Strabismus Surgery

Strabismus surgery is performed on the extraocular muscles of the eyes in an attempt to straighten or align them.

Each eye has six extraocular muscles that attach to the outer wall or sclera (white part) of the eye. These muscles contract in a coordinated fashion, resulting in the very precise eye movements that allow us to track and follow visual targets. In patients with strabismus, the resting tension of these muscles is abnormal, which causes the eyes to misalign.

Strabismus surgery

Strabismus surgery is performed on the extraocular muscles of the eyes in an attempt to straighten or align them. In strabismus surgery:

  • Different eye muscles are operated on depending on the amount and direction the eyes cross or drift
  • The surgery can be performed on one or both eyes
  • The surgery is performed in an outpatient surgical setting under general anesthesia
  • Your child’s pediatric ophthalmologist will develop a surgical plan that is appropriate for your child’s strabismus

Types of strabismus surgery

There are two basic types of strabismus surgery:

  • Muscle recession: In this strabismus surgery, a muscle’s insertion (or point of attachment) to the eye is moved back. This is done when a muscle is thought to be pulling too much or is too tight. The recession allows the muscle to relax so the eye can straighten.
  • Muscle resection: In this strabismus surgery, a muscle is tightened without changing its point of attachment. This is done when a muscle is thought to be weak or not pulling enough. The resection tightens the muscle, therefore helping to straighten the eyes.

A single strabismus surgery may include a combination of recessions or resections of one or more muscles. In addition, the surgery may be performed in one or both eyes.

At Henry Ford, patients come first.

The Henry Ford Department of Ophthalmology is committed to providing our patients with compassionate, personalized care. We feature the most advanced treatments in eye care and are dedicated to vision research – always staying at the forefront of innovation. A leader in Michigan, as well as one of the largest ophthalmology practices in the United States, we treat more than 55,000 patients per year at 12 locations throughout southeast Michigan. In addition, our team works closely with Henry Ford Medical Group physicians in other departments, providing multidisciplinary, coordinated care for those patients who need it.

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