What is squint surgery?
Squint surgery is the treatment for “squints”, which is a deviation of one eye or the other so that both eyes are not entirely straight. This may or may not be associated with double vision (Diplopia). Commonly it is a problem in childhood, but can also affect adults who have a longstanding or indeed a newly acquired squint.
Each eye is attached to 6 separate muscles which helps move the eye in different directions. During the surgery to correct a squint, the surgeons have to either shorten, or lengthen some of these muscles to allow one eye to line up with the other. Surgeons have to go through the lining of the eye (conjunctiva) to locate these muscles and operate on them but the eye remains in the socket at all times.
The surgery itself takes about 1 hour, is done under General anaesthesia and in most cases can be done on a day-case, or an outpatient basis. Your consultant will be able to confirm this prior to the surgery.
It can take about a week or so for the eye to settle down after surgery, but most patients are comfortable after 24-48 hours and can return to work within a few days.
The benefits of the surgery are the correction of possible double vision and with a large obvious squint, and an improvement in cosmetic appearance.
The main risks of the surgery are that there may still be a squint after the operation because either too much surgery has been done or not enough. Some patients experience temporary double vision post operatively but in most cases this settles after a few days. The eye will be red and gritty for a period after the surgery but this is rarely a serious problem. If you have any concerns, please contact your consultant. There are also the small risks associated with general anaesthesia. All risks and complications will be discussed with you in full prior to your procedure.
Copy provided by Dr Alasdair Fern, Consultant Ophthalmologist at BMI Ross Hall Hospital