Strabismus surgery is surgery on the extraocular muscles to correct the misalignment of the eyes. With approximately 1.2 million procedures each year, extraocular muscle surgery is the third most common eye surgery in the United States.
Eye muscle surgeries typically correct strabismus and include the following:
Loosening / weakening procedures
- Recession involves moving the insertion of a muscle posteriorly towards its origin.
Tightening / strengthening procedures
- Resection involves detaching one of the eye muscles, removing a portion of the muscle from the distal end of the muscle and reattaching the muscle to the eye.
- Advancement is the movement of an eye muscle from its original place of attachment on the eyeball to a more forward position.
- Transposition / repositioning procedures
- Adjustable suture surgery is a method of reattaching an extraocular muscle by means of a stitch that can be shortened or lengthened within the first post-operative day, to obtain better ocular alignment.
Strabismus surgery is a one day procedure. The patient only spends few hours in the hospital with minimal preoperative preparation. The average duration of the surgery is variable. After surgery, the patient should expect soreness and redness. In cases of re-operations, more pain is expected. Resection of the muscles is more painful in the post operative period than recession. It also leaves redness that lasts longer and may cause some vomiting in the early post operative period.
The surgeon will provide the patient with a cover for their eyes which prevents light from entering. It is advised the patient wear this, as stimulus to the eye (e.g light, rolling of eyes) will cause discomfort.