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May 11th, 2011 at 10:41 pm

Strabismus Surgery

in: News

This type of surgery is the third most common eye surgery and in the United States alone more than 1.2 million operations are performed each year. The operation takes around 40 minutes and is performed under a general anaesthetic. The procedure is considered to be relatively low risk with low probability of further complications.

Once strabismus has been diagnosed then treatment may begin. This commonly takes the form of surgical intervention – but what does the surgery consist of and what results can be expected?
The primary aim is to realign the eyes as much as possible and does not contribute to any improvement in vision. The realignment is achieved either resection or recession of the eye muscles. In recession the procedure consists of detaching one or more of the six eye muscles and then reattaching it at a point further back on the eye. In resection the intent is to strengthen the eye muscle by detaching one or more muscles, removing a portion and then reattaching it. Some more extreme examples of strabismus can require more than one episode of surgery but seldom more than three.

The various types of strabismus require various forms of recession and resection surgery. For example, outward or exotropic strabismus in children will require a deliberate weakening of the outside eye muscles, sometimes in conjunction with a resection of the inside muscles. If this procedure is carried out at a suitably young age then it is also possible that the receiver will also find that they experience an improved depth perception.

The treatment of strabismus in adults rather than children is generally more difficult but most can expect to see some improvement in their condition. If the condition is brought on by some other condition and is augmented by double vision then the sufferer can expect to experience little improvement without the additional help of spectacles or medication. Treatment of strabismus in adults should only ever be undertaken by an ophthalmic surgeon who specialises in this particular condition.

Complications from strabismus surgery, although rare, can be serious and can include the detachment of the retina and also severe inflammation of the eyeball. Other more typical complications can also occur including bleeding and infection.

The surgery is normally performed as an outpatient and recovery periods are short – usually a few days to a week is quite normal. Some soreness will be experienced and some minor pain is also normal. If the operation is a repeat of an early operation then the pain can be more intense. The eye that has been treated will be covered to prevent the transmission of light into the affected area and also to prevent the eye responding to the light stimulus by movement.


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