What to Expect During a Strabismus Surgery?

Fri May 14 2021

When we talk about eye problems, it’s not only infections that cause them. Some other factors may include affecting the competency of the muscles surrounding your eyes. Six extraocular muscles surround an eye, controlling your eye movements. If any of these muscles get too weak or too strong, it causes misalignment between your eyes.

This misalignment causes your eyes to look in different directions. This condition is called strabismus (cross-eyes). The condition can also result from injury to your optic nerve, which controls your eye muscles.

Strabismus affects your vision as both eyes are misaligned — hence causing double vision.

Several treatment options are available, including eye exercises to strengthen your eye muscles, corrective glasses, prism glasses, etc. However, if the misalignment is severe and cannot be treated with conservative measures, the best option is strabismus surgery.

Strabismus surgery strengthens the weak muscles or loosens the tight muscles, which helps to improve the alignment of your eyes. Strabismus surgery also helps to improve the field of vision and reduce the visual confusion caused by double vision.

Strabismus Surgery: An Overview

Correcting eye alignment is the primary goal of strabismus surgery and is achieved by loosening or tightening eye muscles. Strabismus surgery involves two procedures – Recession and Resection.


Recession procedure in strabismus surgery is done when the eye muscles are too strong. In this procedure, the ophthalmologist detaches the strong muscles — and then reattaches it further back on the eye, which helps to weaken the affected eye muscles.

This exercise helps to correct the disturbed alignment of the eyes.


Resection procedure in strabismus surgery is done when the affected eye muscle is too weak. In such cases, an ophthalmologist uses resection to weaken the opposite muscle. In some cases, resection strengthens the affected muscle by reattaching it to a different site. This procedure is done when the eyes are turned inwardly, thereby helping to correct the eye alignment and achieving the desired goal of strabismus surgery.

Adjustable Suture :

In a traditional or standard strabismus surgery, the muscle is attached to the eye with a permanent knot. However, in an adjustable suture strabismus surgery, the surgeons use a bow tie knot which is temporary.

Adjustable suture strabismus surgery is for adults who are willing to go through the whole procedure, as it may cause discomfort till the procedure is complete. Therefore, while the other two procedures are done in both, children and adults, the adjustable suture is used only for strabismus surgery in adults.

After the desired alignment is achieved, the adjustable suture is attached permanently.

Adjustable suture strabismus surgery can be done for both loosening or tightening the affected muscle.

Strabismus Surgery: Before and After!

Now that we have gone through the basics of strabismus surgery and the procedures involved, we will look at the pre-surgery steps and the results to be expected post-surgery.


  • The ophthalmologist will record a detailed medical and surgical history before deciding to go for the procedure.
  • A detailed history of your eye conditions and vision problems are recorded.
  • The type and dose of anaesthesia are decided depending on the health and age of the patient.


  • Some pain and discomfort are to be expected, just as with any other surgery.
  • Immediately after surgery, you may experience mucus secretion from the eyes.
  • Some bluish discolouration bruising at the site of surgery is to be expected.
  • If you were wearing corrective glasses, you might start using them immediately. However, those using contacts should consult their doctor before using them again.

Strabismus Surgery Risks

Strabismus surgery risks are not always grave but usually depend on the complexity of the surgery. The main risks involve failure of the strabismus surgery and complications like overcorrection or undercorrection. These complications increase the risk of experiencing double vision even more. Also, with the above risks, the results of strabismus surgery may vary in different patients, depending on the alignment of the eyes and other vision-related problems. Other risks of strabismus surgery include infection to the operated site, cyst formation and allergic reactions.

Why choose Centre for Sight?

Centre for Sight is one of the largest chain of eye care hospitals that aims at providing the best eye care to their patients. You can rely on us for the best surgical treatment for strabismus in both children and adults.

At Centre for Sight you will get access to the best packages with a team that will guide you throughout the process.

Article: What to Expect During a Strabismus Surgery?

Author: CFS Editorial Team  |  May 14 2021 | UPDATED 02:00 IST

*The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Centre for Sight.

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