You or your child had eye muscle repair surgery to correct eye muscle problems that cause crossed eyes. The medical term for crossed eyes is strabismus.
Children most often receive general anesthesia for this surgery. They were asleep and did not feel pain. Most adults are awake and sleepy, but pain-free. Numbing medicine was injected around their eye to block pain.
A small incision (cut) was made in the tissue between the eye and eyelid. This tissue is called the conjunctiva. One or more of the muscles of the eye was strengthened or weakened. This was done to position the eye properly and help it move correctly. The stitches used during the surgery will dissolve, but they may be scratchy at first. Most people leave the hospital a few hours after recovery.
- The eye will be red and slightly swollen for a couple of days. It should open fully within 2 days after surgery.
- The eye may be "scratchy" and sore when it moves. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) or a cool, damp washcloth placed gently over the eye can provide comfort.
- You or your child may have some blood-tinged discharge from the eye. The doctor will prescribe eye ointment or eye drops to use after the surgery to help the eye heal and prevent infection.
- Your eyes or your child's eye may be sensitive to light. Try dimming the lights, closing curtains or shades, or wearing sunglasses.
Try to avoid rubbing the eyes.
Double vision is common after surgery for adults and for children ages 6 and older. It is less common in younger children. Double vision most often goes away after the surgery. In adults, an adjustment is sometimes made to the position of the eye muscle to refine the results.
You or your child can go back to your normal activities and exercise within a few days after surgery. You can return to work, and your child may go back to school or day care a day or two after surgery.
Children who had the surgery can slowly go back to a regular diet. Many children feel a little sick to their stomach after surgery.
Most people do not have to wear a patch over their eye after this surgery, but some do.
You or your child should have a follow-up appointment with the eye surgeon 1 to 2 weeks after the surgery.
When to Call the Doctor
Call the doctor if you or your child has:
- A lasting low-grade fever, or a fever higher than 101°F
- Increased swelling, pain, drainage, or bleeding from the eye
- An eye that is no longer straight, or is "way out of line."
Repair of cross-eye - discharge; Resection and recession - discharge; Lazy eye repair - discharge; Strabismus repair - discharge; Extraocular muscle surgery - discharge
Keech RV. Adjustable suture strabismus surgery. In: Tasman W, Jaeger EA, eds. Duane's Ophthalmology. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2013:vol 6;chap 88.
Lingua RW, Diamond LG. Techniques of strabismus surgery. In: Yanoff M, Duker JS, Augsburger JJ, et al, eds. Ophthalmology. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2004:chap 81.
Update Date 9/5/2014
Updated by: Franklin W. Lusby, MD, ophthalmologist, Lusby Vision Institute, La Jolla, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.