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Strabismus Squint FAQ

Strabismus Surgery

What does strabismus surgery involve?

Eye muscles are located on the white of the eye (sclera). To straighten the eye, the muscles are disinserted and repositioned to a new location on the eye. This is generally performed under general anaesthetic.

Is Strabismus surgery painful?

There is some discomfort, but paracetamol will relieve this. Pain requiring stronger pain killers is unusual.

What can I do/not do after surgery?

You can drive within a few days unless directed not to by Ms McCreery. Heavy physical activity contact sports and swimming are to be avoided for four weeks.

When can I go back to work/school?

It is advisable to stay out of work and/or school for one week after surgery. Some people may be able to return to work after three days if their work is sedentary.

How soon can I fly after surgery?

You can fly one week after surgery.

Is there any age limit for strabismus surgery?

No, we operate on infants to the very elderly.

How successful is strabismus surgery?

85% of patients have excellent results. However, 15-25% of patients will require a second operation during their lifetime. This is because everyone heals differently and the control of eye position is in the brain and not in the eye muscles themselves. In congenital strabismus most patients need 2-3 operations over their lifetime

Can strabismus surgery be repeated?

Yes, the eye muscles can be repositioned many times.

Is the surgery safe?

Yes. This is a very common operation and serious side effects are highly unusual. Intraocular infection occurs in 1:185,000 cases and will often respond to treatment. Double vision can occur but in the vast majority is temporary. The postoperative adjustment procedure in adult patients greatly reduces this risk. Long term double vision occurs in 1% of cases.

What does post-operative adjustment mean?

In adult patients, at the end of the primary surgery the muscle is temporarily secured. A few hours later, while the patient is awake following their recovery from anaesthetic, the position of the muscle is adjusted to fine tune the eye position. This allows the eye to be positioned as straight as possible.

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