Squint Eye Surgery in Children and Adults It is Important to Know

Squint eye surgery is an effective way to make the patient’s eyes aligned. With this surgery, both eyes can see an object in the same direction.

Table of Content

1. Cross-eye surgery in children
2. Cross-eye surgery in adults
3. Preparation before squint surgery
4. Squint eye surgery stages
5. Treatment after squint surgery
6. Cross-eye surgery cost
7. How to treat a squint without surgery

If left untreated, a squint can cause blurred vision or lazy eye (a decreased ability of one eye to see). One way that can be done to overcome these eye disorders is to undergo squint eye surgery.

Crossed eyes or strabismus is a condition that occurs when the eyes are not aligned and look in different directions. The cause of a squint is a lack of coordination in the muscles that move the eyeball. 

As a result, one eye looks forward, while the other eye looks up, down, or sideways. 

This condition can also reduce self-confidence because the appearance of the eye looks abnormal. Crossed eyes can occur in both children and adults.

Cross-eye surgery in children

Can crossed eyes be cured? No need to worry, because generally this disorder can be cured. Strabismus surgery in children is one of the effective ways to treat crossed eyes by an ophthalmologist.

This procedure is performed by dissecting the eye muscles needed to straighten the eyesight.

Cross-eye surgery is recommended for children who have strabismus so that their binocular vision is normal while preventing the bad risks that occur when they grow up.

This surgery can begin to be performed on babies aged 4 months. In squint surgery, one or more eye muscles are strengthened, weakened, or moved to a different position, so that they are in harmony with the other eye. 

Strabismus surgery is best done as early as possible because the brain circuit that regulates binocular vision (using both eyes together) can easily adapt at a young age.

Cross-eye surgery in adults

As with children, squint surgery can also be performed on adults to improve the condition of their eyes.

If strabismus has been present since childhood, the condition is usually only eye misalignment and no double vision.

However, if strabismus suddenly occurs in adulthood, the sufferer almost always complains of double vision. This condition can be caused by various diseases, such as thyroid eye disease, stroke, or tumors.

About 80 percent of adult squints have eyes aligned with just one surgical procedure. 

In addition, patients experience improvement in binocular function after surgery, even if the disorder has been long-standing.

Preparation before squint surgery

In order for the squint surgery to run smoothly, the ophthalmologist will thoroughly examine the patient’s vision, severity, type of strabismus, and eye muscle function.

The doctor will also ask the patient’s medical history to identify any medical conditions that may affect anesthesia, surgery, or aftercare. 

For example, allergies to anesthetics or antibiotics, blood clotting problems, or long healing scars after surgery.

So, make sure the patient knows the medical history well and discuss it clearly with the doctor.

Medications or supplements that are currently or have been used will also be taken into account. The doctor may ask the patient to stop taking certain medications or supplements before surgery.

Therefore, note the drugs or supplements that have been used so as not to be mistaken. The doctor will also ask the patient to fast before the operation.

Squint eye surgery stages

In performing cross-eye surgery on children and adults, the medical team will carry out these five stages.

1. Sensorimotor examination

Prior to surgery, the patient will undergo a special examination, in the form of sensorimotor. The examination is done to determine the eye muscles that need to be changed so that the eyes are aligned.

2. Anesthesia or general anesthesia

Cross-eye surgery requires general anesthesia or anesthesiaGeneral anesthesia will make the child fall asleep until unconscious. 

After sedation, the eyelids will be opened using an eyelid speculum.

3. Make an incision on the conjunctiva

The eye muscles attach to the wall of the eye called the sclera and are covered by a layer of tissue (conjunctiva). 

Next, the surgeon will make a small incision in the conjunctiva to locate the target eye muscle.

4. Strengthen or weaken the eye muscles

Once the target eye muscle is found, it is then weakened or strengthened or aligned. 

The method used in straightening a squint through surgery is to strengthen the eye muscle by cutting the muscle or tendon of the eye, then the shortened muscle is reattached to its original position (resection). 

Meanwhile, the weakening of the eye muscles is done by releasing the eye muscles, then putting them back at a point near the back of the eyeball (recession).

5. Sew the eye muscles

Once completed, the doctor will also suture the patient’s eye muscles, with permanent knot sutures that are easily absorbable.

Usually, surgery for a squint only lasts 1-2 hours. However, the patient must undergo treatment for several hours, after the operation ends.

Treatment after squint surgery

After surgery, the patient may experience double vision, eye redness or temporary pain. Your doctor can give you pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Also, avoid swimming within two weeks of surgery.

Patients may also be given antibiotic eye drops to reduce the risk of infection and steroid eye drops to aid recovery. 

Apart from that, there are a few things you should do to make a speedy recovery:

  • Follow the post-operative care instructions from the ophthalmologist
  • Get enough rest at home
  • Don’t rub your eyes
  • Avoid getting water into your eyes while showering
  • Don’t do strenuous activities
  • Don’t swim until the eye doctor allows it
  • Avoid using aspirin if advised by your doctor.

Children under 10 years of age may need a second or third squint to maintain eye alignment.

In some cases, special glasses or lenses can help improve binocular vision.

Cross-eye surgery cost

Cross-eye surgery certainly requires a lot of money. The cost of squint surgery will be adjusted according to the level of difficulty and risk. 

To get more definite information about the cost of squint eye surgery for children or adults and all the administrative requirements, it would be better if you ask a hospital that has experience doing it. Because the price of squint surgery can vary.

Meanwhile, the cost of squint eye surgery with BPJS can be done free of charge. It even includes the cost of glasses that will be used postoperatively. However, of course it must meet certain conditions.

You must first check with a general practitioner at the first health facility. Then, get a referral letter to an ophthalmologist at the hospital.

After conducting an eye examination to an ophthalmologist, the doctor will determine when squint surgery can be performed.

How to treat a squint without surgery

In some cases, a squint can heal without surgery. How to treat a squint without surgery can be done by:

  • Corrective glasses or contact lenses

Wearing corrective glasses or contact lenses can keep your eyes straight and require less effort to focus. 

You can consult an ophthalmologist if you want to get glasses for crossed eyes.

  • prism lens

This particular lens is thicker on one side than the other. A prism lens will change the light that enters the eye and reduce how many turns the eye has to make to see an object.

  • Vision therapy

Vision therapy can improve eye coordination and focusing. In this therapy, the eyes and brain will be trained to work together more effectively so that eye movement problems are resolved. 

Consult an ophthalmologist for proper treatment. Do not let this condition interfere with daily life.

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