Surgery for Strabismus

A number of children may require an operation on the eye muscles in order to straighten the squint. This is usually needed if the squint is very pronounced and is not improved by the proper correction of glasses.

In a few children who have had a squint from a very early age, early surgery may be suggested to try and line up the eyes so that they learn to work as a pair and may give some 3D vision. This is normally planned for when a child is about a year old.

In older children, surgery may be used to make the eyes look straighter. Surgery can’t improve the level of vision in a lazy eye, so glasses or patching may still be needed following the surgery.

The operation usually weakens or strengthens the muscles of the eye, so that the eyes are better aligned. Generally, the risks of squint surgery are very low. The most common complication can be an over or under correction of the squint, so it’s not uncommon for more than one operation to be necessary. This does not mean that something has gone wrong, but that fine-tuning may be needed to obtain the best results.

Squint surgery is usually performed under general anaesthetic which means your child will be asleep (unconscious) and unable to feel any pain. Normally, the operation is a day case procedure so your child will not usually have to stay in hospital overnight.

Adults can be operated under local anaesthesia, where only the area around the eye is made numb. The adult will be awake and can communicate with the surgeon if required.

Post operative care

  1. Eyes will seem red for 4 – 5 days and pinkish for about 3 – 4 weeks.
  2. Eye drops will have to be instilled at regular intervals for one months at least.
  3. No dust or water should be allowed to enter the eyes for the first 5 days after surgery.
  4. There is no contradiction to any kind of food or activity after the 2nd day of surgery.
  5. Work/School can be resumed from Day 6.