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Strabismus surgery- What to expect

Strabismus is when the eyes are misaligned.  One or both eyes may be pointing inwards or outwards.  This may be constant or intermittent, especially when tired.  When you are a child, misaligned eyes will not cause double vision, but can if it ocurs after childhood.  As a child, the problem with having the eyes not working together is that sometimes the brain will not develop vision properly. The eye alignment can be fixed at any time, but the vision cannot be changed after 7 or 8 years of age.  It is very important to be fit with glasses or even patch one eye to assure proper development of the brain for vision at an early age.  The surgery for re-alignement, or strabismus surgery, can then be done to fix the appearance of the eyes.

Prior to strabismus surgery

You will need to get a physical from your primary care physician to make sure you are healthy enough to undergo surgery.

There are no restrictions or precautions prior to surgery.


During strabismus surgery

You will be put to sleep during surgery and will not remember the procedure.  You will have dissolvable stitches in our eyes.


After strabismus surgery

Your eyes will feel sore and it may hurt to move them the first few weeks.  They may feel scratchy, itchy, or have a foreign body sensation.  The white of the eye will be red and may look bloody as well.  This improves over the first 2-3 weeks.  Try not to rub your eyes at all.  Ice will help the pain and swelling as well. Ice as much as possible in the first few days.  Many children are sensitive to light for a few days.  Wearing sunglasses, even indoors will help.  You may also have double vision, but this should improve as your brain gets used to the new eye positions.   After 2 weeks, most double vision disappears. Rarely, you may have to return to surgery if you are unable to adjust.  For pain or sudden worsening of vision or eye position, call Dr Velotta as soon as possible.

Activity restrictions after surgery:


2. No swimming for 1 month.



More about strabismus (or lazy eye):


More about pediatric ophthalmology:


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