When will my child be scheduled?
We attempt to schedule the pediatric cases earlier in the mornings, before the adult cataract cases. The exact time isn't known until 48 hours in advance of the surgery.
Do we need to see our pediatrician before surgery for a clearance?
Most children are naturally healthy enough not to need a pediatric clearance before surgery. If there are unusual medical or anesthetic related problems, please let our office know.
How do you move the eye muscles without hurting the eye?
The "extraocular" muscles that move the eye are outside the actual eyeball, residing in the socket. Their attachment to the eye is actually 1/3 inch behind the cornea and is easy to reach, once we make a small incision in the conjunctival (white) lining of the eye. We can then tighten or loosen the muscles -- gently -- on sutures without hurting or going inside the eye.
Will my child feel any pain during surgery?
No. Your child will be asleep under general anesthesia and will feel nothing and remember little about the surgery. The anesthetics have both an analgesia and amnesia effect.
Is there a lot of pain thereafter?
Most children will have some level of pain or discomfort during the first 12-24 hours. Usually it isn't severe and is treated with Motrin or Tylenol. In fact a majority of children are watching TV or in a reasonable state of activity by the evening of surgery.
We are naturally scared. How safe is the surgery and anesthesia?
Strabismus surgery is generally very safe. It is extremely remote to have any visual loss or serious eye disorder following the surgery. The most common problem is that, because strabismus is both an ocular and neurologic condition, tightening or loosening muscles may not fully fix the problem with one surgery. General anesthesia is carefully controlled and monitored and you will have an opportunity to ask questions directly to the anesthesiologist before surgery.
Will there be a lot of bleeding or bruising?
No. The incisions are small and delicate with minimal bleeding or bruising. Occasionally there may be some unexpected bleeding, but this is rare. Typically the whites of the eyes will be red where the muscles were approached and this can last for 2 - 3 weeks.
My child's eyelids are stuck together after surgery? What do I do?
Sometimes discharge or normal exudation of the eyes after surgery will dry overnight and lead to adherence of the eyelashes. If this happens, use a moist warm washcloth for several minutes and then gently try to pry the lids open manually. This usually works. If not, call our office.
What medicines are used after surgery?
While infection rates are very low, we have patients use a combination antibiotic and steroid ointment twice daily for five days following surgery. Adults can use the drop form (which is less greasy). The ointment can be rubbed onto the eyelash margins in scared children and they will eventually blink the gel onto their ocular surface.