Eye muscle surgery (strabismus)

Strabismus surgery unties or tightens eye muscles, which changes the arrangement of the eyes relative to each other the eye muscles attach to the sclera. The muscles are covered by a thin layer of transparent tissue called the conjunctiva. The eyelids are held open by a minor instrument called a lid speculum. The surgeon cuts the conjunctiva to access the eye muscle and uses a delicate hook to isolate the muscle. No skin cuts are made. The eyeball is NOT removed from the eye socket during strabismus surgery.

Strabismus surgery involves sewing the eye muscle to the wall of the eye after altering the insertion position and/or the length of the muscle. Standard strabismus surgery utilizes a permanent knot. Adjustable suture technique employs a bow-knot or slip-knot (temporary knot) in an accessible position. After surgery, the eye alignment can be altered by adjusting the temporary knot. The adjustment is typically done with the patient awake and the operated eye numbed, so adjustable suture surgery generally may only be offered to patients who are able to fully cooperate with the adjustment process.