Eye Muscle Surgery

Eye Muscle Surgery is a surgery to correct eye misalignment, also known as strabismus or eye wiggling or nystagmus.

April 25, 2022

Eye Muscle Surgery is a surgery to correct eye misalignment, also known as strabismus or eye wiggling or nystagmus.

Some facts about Eye Muscle Surgery:

  • One or more of the eye muscles will be moved to adjust the position of the eye or eyes.
  • Generally, Eye muscle surgery can be done as an outpatient procedure at the same day.
  • General anesthesia will be given to make you sleep during the procedure.
  • Eye muscle problems that cause strabismus or crossed eyes can be corrected by Eye muscle repair is surgery.
  • The main purpose of Eye Muscle surgery is to restore the eye muscles to a proper position to help the eyes move correctly.
  • Most often, Eye Muscle Surgery is done on children. However, adults who have similar eye problems can also have it done.
  • One or both eyes may need surgery depending on the problem. Muscle imbalance in the eyes can be corrected by this surgery.
  • The eyes crosses inward or outward due to the muscle imbalance in eyes which is known as strabismus.
  • The eyes look in different directions as the eyes don't line up properly with strabismus.
  • Strabismus should be treated as early as possible to avoid lifelong vision problems. Vision loss could become a permanent disability if not treated early.
  • Eye muscle repair surgery is an option if there is not any improvement through nonsurgical means.
  • Excessive bleeding and infection are common possible risks of Eye Muscle Surgery. The risk of bleeding can be reduced by following the instructions of your doctor regarding blood thinning medications before the procedure.
  • The infection can be prevented from occurring after surgery by keeping your incisions dry and clean.
  • Eye muscle repair surgery can cause double vision and eye damage in rare cases.
  • Loosening or weakening procedures involves Recession, Myectomy, Myotomy, Tenectomy and Tenotomy.
  • Tightening or strengthening procedures involves Resection, Tucking and Advancement.
  • The movement of an eye muscle from its original place of attachment on the eyeball to a more forward position is known as advancement.
  • Reattaching an extraocular muscle by a stitch that can be shortened or lengthened within the first postoperative day, to obtain better ocular alignment is known as adjustable suture surgery.

Preparation for Eye Muscle Surgery:

  • A complete physical and eye examination will be done before eye muscle repair surgery.
  • Any prior treatments will be noted by your eye doctor to fix your eye muscle problems.
  • Measurements of you eye should be taken and  which muscles are weaker or stronger than they should be determined.
  • You will have to stop taking medications that can increase your risk of bleeding about seven to ten days before your surgery. These include aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, warfarin, heparin and clopidogrel.
  • You should inform your doctor about any other prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, or supplements you may be taking.
  • 8 to 10 hours of fasting before the surgery is often required to avoid adverse reactions to the anesthesia, like nausea and vomiting.
  • Usually, general anesthetic will be given to the children who undergo eye muscle repair surgery to puts them to sleep throughout the procedure and not to feel any pain.
  • Generally, adults are treated with a local anesthetic that numbs the eye.
  • A corneal light reflex test can be done to check for crossed eyes.
  • A visual acuity test will be done to determine how well you can read from a distance.
  • A cover/uncover test will be done to measure your eye movement and deviation.
  • A retina exam will be done to examine the backs of your eyes.

Procedure for Eye Muscle Surgery:

  • A small incision will be made in the clear membrane, also known as the conjunctiva that covers the white of your eye by your surgeon.
  • The eye muscles will be either shorten or stretched by the surgeon once they has access to it to properly realign your eye.
  • The procedure takes about 90 minutes to complete. A section of the muscles or a nearby tendon will be removed by the surgeon to shorten and strengthen the muscles. The process is called a resection.
  • The muscles are stretched and reattached to a point farther back in your eye when it need to be weakened. The is known as a recession.
  • One or more muscles in your eyes can be repaired during the same surgical procedure.
  • Surgery may be required in only one eye or both the eyes.

Recovery after Eye Muscle Surgery:

  • You can go home the same day of the Eye Muscle surgery as it is usually an outpatient procedure.
  • You will probably feel scratchy and painful for several days after the surgery.
  • The eyes should be kept free of dirt and other irritants to prevent infection.
  • Antibiotic eye drops or ointments will be prescribed by your doctor as a precautionary measure.
  • Follow-up treatment may be required for vision problems in some cases, as strabismus can lead to impaired vision in some people.
  • You may still need to continue wearing eyeglasses and contacts for vision problems, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism as vision loss can remain even after the eye muscles are corrected surgically.
  • Children may need to continue wearing an eye patch following eye muscle repair surgery who have poor vision as a result of strabismus.
  • Eye patches are used when a weak eye leads to crossing and the duration it must be worn depends on the severity of the condition.
  • The weaker eye can be stimulated by patching the strong eye, even after surgery.
  • The brain of a child will be developed more fully in the area that manages vision by patching.
  • An eye patch can be worn for at least two hours per day to strengthen a weak eye.