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25 With Strabismus Qs about Surgery


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Old 01-24-2009, 07:23 PM   #1
Allerian1004
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25 With Strabismus Qs about Surgery

I'm a 25 year old medical student. I was born with strabismus and amblyopia (which I think was mostly corrected because I can use each eye). I had surgery when I was 3 and then patching for the amblyopia. Over the past two years, I have noticed an increasing extropia. It is very slight with my contacts in but very pronounced with my glasses on especially when I'm tired. I'm also having difficulty with focusing my eyes. I recently saw an optometrist and everything looks okay besides the extropia (my prescription didn't change too much either). I'm seeing a pediatric opthalmologist on monday who specializes in childhood and adult strabimus and am going to inquire about surgery.
Have you guys had good results with surgery? Was the surgery uncomfortable? How long was it before you were driving again? How about reading? (I'm a 2nd year student so I would love to study ASAP after surgery. I don't mind if I can't drive for a few days).
Also, how was the anesthesia? I also have lupus so I'm alittle worried about the anesthesia but would prefer it to local.

 
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Old 01-25-2009, 08:27 AM   #2
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Re: 25 With Strabismus Qs about Surgery

Your situation is fairly unusual because, by 25, your strabismus should have stabilised. Also, most people find that wearing glasses helps to avoid the weaker eye wandering because both eyes work at grabbing and holding on to a sharp image.
It is possible then that there is some other factor at play in your case. That really means that the paediatric specialist is the best person to check and advise you.
It will be interesting to hear the results of your visit.

 
Old 01-25-2009, 03:45 PM   #3
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Re: 25 With Strabismus Qs about Surgery

My situation was very different from yours, but I'll share my experience anyway. I developed strabismus and double vision secondary to monovision contact lens wear. (I must have been born with a vulnerability, but it was never manifest until I was nearly 50 years old!) The strab surgery was very successful in my case. I experienced no pain at all. I had surgery in the morning and was shopping at the mall (wearing sunglasses) that afternoon. I drove myself to my followup appointment the next day. They used local anesthesia with IV sedation (propofol). I would have preferred to skip the sedation, but my surgeon would not agree to it. I definitely would not recommend general anesthesia. All things considered, my decision to have the strab surgery was one of my best.

 
Old 01-25-2009, 05:40 PM   #4
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Re: 25 With Strabismus Qs about Surgery

I forgot to mention a couple of things in my post above. I had surgery on one eye only--a left medial rectus recession. This obviously contributed to my quick visual recovery. I was able to read immediately after surgery. Your surgeon can give you more information about your own situation.

My strab surgeon had given me a computerized vision therapy program about three weeks before surgery. He didn't insist that I work with it, but I wanted a plan B. (I was told that my surgery had a 75% chance of success, and I was terrified of being in the unlucky 25%.) I spent hours working the program and made significant improvement in my divergence skills before surgery. I don't know whether this may have contributed to my rapid visual recovery.

 
Old 01-26-2009, 05:52 AM   #5
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Re: 25 With Strabismus Qs about Surgery

Allerian: It is exceedingly common for strab patients to have more than one surgery in their lifetime.

 
Old 01-27-2009, 07:21 AM   #6
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Re: 25 With Strabismus Qs about Surgery

My daughter had extropia in the left eye and had surgery at 7 months old. Slowly over the course of the next year her eye wandered to an esotropia that required another surgery. So at 19 months she had surgery again. Outpatient both times. She didn't seem to have any problems the day after surgery either times. Didn't even complain about pain and no additional pain relievers were given either time. She looked awful for about a week, but now you can barely see where her surgery site is on her eyeball.

She had to have the second surgery because one of her muscles had stretched over 6 mm. So, the ped. opth. ended up putting in a permanent stitch, being careful to tuck the ends underneath the muscle so that the ends don't bother her at all.

She now has a very slight esotropia that is mainly noticeable only in photographs. She has a very slight Rx (+1.00) eyeglasses that seem to help it, but at age 2 and after 6 months of patching when she younger, she is loathe to keep the glasses on.

As the doctor explained it, studies have been done on people's perceptions of others with esotropia vs. extropia. Those with extropia were perceived as being untrustworthy and sneaky. Those with esotropia did not have that perception placed on them. So, I wouldn't hesitate to have an extropia righted via surgery again, but I don't plan on doing anything about her current esotropia unless it gets worse or causes her great distress when she goes to school. Plus, our next step is to wait until she's 4 or 5 and can better articulate what she can/can't see.

Good luck with your surgery. I hope you'll be happy with the results and the short recovery time. Maybe you can schedule it for just before a school holiday to maximize your downtime.

 
Old 02-07-2009, 05:04 PM   #7
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Re: 25 With Strabismus Qs about Surgery

I am a 51yr old middle school teacher who just had strabismus surgery in early November. I had 4 surgeries to straighten my eyes before I was 7 yrs old and another when I was 13 (cosmetic). My left eye has been turned out probably since I was 14 yrs old. My parents and I were told that yes surgery could be done to straighten it, but it would still be cosmetic and insurance would not cover it. It wasn't until I had 2-3 different doctors tell me the in the past 2 years, that yes it could be straightened and yes, insurance would cover it. So, I found a good strabismus surgeon and checked things out. She decide it would take 2 surgeries to completely straighten my eye-I had one in July and the other in November. Both of them were a piece of cake-some discomfort but nothing that required more than tylenol. I would do it again in a heartbeat. My eye is wonderfully straight (being a teacher my students always noticed my wandering eye, many of my co teachers never noticed it) My vision has not improved, but I did not expect that to happen. Go for the surgery and good luck! MJ
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Old 02-08-2009, 03:37 AM   #8
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Re: 25 With Strabismus Qs about Surgery

Both my brother and I were born with strabismus and amblyopia had set in by an early age. Consequently, I have had a lifelong interest in the condition and made a study of the implications of surgery. Neither my brother nor I had surgery and we have both worn glasses for most of our lives. We even survived having a vain mother who was so embarrassed at having imperfect children that she would not allow us to wear our glasses in public. Due to her influence, I did not give in to wearing my glasses full time until my early 20s.
Allerian, it is certainly true that strabismus correction surgery performed in infancy often requires correction later in life and that is undoubtedly because the scar tissue impedes the natural growth of the muscle. When I previously said that stabismus is normally stabilised by your age (25), I was ignoring your childhood surgery.
I think the other respondents here have given you the reassurance you need regarding further surgery. Good luck. Please let us know how it goes.

 
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