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Strabismus Surgery and Recovery

written by: Finn Orfano • edited by: Leigh A. Zaykoski • updated: 3/31/2010

Strabismus is an eye vision condition that can be corrected with surgery. Treatment is determined by the type of strabismus one has. Learn about the strabismus surgery and how one must recover. .

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    Strabismus is a vision condition that may be recognized by its different names. These names include cross-eyed, cockeyed, wandering eyes, weak eye, deviating eye, and others. The condition is where your eyes are not able to align properly. Both eyes are not able to focus in the same direction, at the some point, or at the same time.

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    Strabismus Surgery

    There are several different types of strabismus surgeries that can be performed to correct the condition. The type of strabismus surgery that is performed will be determined by the type of strabismus that the patient has. The type of surgeries include recession, resection, and adjustable suture.

    A recession procedure is performed to weaken the function by alternating the attachments of the muscles on the eye. A suture is placed through the muscle of the eye at the attachment site on the eye. The muscle is cut from the surface of the eye and then reattached further back from the front of the eye.

    A resection procedure is performed to correct a misalignment that associated with strabismus. If the eye is inwardly tuned (esotropia), the surgeon will strengthen the lateral muscles that are located on the side of each eye, near the ear. This is achieved by reattaching the muscle in a different location (resection). The lateral rectus muscles strength can improve and the eyes can turn further outward than they did before. The end result is that the eyes are better aligned.

    An adjustable suture is a type of strabismus surgery that involves the sewing of the eye muscle of the wall of the eye. This alters the insertion position and/or the length of the eye muscle. A standard surgery that does not include an adjustable suture uses a permanent knot. The adjustable suture technique uses a type of bow-knot or slip knot. This knot is only temporary and is in a position where the surgeon can access it easily. It is used after surgery to help adjust the alignment of the eye. When the surgeon is satisfied with the eye alignment position, a permanent knot is made.

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    Strabismus Surgery Recovery

    The recovery after a strabismus surgery is very important. Recovery time can take as long as six to seven weeks. The recovery time can also depend on the patient's ability to follow the rules and restrictions that are given by the doctor. Avoiding drugs that are not prescribed by the doctor and religiously using a compress to reduce swelling and pain is important. The patient should avoid swimming for the first 10 to 12 days after surgery and is this is very beneficial to the recovery.

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    References

    Alaska Blind Child Discovery: What to Expect After Strabismus Surgery - http://www.abcd-vision.org/kid-eye-disorders/Strabismus%20Post-Op.html

    All About Vision: Strabismus Surgery - http://www.allaboutvision.com/conditions/strabismus-surgery.htm