Purpose: To describe the differences in treatment costs for infants randomized to contact lens correction versus primary intraocular lens (IOL) implantation after unilateral cataract surgery in the Infant Aphakia Treatment Study (IATS). Design: Retrospective cost analysis of a prospective, randomized clinical trial based on Georgia Medicaid data and the actual costs of supplies used. Participants: The IATS is a randomized, multicenter (n=12) clinical trial comparing treatment of aphakia with a primary IOL or contact lens in 114 infants with unilateral congenital cataract. Intervention: Infants underwent cataract surgery with or without placement of an IOL. Main Outcome Measures: The mean cost of cataract surgery and all additional surgeries, examinations, and supplies used up to 12 months of age. Results: The mean cost of treatment for a unilateral congenital cataract with primary IOL implantation was $14 752 versus $10 726 with contact lens correction. The initial cataract surgery accounted for approximately 50% of the treatment costs for both groups. Contact lens costs accounted for 15% ($1600/patient) in the aphakic group, whereas glasses costs represented only 4% ($535/patient) in the IOL group. The increased costs in the IOL group were primarily due to the higher cost of cataract surgery in this group ($7302 vs. $5357) and the cost of additional operations. Conclusions: For IATS patients up to 12 months of age, cataract surgery coupled with IOL implantation and spectacle correction was 37.5% (~$4000) more expensive than cataract surgery coupled with contact lens correction. Financial Disclosure(s): The author(s) have no proprietary or commercial interest in any materials discussed in this article. © 2013 American Academy of Ophthalmology.
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