For the more than forty years, the medical staff at Boston Children's Hospital's Department of Ophthalmology have examined more than a quarter of a million children with eye problems, more than 19,000 visits each year. Boston Children's physicians see patients at our locations in Peabody, Lexington and Waltham. We also see patients at our Physician Locations in Sandwich, The Mass Eye and Ear Infirmary and Physicians South in Weymouth.
The sheer volume of complex and unusual cases combined with more routine conditions has built the department's special expertise. As a result, the department has become the referral center for children with difficult eye problems, including rare pediatric eye conditions that are seen here in large volume, as well as adults with strabismus .
Notable features of the Department of Ophthalmology include:
- A specialized Pediatric and Adult Strabismus Service for comprehensive evaluation and treatment of misaligned eyes (strabismus).
- A Pediatric Cataract Service that is a national leader in surgery with nearly 50 operations each year on babies and children with cataracts.
- A Retina Service that is known worldwide for its expertise in evaluating common and rare retinal degenerative conditions using state of the art diagnostic procedures, including electroretinogram (ERG) and visual evoked potential (VEP) testing.
- An Orthoptic Service staffed by internationally-trained orthoptists, who specialize in evaluation and treatment of eye muscle problems. Our orthoptists work under the supervision of our pediatric ophthalmologists to recommend eye exercises when indicated and to perform measurements of strabismus and visual acuity in children of all ages.
- A Pediatric Optometry Service to provide vision care specifically for patients with refractive concerns. Our fellowship-trained pediatric optometrists staff our Low Vision Service and the Contact Lens Service.
- A Low Vision Service that provides visual aids, including magnifiers, telescopes, and closed circuit television for children with reduced vision.
- A comprehensive Contact Lens Service that provides lenses for babies who have undergone cataract surgery and other specialty fits for babies and children of all ages.
- Specialized ophthalmic equipment designed for children, including:
- Child-friendly visual acuity testing computers that switch from pictures to letters and even to cartoons to adjust to the abilities and needs of each individual patient.
- A supine YAG laser, which makes it possible for babies and children to undergo state-of-the-art laser surgery while under anesthesia to treat "after-cataract" with laser instead of incisional surgery.
- A 23 and 25 gauge vitrectomy system to allow small-incision surgery to correct "after-cataract" when laser is not possible.
- A RetCam, a child-friendly non-mydriatic digital fundus camera, and other digital imaging systems to help document and diagnose retinopathy of prematurity and other eye conditions as well as selected eye surgery cases.
- A research eye scanner, developed here at Boston Children's Hospital, that detects even mild cases of strabismus that are easily missed during visits to the pediatrician. If left untreated, these mild cases can result in decreased vision over time.
- An IOL Master for determining Intraocular lens power in children with cataracts.