Eye muscle surgery is a procedure undertaken to correct a muscle imbalance in the eyes. The muscle imbalance causes Squint Eyes, or eyes that cross inward or outward. This condition is also known as Strabismus. People with strabismus have eyes that don’t focus on the same object at the same time properly. In other words, the eyes look towards different directions. It’s important that Strabismus is treated as early as possible to avoid lifelong vision problems. In fact, vision loss could become a permanent disability if not treated promptly.
Eye muscle surgery helps realign the anatomy of eyes so that both focus in the same direction. This procedure is most often performed to treat children with strabismus. But, sometimes, it may also be done to help adults with eye muscle problems.
Some people successfully overcome strabismus by doing Convergence Exercises or by wearing specialized eyeglasses. Eye muscle surgery is a solution for those for whom Squint Treatment with nonsurgical means doesn’t work.
Facts About Eye Muscle Surgery
- Eye muscle surgery is a surgery to correct Strabismus (misalignment of the eye) or Nystagmus (eye wiggling).
- The surgery involves modifying one or more of the eye muscles to adjust the position of the eye or eyes.
- Sometimes, this surgery may be done as an outpatient procedure only.
- This surgery requires general anesthesia to make the patient sleep during it.
- Due to general anesthesia, there may be some requirements controlling fasting, eating and drinking that need to be followed in the hours before the surgery. Your Eye Doctor Delhi would inform about these well in advance.
- The surgery can last from 45 minutes to 2 hours depending on the numbers and type of eye muscles that need modification.
- The patient will come out of anesthesia in a few hours.
When is Eye Muscle Surgery Required
Eye muscle surgery is required to treat two of the most common eye problems—Strabismus and/or Nystagmus.
- Strabismus: is an eye problem in which the eyes are misaligned—meaning that they focus on different directions. One eye may look straight ahead. While the other eye turns outward, inward, upward or downward. Sometimes both the eyes may not look straight ahead. Strabismus affects about 5% of children, and is sometimes known as being “cross-eyed” or “wall-eyed.”
- Nystagmus: is an eye problem that causes the eyes to “wiggle” or makes involuntary and unintentional) movements. This usually affects both eyes and more enhanced when the eyes are looking in a particular direction. Nystagmus can cause vision problems and often occurs with Strabismus and Amblyopia (Lazy eyes).
The Procedure of Eye Muscle Surgery
Eye muscle surgery is performed to correct eyes that are not aligned properly. The eyes may be crossed or tend to wander away. The type and amount of surgery done will depend on the problem. It will be checked at the clinic.
- Although not a cure for Nystagmus, this surgery can help patients with Nystagmus by improving their visual function. It may also correct their posture and the way they hold their heads to see.
- Eye muscle treatment involves detaching and reattaching the muscles to re-position the eye.
- After the patient has been given anesthesia, an IV will be placed to provide fluids and medications.
- A small instrument called Eyelid Speculum is used to keep the eye open. A small incision (or opening) is made on the clear covering of the white part of the eye. It is through this opening that the muscles are detached and reattached. It is then closed with stitches that will dissolve on their own. The surgery does not need the eyeball to be removed. And no incisions are required on the skin or the face.
Recovery from Eye Muscle Surgery
Eye muscle repair surgery is usually done based on outpatient procedure, which means you can go home the same day. Your eyes will probably still feel scratchy and painful for a few days after the surgery. And it is extremely important to avoid touching or rubbing your eyes. Keeping the eyes free of dirt, dust and other irritants is crucial to prevent infection. Your Eye Doctor Delhi may prescribe some antibiotic Eye Drops or ointments as a precautionary measure.
You will be asked to meet with your Ophthalmologist about 1-2 weeks after the surgery. By this time, you should be feeling more comfortable and the eyes should look normal.
In some cases, follow-up treatment may still be required for advanced vision problems, as strabismus left untreated, can lead to impaired vision in some people. Even though the eye muscles get corrected surgically, vision loss may still remain.
Furthermore, you will still need to continue wearing eyeglasses and contacts for other vision problems, such as nearsightedness – myopia, farsightedness, or Astigmatism.
Patients who have poor vision as a result of strabismus may need to continue wearing an eye patch following the surgery. How long it will need to be worn depends on the severity of the condition. Eye patches are used when cross-eye condition is because of a weak eye. Wearing a patch over the strong eye, even after surgery, helps stimulate the weaker eye. The patch may also help those areas of the brain develop more fully, that manages vision. A child may need to wear an eye patch for at least 2-hours per day to strengthen a weak eye.
The Risks attached
All surgeries carry risks. There is no way to avoid ever having a complication. Eye Muscle surgery is no different in this regard. As a complication occurs, it is important to first identify it and then manage accordingly to get the best outcome possible.
Excessive bleeding and infection are possible risks attached to any type of surgery. The risk of heavy bleeding would be reduced by following the doctor’s instructions regarding blood-thinning medications before the procedure. Keeping the area surrounding your incisions dry and clean will also help prevent an infection from occurring after surgery.
In very rare cases, eye surgery could cause double vision and eye damage.
When To Reach the Ophthalmologist
The following symptoms may be cause for concern:
- Signs of infection, such as eye drainage that has gotten worse or has changed to green or yellow
- Vision loss
- Pain that has gotten worse
- Swelling that has gotten worse
- Fever higher than 100 degrees.
- Nausea and vomiting that won’t go away
If the patient has any of these symptoms, you should call the surgeon’s office immediately. If the patient has any special needs or health issues you feel the doctor should know about, please call the doctor before the surgery. It is important to notify us in advance about any special needs the patient might have.
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