Strabismus (Squint) Surgery

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 Strabismus or Squint is the medical term to describe eyes that are not pointing in the same direction. A squint is sometimes called a lazy eye.

Surgery to correct a squint may be recommended if other treatments are not suitable or do not help.


What does the procedure involve?


Squint surgery is done under general anaesthesia and usually takes less than an hour. The operation involves moving the muscles that control eye movement so that the eyes line up better.


During the procedure:

  • The eye is held open using an instrument called a lid speculum – sometimes it may be necessary to operate on both eyes to get the alignment right
  • The surgeon detaches part of the muscle connected to the eye and moves it into a new position so that the eyes point in the same direction
  • The muscles are fixed in their new position with dissolvable stitches – these are hidden behind the eye, so you will not be able to see them afterwards


Sometimes, in adults and teenagers, further adjustments to your eye muscles may be made when you’ve woken up after the operation. Local anaesthetic eye drops are used to numb your eyes for this.


Following the operation, a pad may be put over the treated eye, which is usually removed the next day or sometimes before you go home.


It can take several weeks to fully recover from squint surgery. You may experience some side effects after surgery (which may settle down with time), such as pain, red and itchy eyes and double vision.