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Ophthalmology Chief David G. Hunter, MD, PhD, performed rare cataract surgery on Brennan Hughes-Shiverick, at 18 months of age.Diagnosed with a cataract at 12 months, Brennan Hughes-Shiverick needed surgery to extract the clouded lens in his left eye. Cataract surgery on babies is extremely difficult, but untreated cataracts prevent the developing brain from learning to see. Standard treatment for adult cataracts, a lens implant, is avoided in such young children because inflammation and implant rejection are common.
Brennan's ophthalmologist at a local hospital planned to remove the cataract, but didn't have the expertise to perform the implant. So Brennan's parents brought him to Boston Children's Hospital, which has successfully treated babies as young as a few days old with cataract extraction. and as young as 6 months old with lens implantation. Because Children's mission is to constantly expand knowledge through training, Dr. Hunter invited Brennan's ophthalmologist to assist as he successfully implanted an acrylic lens in Brennan's eye.
Glasses and a patch will further help his eyes during critical development years. And, ideally, Brennan may never need a replacement lens because customized computer software predicted the lens specifications not only for his eye today but also for his adult eye. Boston Children's Hospital is one of the few places where this high-tech solution is available to kids as young as Brennan.
The future of pediatrics will be forged by thinking differently, breaking paradigms and joining together in a shared vision of tackling the toughest challenges before us.”