The Ohio eye surgeons of Corrective Eye Center are highly respected for their surgical skills in all areas of eye surgery including eye muscle surgery. We want patients to understand their options and feel comfortable with the diagnosis and treatments available to them before deciding on eye muscle surgery.
Eye muscle surgery is used to set the eyes in a proper position for normal movement. This type of surgery is usually performed on children suffering from crossed eyes, which is medically known as strabismus. However, many adults with similar problems also undergo the surgery.
Children Suffering from Strabismus Need Eye Muscle Surgery
The primary recipients of eye muscle surgery are children with strabismus. This condition prevents the eyes from lining up in an aligned position, which prevents a person from being able to focus on a single object with both eyes. The surgery may also be performed on adults who have suffered from muscle injuries or nerve damage causing a similar condition.
How Does Eye Muscle Surgery Treat Strabismus?
Eye muscle surgery is often only required on one eye, but some cases call for the surgery to be performed on both eyes. The surgery is most frequently performed on an outpatient basis, and it takes approximately 20 minutes to complete. Children are usually given a general anesthetic, but adults are routinely given a combination of sedatives and a local anesthetic.
Most eye surgeons use one or more of three available techniques to perform the eye surgery. The three types of surgery are as follows:
- Strengthened muscles – In this technique, the muscles on one side of the eye are strengthened by removing a section and stitching the two ends together. The tightened muscle then pulls the eye into alignment.
- Weakened muscles – This technique involves moving the muscle on one side further to the back of the eye, which gives it a little slack. The position of the eye is corrected when the muscle on the other side compensates for the relaxed muscle.
- Repositioned muscles – In cases where strabismus is caused by awkward muscle positioning, the muscles are simply repositioned without being tightened or weakened.
Recovery from Eye Muscle Surgery
After the surgery, patients given general anesthesia are kept in post-op care for up to two hours, but patients who received local anesthesia are kept for only a short observation period before being discharged.
Patients will experience mild to moderate pain for several days, and eyes may be red and watery for two to three weeks after the surgery. The eyes may also itch or feel scratchy when blinking for several weeks. Minor swelling will occur, but it dissipates in a few days.
Prognosis of Eye Muscle Surgery
Approximately 65 to 85 percent of patients undergoing eye muscle surgery experience improved eye coordination and aesthetic appearance. Nearly 35 percent also experience improved binocular vision. Up to 35 percent of patients experience no change or a slight detriment, but this can often be corrected with follow-up surgery.
As with all types of surgery, certain risks are inherent in eye muscle surgery. Complications may include excessive bleeding, infection, and damage to the eyes.
For questions, or to schedule an appointment contact us at 216.574.8900.