Prior to Surgery:
All patients must have a complete history and physical (H&P) by their primary medical doctor or pediatrician so that all appropriate precautions can be taken. Some additional testing may be necessary as deemed by the pediatrician or ophthalmologist. You will need to check into the hospital early on the morning of surgery. Patients need to have nothing to eat or drink after midnight the night before surgery. Small children and infants may be allowed clear liquids up to three hours before surgery only if approved by the anesthesiologist. Surgery is generally done under general anesthesia. An IV is usually put in once the child is already asleep. Expect to stay at the hospital most of the day.
Surgery may involve both eyes or just one. The extraocular muscles are on the outside of the eyeball and are taken off and resewn to a new location to tighten or weaken the muscle. No laser surgery is used and the eyes are not removed from the orbit. There are no cuts made to the skin. Surgery typically lasts one to two hours. Sutures dissolve on their own in strabismus surgery and need to be removed in eyelid surgery.
Risks of Surgery:
Pain is minimal and most children are back to full energy in 24-48 hours. The eyes may be red for 2-3 weeks and occasionally months. The risk of eye surgery is minimal, but please discuss your specific procedure with your ophthalmologist for a more thorough explanation.
There is no heavy lifting or strenuous activity for 2-3 weeks. You need to avoid public pools, dirt and sand for 3 weeks. The child is encouraged to use their eyes as much as possible, so watching TV and reading are allowed. The child may or may not need glasses following surgery. Postoperative eye drops are often prescribed and should be taken as directed. Some older children and adults have surgery performed with an adjustable suture that can be tweaked following surgery. If this is the case, an eye patch is put on following surgery and should not be removed until the doctor arrives to adjust the suture.
San Antonio Community Hospital
999 San Bernardino Rd.
Upland, CA 91786
Main: (909) 985-2811
Pre-registering: Business services (909) 920-4702
Pre-op (phone interview) (909) 579-6888
Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center
1798 N. Garey Ave.
Pomona, CA 91767
Main: (909) 865-9500
Pre-registering: (909) 865-9546