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    Refractive surgery for special needs children: The time is now

    For many, living in a visual blur promotes fearfulness, blunts social interactions


    Traumatic de-enclavation was the most common complication associated with Artisan IOL implantation in 4.6% of patients, followed by endothelial cell loss exceeding 2% annually in 3.6% of patients, and retinal detachment in 1.1%.

    Patient quality of life

    A visual function questionnaire was used to gauge the impact of the surgery on patient quality of life. The parental responses to the questionnaire indicated how important a refractive procedure was to the patients’ families.

    “When asked how many years of the child’s life he or she would give up to obtain good vision, the parents indicated that they would give up 12% or 10 years of the child’s life and endure a 13% chance that the surgery would be blinding,” Dr. Tychsen said.

    When considering the cost effectiveness of ophthalmic interventions and treatments, pediatric refractive surgery ranked in the top two to eight positions among all medical interventions.

    “With more than 10 years of follow-up, refractive surgery is moving beyond the stage of proof of concept and may become standard of practice in the decade ahead for special needs children,” Dr. Tychsen concluded. “With this technology, we have the ability to make these children more fully alive.”


    Lawrence Tychsen, MD

    E: [email protected]

    Dr. Tychsen did not indicate any proprietary interest in the subject matter.

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