Dramatic advances have occurred in the treatment of childhood cataracts in the last 10 years. Intraocular lens (IOL) implantation has been universally accepted as the standard of care for most children undergoing cataract surgery beyond infancy. Despite advances in cataract surgery in children, PCO remained a significant complication following pediatric cataract surgery. In addition to being visually disturbing, it also induces amblyopia in children and if not treated at the earliest, irreversible visual changes may occur. The younger the child, the more acute is the problem: PCO occurs faster and the effect of amblyopia is more pronounced.
To prevent opacification of the visual axis after cataract surgery, primary posterior capsulectomy and vitrectomy are routinely needed while managing pediatric cataract. This surgical step is not routinely used in adult cataract surgery, where we prefer an intact posterior capsule. Researchers are constantly trying to find a way to avoid the need for invasive procedures like posterior capsulectomy and vitrectomy for pediatric eyes. Use of AquaLase technology has shown some capability in cleaning the capsular bag during cataract surgery. Observations of this include anecdotal observation from users. AquaLase for cataract removal with the Infiniti Vision System has been used since 2003, is registered, and the FDA clearance is 510(k) number K980292. AquaLase uses pulses of warmed balanced salt solution to gently emulsify and facilitate aspiration of cataracts. The device under evaluation falls under the same FDA clearance. The unique aspect is the application tip which is intended to allow more thorough capsular bag cleaning or removal of more residual lens material than is currently being achieved. The energy source, controls, and materials are all identical to the currently marketed product. The difference is in the geometry of the distal most end of the application tip.