Eye muscle repair is surgery to correct eye muscle problems that cause strabismus (crossed eyes).
The goal of this surgery is to restore the eye muscles to a proper position. This will help the eyes move correctly.
Eye muscle surgery is most often done on children. However, adults who have similar eye problems may also have it done. Children will most often have general anesthesia for the procedure. They will be asleep and will not feel pain.
Depending on the problem, one or both eyes may need 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. In most cases, adults are awake, but are given medicine to numb the area and help them relax.
When the procedure is done on adults, an adjustable stitch is used on the weakened muscle so that minor changes can be made later that day or the next day. This technique often has a very good outcome.
Strabismus is a disorder in which the two eyes do not line up in the same direction. Therefore, the eyes 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 risks for this surgery include:
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:
The surgery does not need an overnight stay in the hospital most of the time. The eyes are most often straight right after surgery.
While recovering from the anesthesia and in the first few days after surgery, your child should avoid rubbing their eyes. Your surgeon will show you how to prevent your child from rubbing their eyes.
After a few hours of recovery, your child may go home. You should have a follow-up visit with the eye surgeon 1 to 2 weeks after the surgery.
To prevent infection, you will probably need to put drops or ointment in your child's eyes.
Eye muscle surgery does not fix the poor vision of a lazy (amblyopic) eye. Your 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 eyes 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. 2013 ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2013:vol 6, chap 83.
Lingua RW, Diamond LG, Shah RM. Techniques of strabismus surgery. In: Yanoff M, Duker JS, eds. Ophthalmology. 4th ed. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Mosby; 2013: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: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 615.
Updated by: Franklin W. Lusby, MD, ophthalmologist, Lusby Vision Institute, La Jolla, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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