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Eye muscle repair

Contents of this page:


Before and after strabismus repair
Before and after strabismus repair
Eye muscle repair - series
Eye muscle repair - series

Alternative Names    Return to top

Repair of cross-eye; Resection and recession; Lazy eye repair; Strabismus repair; Extraocular muscle surgery

Definition    Return to top

Eye muscle repair is surgery to correct eye muscle problems that cause crossed eyes. The medical term for crossed eyes is strabismus.

Description    Return to top

The goal of this surgery is to allow the eye muscles to be in proper position and help the eyes move correctly.

Eye muscle repair surgery is usually done on children, but adults who have similar eye problems may also have it done. Children will usually receive general anesthesia for the procedure. They will be asleep and will not feel pain.

After the anesthesia has taken effect, an eye surgeon makes a small incision (cut) in the tissue between the eye and eyelid. This tissue is called the conjunctiva. Then the surgeon will locate 1 or more of the eye muscles that needs repairing. Sometimes the repair strengthens the muscle, and sometimes it weakens it. To strengthen these muscles, a section of the muscle or tendon may be removed. To weaken these muscles, a suture (stitch) may be made to change the position of the muscle.

The surgery for adults is similar. Most adults are usually awake and sleepy, but pain-free. Numbing medicine injected around their eye will block pain. Often in adult surgery, an adjustable suture will be used so that minor corrections can be made later that day or the next day. This technique usually has a very good outcome.

Why the Procedure is Performed    Return to top

Surgery may be recommended when strabismus does not improve with medicine or glasses.

Risks    Return to top

Risks for any anesthesia are:

Risks for any surgery are:

Some other possible complications are:

Before the Procedure    Return to top

Your child’s eye surgeon may ask for:

Always tell your child’s doctor or nurse:

During the days before the surgery:

On the day of the surgery:

After the Procedure    Return to top

This surgery is usually done on an outpatient basis. The corrected eye is usually straight right after surgery.

Your child will be kept from rubbing their eye until they have recovered from anesthesia. Eye rubbing later on is not a problem, since children close their eyes when they rub them.

After a few hours of recovery, the child may go home. You should have a follow-up appointment with the eye surgeon 1 to 2 weeks after the surgery.

Outlook (Prognosis)    Return to top

Eye muscle repair surgery does not fix the poor vision of a lazy eye, so a child may have to wear glasses. In general, the younger a child is when the operation is performed, the better the result. Your child’s eye should look normal a few weeks after the surgery.

References    Return to top

Lingua RW, Diamond LG. Techniques of strabismus surgery. In: Yanoff M, Duker JS, Augsburger JJ, et al, eds. Ophthalmology. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2004:chap 81.

Olitsky SE, Hug D, Smith LP. Disorders of Eye Movement and Alignment. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 622.

Update Date: 12/22/2008

Updated by: Paul B. Griggs, MD, Department of Ophthalmology, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

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