Strabismus surgery defines a procedure aimed at aligning the eyes of a person who suffers from a misalignment of the eyes called strabismus.
Strabismus occurs when the muscles that control eye movement are out of balance, causing one or both eyes to turn in or out, up or down, or one eye to wander. Strabismus surgery can help correct the misalignment and improve the appearance of the eyes.
There are different types of strabismus surgery, depending on the severity and type of misalignment. Some procedures involve adjusting the position of the muscles, while others involve moving the muscles to a different location on the eye. The specific technique used depends on the individual case and the surgeon’s preferences.
Strabismus surgery is typically safe and effective, but as with any surgical operation, there are some risks and possible complications, including infection, double vision and decreased vision. The surgeon will discuss the risks and benefits of the procedure with the patient before the surgery.
Who Needs Strabismus Surgery?
Strabismus surgery may be recommended for people who suffer from persistent misalignment of the eyes that causes significant functional or cosmetic problems. Below are some of the most common indications for this surgery.
Constant Misalignment of the Eyes
Strabismus surgery may be recommended for patients who suffer from persistent misalignment of the eyes that cannot be corrected with glasses or other treatments.
Strabismus can lead to amblyopia or “lazy eye,” a condition in which the brain suppresses signals -input- from one eye to prevent double vision. So surgery may be necessary to improve the alignment of the eyes and prevent amblyopia.
Double vision can also occur, which can be debilitating and affect the ability to perform everyday activities such as reading, driving or working. Surgery can help to alleviate double vision by correcting the misalignment of the eyes.
This problem may cause significant cosmetic concerns, especially in children. Surgery can help improve the appearance of the eyes and boost self-esteem.
A candidate should know that not all cases of strabismus require surgery. In some cases, the misalignment can be corrected with eyeglasses, vision therapy, or other nonsurgical treatments. The decision to proceed with surgery should be made in consultation with an ophthalmologist who specializes in strabismus and pediatric eye disorders.
How is Strabismus Surgery Performed?
Prior to strabismus surgery, the patient undergoes a comprehensive eye exam to determine the type and severity of the strabismus. The ophthalmologist may also perform a series of tests, such as eye movement tests, to determine the best surgical approach.
On the day of Strabismus operation, the patient is often given a mild sedative and local anesthetic to numb the eye and surrounding area. General anesthesia may also be used for children or patients who are unable to cooperate with the procedure.
During the surgery, the surgeon makes a small incision in the eye and uses special medical instruments to reposition the muscles that control eye movement. The exact method depends on the type and severity of the strabismus. In some cases, the muscles may need to be shortened or lengthened to achieve the desired alignment.
Once the muscles are repositioned, the incision is closed with sutures or surgical glue. The entire procedure usually takes between 30 minutes and 2 hours, depending on the complexity of the case.
After surgery, the patient is monitored for a short period of time to ensure there are no complications or adverse reactions to the anesthesia. Most patients are able to go home the same day of the surgery and resume routine activities within a few days to a week.
The doctor provides detailed instructions on how to care for the eye after surgery and schedules a follow-up appointment to monitor recovery and assess the results of the Strabismus procedure.