with lens implantation. And we’re part of a national multi-eye center study to determine whether these lenses can be safely implanted in infants younger than 6 months old.