What's the recovery like after strabismus surgery?

Strabismus surgery, or eye muscle surgery to realign the eyes, is done on an outpatient basis, so patients are able to go home an hour or two after the surgery is done.

Because strabismus surgery is done under general anesthesia, patients will be fairly groggy afterward, and must have someone with them to drive them home.

There are a few things that are normal symptoms to have after surgery, including:

  • Red eyes, typically lasting a week or two
  • Eye pain, which is usually mild and improves within a few days
  • Blurry vision
  • Eye discharge, which may be yellow, red, or even light green sometimes!
  • Double vision, which is not unusual during the first few weeks of the healing process, especially for adults

Symptoms that are not expected, and should prompt a phone call, include:

  • Severe eye pain not responsive to ice packs or oral pain medication
  • Swelling of the eyelids that is so severe the patient can't open their eyes
  • Worsening redness
  • Vision that continues to get worse

Most patients do very well after strabismus surgery, and need only a few days off from school or work. Plan on seeing me in the office a week after your surgery to check to make sure your eyes are healing normally, and then again six weeks later to assess the outcome of the surgery.