Strabismus surgery can be necessary for different reasons:
- Efficiency recovery, for example in case of exotropia (divergent squint), helping to restore normal binocular view.
- Correction of diplopia and of ocular torticollis are common goals of the surgery in case of paretic strabismus. Sometimes, in these cases, the results are limited to the primary position of the eyes (aligned gaze ahead).
- Aesthetic function: both in children and in adults, suffering from strabismus can be the cause of insecurity, psychological problems and difficulty in relationships with other people.
Pre-operative examinations consist in several tests in order to simulate the results of the operation with prism lenses and to predict aesthetic and sensorial results.
The surgery operates on one or more extraocular muscles, i.e. the small muscles that control the movement of the eye in the different directions.
The most common performed surgeries are two: recession, that weakens the muscles, moving its insertion posteriorly in the sclera, and resection, that strengthens the muscle, removing a part of it and tightening it.
It is possible to perform the surgery on one or more muscles, at the same time or in two different operations.
In children surgery can be performed even in the first 30 months of age, it is performed under general anaesthetic and it lasts approximately 20 minutes. The patient wakes up without bandages and can feel some moderate pain that fades away by the day after.
In young people and adults the surgery is usually performed under local anaesthetic, in order to get a precious collaboration with the patient during the surgery and the advantage of a one-day procedure.
After surgery the patient should expect swollen and red eyes; these effects fade away in about 3 weeks. It is possible to go back to usual everyday activities within 48 hours from the surgery.