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Definition of Strabismus surgery

Strabismus surgery: Surgery for strabismus, a condition in which the visual axes of the eyes are not parallel and the eyes appear to be looking in different directions. The concern is that the brain may come to rely more on one eye than the other and that the part of the brain circuitry connected to the less-favored eye fails to develop properly, leading to amblyopia (blindness) in that eye.

Strabismus surgery is designed to increase or decrease the tension of the small muscles outside the eye. (These muscles are called the extraocular eye muscles. The six extraocular eye muscles move the eye in all directions.) When strabismus surgery is needed, the sooner it is done, the better the chance of the child achieving normal binocular vision.

Adults sometimes also need strabismus surgery. This can be done in a standard manner, as in children. Or adjustable suture surgery may be done because scarring from old eye surgery, inflammation from eye muscle disease, or neurological eye weakness makes it difficult to gauge how much tension to take up or let out to straighten the eyes. With adjustable suture surgery, it is possible to adjust the tension of the muscles after the surgery.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=20105
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

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