Eye muscle surgery is performed to correct strabismus, which is any horizontal, vertical, or torsional misalignment of the eyes that affects both children and adults. The disease can be congenital, acquired, restrictive, or paralytic. The purpose of surgery is to restore the eyes to their normal, anatomical position; to maximize the potential for binocularity; and, in some cases, to eliminate diplopia. Either one or multiple muscles may be involved in the operation and bilateral procedures are common. In cooperative children and adults, a postoperative adjustment of the muscle position may be performed once the effects of anesthesia have dissipated.
Strabismus surgery is most often performed under general anesthesia, though local anesthesia and even topical anesthesia can be used in adults.
Usual postoperative course
Expected postoperative hospital stay
Most strabismus surgery is performed on an outpatient basis. Hospitalization is unusual.
Related to anesthesia. The incidence of malignant hyperthermia may be slightly higher in strabismus patients than in the general population.
Special monitoring required
Patient activity and positioning
For 2 weeks, patients are advised to avoid swimming and other activities that may introduce contaminated material into their eyes. Young children should be properly supervised and discouraged from rubbing their eyes. Dressings are usually unnecessary.
Oral intake should be resumed gradually, since nausea and vomiting are common after strabismus surgery, especially in children.
Topical antibiotic or antibiotic/steroid combination drops may be used optionally.