Squint Surgery

What is Squint?

Eye movement is controlled by muscles that allow you to look up and down and from side to side without moving your head. Normally, both eyes work together to form a picture on the retina, which is then interpreted by the brain. As each eye sees a slightly different picture, the resulting image is threedimensional (binocular vision). This allows us to work out whether objects are near or further away (depth of vision). A squint is a condition where one eye turns inwards, outwards, upwards or downwards while the other eye looks forwards. The misalignment of the eye is caused by an incorrect balance of the eye muscles. The medical name is Strabismus.


Squint is a very common condition. It can be caused by:

» Hereditary factors, parents who squint are more likely to have children who squint
» Being long sighted
» Having different refractive errors in each eye
» Being born premature
» Birth trauma
» Illness e.g. high temperature & infections
» Syndromes e.g. Down’s
» Injuries e.g. head injury.

The Surgery

There are six different muscles attached to the eyeball and they tend to work in pairs. During the operation it is normal that for a pair of muscles one is weakened and the other strengthened to make the eye straighter. In some cases adjustable sutures will be used, so that shortly after the operation any minor adjustments can be made to achieve the best possible position of the eye. The operation is carried out under a general anaesthetic and is normally a day case procedure.


» To enable the eyes to work together
» To relieve diplopia (double vision)
» To improve appearance

Please note that in adults, squint surgery is not intended to alter the ability of the eye to see. 


Most eyes will be straighter after surgery. In some cases a secondary procedure may be required to get the optimum cosmetic result. 

» Infection is a rare occurrence.
» The eye can be uncomfortable after surgery and regular pain relief is advisable for the first 3-4 days after the operation.
» Red eye (sub conjunctival haemorrhage) is a very common occurrence after squint surgery. This can take up to three weeks to resolve, but has no bearing on the success of the operation. 
» There is a slight risk of injury to the eye ball with this procedure but it is very rare. Treatment Before The Operation Before squint surgery an Orthoptic assessment is undertaken to monitor eye muscle movement and help the surgeon plan the surgery. The Orthoptic team will be involved in the post operative review. 

A routine Pre-Operative Assessment will be undertaken to assess your fitness for surgery and to address any specific questions related to the operation and aftercare. 

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