Eye muscle repair is surgery to correct eye muscle problems that cause crossed (misaligned) eyes. The medical term for crossed eyes is strabismus.
The goal of this surgery is to allow the eye muscles to be in proper position and help the eyes move correctly.
Eye muscle surgery is usually done on children, but adults who have similar eye problems may also have it done. Children will usually receive general anesthesia for the procedure. They will be asleep and will not feel pain.
Depending on the problem, one or both eyes may have surgery.
After the anesthesia has taken effect, the eye surgeon makes a small surgical cut in the clear tissue covering the white of the eye. This tissue is called the conjunctiva. Then the surgeon will locate one or more of the eye muscles that needs surgery. Sometimes the surgery strengthens the muscle, and sometimes it weakens it.
The surgery for adults is similar. Most adults are usually awake and sleepy, but pain free. Numbing medicine injected around the eye blocks the pain.
Often in adult surgery, an adjustable suture is used on the weakened muscle. Minor corrections can be made later that day or the next day, when the patient is fully awake. This technique usually has a very good outcome.
Strabismus is a disorder in which the two eyes do not line up in the same direction and therefore do not look at the same object at the same time. The condition is more commonly known as "crossed eyes."
Surgery may be recommended when strabismus does not improve with glasses or eye exercises.
Risks for any anesthesia are:
Risks for any surgery are:
Some other possible complications are:
Your child's eye surgeon may ask for:
Always tell your child's doctor or nurse:
During the days before the surgery:
On the day of the surgery:
This surgery is usually done on an outpatient basis. The eyes are usually straight right after surgery.
While recovering from the anesthesia and in the first few days after surgery, your child should avoid rubbing the eyes. Your surgeon will show you how to prevent rubbing.
After a few hours of recovery, the child may go home. You should have a follow-up appointment with the eye surgeon 1 to 2 weeks after the surgery.
You will probably need to put drops or ointment in the child's eyes to prevent infection.
Eye muscle surgery does not fix the poor vision of a lazy (amblyopic) eye. The child may have to wear glasses or a patch.
In general, the younger a child is when the operation is performed, the better the result. Your child's eye should look normal a few weeks after the surgery.
Repair of cross-eye; Resection and recession; Strabismus repair; Extraocular muscle surgery
Biglan AW. Surgical Approach to the Rectus Muscles. In:Tasman W, Jaeger EA, eds. Duane’s Ophthalmology. 2012 ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2012:vol 6, chap 83.
Lingua RW, Diamond LG. Techniques of strabismus surgery. In:Yanoff M, Duker JS, Augsburger JJ, et al., eds. Ophthalmology. 3rd ed. St.Louis, Mo: Mosby Elsevier; 2008:chap 11.14.
Olitsky SE, Hug D, Plummer LS, Stass-Isern M. Disorders of eye movement and alignment. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF,eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 615.
Updated by: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Franklin W. Lusby, MD, Ophthalmologist, Lusby Vision Institute, La Jolla, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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