Purpose To determine the feasibility and safety of bilateral simultaneous vitreoretinal surgery in pediatric patients. Design International, multicenter, interventional, retrospective case series. Participants Patients 17 years of age or younger from 24 centers worldwide who underwent immediate sequential bilateral vitreoretinal surgery (ISBVS)—defined as vitrectomy, scleral buckle, or lensectomy using the vitreous cutter—performed in both eyes sequentially during the same anesthesia session. Methods Clinical history, surgical details and indications, time under anesthesia, and intraoperative and postoperative ophthalmic and systemic adverse events were reviewed. Main Outcome Measures Ocular and systemic adverse events. Results A total of 344 surgeries from 172 ISBVS procedures in 167 patients were included in the study. The mean age of the cohort was 1.3±2.6 years. Nonexclusive indications for ISBVS were rapidly progressive disease (74.6%), systemic morbidity placing the child at high anesthesia risk (76.0%), and residence remote from surgery location (30.2%). The most common diagnoses were retinopathy of prematurity (ROP; 72.7% [P < 0.01]; stage 3, 4.8%; stage 4A, 44.4%; stage 4B, 22.4%; stage 5, 26.4%), familial exudative vitreoretinopathy (7.0%), abusive head trauma (4.1%), persistent fetal vasculature (3.5%), congenital cataract (1.7%), posterior capsular opacification (1.7%), rhegmatogenous retinal detachment (1.7%), congenital X-linked retinoschisis (1.2%), Norrie disease (2.3%), and viral retinitis (1.2%). Mean surgical time was 143±59 minutes for both eyes. Higher ROP stage correlated with longer surgical time (P = 0.02). There were no reported intraoperative ocular complications. During the immediate postoperative period, 2 eyes from different patients demonstrated unilateral vitreous hemorrhage (0.6%). No cases of endophthalmitis, choroidal hemorrhage, or hypotony occurred. Mean total anesthesia time was 203±87 minutes. There were no cases of anesthesia-related death, malignant hyperthermia, anaphylaxis, or cardiac event. There was 1 case of reintubation (0.6%) and 1 case of prolonged oxygen desaturation (0.6%). Mean follow-up after surgery was 103 weeks, and anatomic success and globe salvage rates were 89.8% and 98.0%, respectively. Conclusions This study found ISBVS to be a feasible and safe treatment paradigm for pediatric patients with bilateral vitreoretinal pathologic features when repeated general anesthesia is undesirable or impractical.
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