Dr Catt has sub-specialty training in strabismus surgery. Adult strabismus (misalignment of the eyes) can follow childhood strabismus, previous strabismus surgery, neurological conditions or systemic diseases.
Adult strabismus is a complex and challenging condition, which can impact on an individual’s self esteem and their ability to reach their potential. There is a common misconception that nothing can be done for adult strabismus cases. In many cases something can be done, up to and including strabismus surgery. Another misconception about adult strabismus surgery is that it is cosmetic. Strabismus surgery is not cosmetic, it is reconstructive. Dr Catt will give you the time needed to determine your goals for surgery and answer all your questions.
Strabismus eye surgery is a procedure that is performed to correct a condition where the eyes are misaligned (sometimes called ‘cross-eyed’ or ‘wall-eyed’) and do not point in the same direction. This can cause problems with vision, as the brain may not be able to process the images from both eyes properly. It can also cause problems with social interactions and self-esteem, as people with strabismus may be self-conscious about the appearance of their eyes.
The most common type of strabismus is esotropia, which is when one eye turns inwards towards the nose. This condition can cause the eye to appear crossed or misaligned. The other common type is exotropia, which is when one eye turns outwards away from the nose. It can be intermittent (occurs occasionally) or constant (happens all the time).
There are several types of strabismus eye surgery, which are typically performed by an ophthalmologist or a pediatric ophthalmologist. The type of surgery that is recommended will depend on the specific type and severity of the strabismus.
One type is muscle surgery. This procedure involves the surgeon making small incisions in the eye muscles and adjusting the length or position of the muscles to align the eyes. The procedure is usually performed under general anesthesia, and the patient will need to wear an eye patch for a few days after surgery to protect the eye.
Another type is adjustable suture surgery. This procedure involves the surgeon making small incisions in the eye muscles and placing sutures (stitches) that can be adjusted after surgery to align the eyes. This type of surgery allows the surgeon to fine-tune the alignment of the eyes without the need for additional surgery.
In some cases surgery may not be necessary. For example, if the strabismus is caused by a muscle that is too weak, the surgeon may recommend strengthening the muscle with eyeglasses or eye patches. If the strabismus is caused by a muscle that is too tight, the surgeon may recommend using eyeglasses or eye patches to help relax the muscle.
Strabismus eye surgery is generally successful in correcting the alignment of the eyes. Occasionally, two separate surgeries are needed to properly align the eyes. It is important for people who have had strabismus eye surgery to follow their doctor’s instructions for care and follow-up appointments to ensure the best possible outcome.