Eye Muscle Repair: What to Expect

Eye Muscle Repair: What to Expect

Mon Jan 01 0001

Eye muscle repair surgery: What it is

This procedure may be performed at any age, but is most common with children. The technical term for this procedure is “strabismus surgery.” The surgery loosens or tightens muscles attached to the eye (or eyes) to adjust alignment. It is typically performed to correct “crossed” eyes. An ophthalmologist will diagnose your child and decide whether eye muscle repair surgery is recommended.

What to expect

This surgery may sound a little scary, but in reality it is very common and has lifelong positive outcomes for the child. In this blog, we’ll discuss what you can expect when your child has eye muscle repair surgery.

Before surgery: the importance of pre-op instructions
Your surgeon’s office will provide a list of instructions for you to follow leading up to your child’s surgery. Be sure to read and follow these carefully, and follow-up with the staff with any questions you may have. Knowing what to do and why it’s important can help you feel more confident you, which will also boost your child’s confidence.

On the day of surgery

On the day of the procedure, your surgeon and anesthesiologist will visit with you and your child. At a traditional pediatric facility, your child would change into a hospital gown and be transported to the operating room (OR) on a gurney. At Pediatric Surgery Centers, we let kids stay in their own clothes and walk to the OR. This helps them feel more comfortable and in control. We also administer anesthesia to your child safely and without pain through a facemask. Your child will be asleep for eye muscle repair surgery.

The procedure explained

Once your child is under the general anesthesia, the surgical staff will hold open the eyelids of the eyes with a small instrument. The surgeon will will make a small cut in a thin layer of transparent tissue called the conjunctiva to access the eye muscle. Depending on the diagnosis, the surgeon will either weaken the muscle by detaching it from the eye and reattaching it a spot further back on the eye, or will strengthen the muscle by first detaching it, removing a small portion of the muscle, and then reattaching it.

After the procedure, your child will wake up in Recovery. Once they are alert and all discharge criteria are met, they will be discharged and sent home with post-operative care instructions. This procedure is typically outpatient, meaning your child will not have to stay overnight.

Expected outcomes

The alignment of your child’s eyes will be corrected following the procedure. Eye muscle repair surgery will not immediately improve your child’s vision, but helps your child’s eyes to better work together as a team to improve vision, motor skills and coordination.