My strabismus surgery

Several have asked how my strabismus surgery went. I had eye muscle surgery in May…lateral rectus recession. My eyes had been drifting a lot more prior to the surgery, and had become increasingly unstable and uncomfortable. It was difficult to hold a focus to read. My eyes are much more comfortable since the surgery, less tension, and I get a lot less headaches now. My eyes don’t drift as spastically as before surgery. They still drift though, especially at close range. I still can’t focus to read very long. My eyes look straight, but one eye sees things rotated slightly clockwise, the other slightly counter-clockwise since the surgery, and things appear higher with one eye than the other, so it was a bit of a trade-off I think.

My surgeon had told me at my one month checkup that I would likely need medial rectus resection in the fall. But when I went back last month, he didn’t seem to think that would help and made prism glasses instead. The prism glasses didn’t help either. Things were very distorted with them, and I saw two images of everything. (Update 11-15-05: I’ve since gotten prism glasses from my local optometrist, and I can see out of them much better. I have to hold things very close to my face to read with them, and can’t read for a long time like I’d hoped. But am trying to adjust to them so they will be more useful. I’ll keep you posted.)

I think if I had been able to get help sooner it may have been easier to turn things around. I’ve had strabismus over 50 years and it’s gradually gotten worse. One of my main goals with this blog is that others might find the help they need early. Not that I’ve given up. I’m grateful for the help I’ve gotten and continue to do vision therapy and work to improve my eyes. I’m learning that success may not be measured in whether I am able to read a lot again, but in what I’m able to make out of the vision I have at this point in my life.

[Update September 24, 2007: On April 12, 2007, I shared an update about my second strabismus surgery done on January 4, 2007. There are links in that post about problems I was having related to my first surgery in 2005. There is also a link at the bottom of that post to my June 23, 2007 post which updates my latest progress. I still have difficulty maintaining a focus to read. I still have difficulty finding things in a page, and I still have difficulty finding locations I’m not familiar with when driving. But I am thankful for the progress I’ve made. You can fill in the gaps of my story by clicking the Lois’ story link in the sidebar.]

Update 7/21/2012: George Alexanian has supported and encouraged many in this area of Eyes Apart. You’ll find his list of “Suggested Questions to Ask Your Strabismus Surgeon” in the right sidebar of each page of this site. Look for “George’s questions for surgeon” under “Support Groups and Helps.” Thanks George!

575 thoughts on “My strabismus surgery”

  1. Kathy:
    I see you found the other group and got a welcome. I am glad. I do not regret at all no getting adjustables because after three and a half years, my eyes have not drifted, but optically my right eye is out 5 diopters, which you cannot tell at all. That is where I was two weeks after the procedure. Most surgeons will however recommend doing both eyes with adjustables, which may be a good idea for best results. In my case, the deviation was so bad (50 diopters) that she said she would do the maximum adjustment she could do, so adjustables would probably not help. The only probllem with adjustables is that they take longer to heal and have some discomfort from whatI have read over the last seven years. As far as redness, they will give you special sun glasses for outdoor use which you will need for a couple of weeks. Exactly two weeks after the surgery, I went to a trade show where I had a booth and the redness was almost gone and I could look my potential customes straight into their eyes for the first time in my life (over 60 years) and they did not look away or past me. What a feeling!. You will need to take one or two different drops three times a day for about a month after the surgery. One suggestion. Turn off the lights above you when you put your drops in. Yes, the white part of the eyes are scary red for the first few days, then quickly improve. Indoors, you can probably wear regular sun glasses. There no eye patching in case you wondered. By the way, I sent my lsit of questions to Lois who will review it and I am sure post it for all to see.

  2. Kathy:
    I answered you and tried to post it, but it disappeared. If you do not get my lengthy replay, let me know.

  3. Here is a link to George Alexanian’s Suggested list of questions to ask your strabismus surgeon. George first provided this list in our Eyes Apart Strabismus Support Group at Yahoo. He later fine-tuned it and allowed me to post it on the blog so it is easier for people in the group as well as visitors to this site to find.

    I posted a link to George’s questions on the sidebar so you can always find it. Look for “George’s questions for surgeon” under “Strabismus Groups and Helps” in the sidebar on the right of every page of this site.

    I also placed a link to Goerge’s suggested questions at the bottom of the original “My Strabismus Surgery” post at the very top of this page.

    George has helped so many of us here in the “My Strabismus Surgery” area of this site, and I know you will find his suggested questions very helpful also. We appreciate you, George!

  4. Hello all, thanks so much for all the posts! They are very informative and encouraging.

    I am mid 20’s male who has had exotropia in one eye since I was probably 7 or 8 years old (maybe longer, not sure). That eye has severe vision problems including retinal scars that I was born with. So I am almost blind in that eye. I only use the other eye. However, even the “good” (and straight) eye has pretty poor vision, about 20/50. I recently had to get Avastin injections in that eye to fix a leakage in the back of the eye which was clouding vision and could’ve made my vision even worse permanently.

    I would like to get surgery for the exotropic eye in order to make it straight. I called my optometrist who I’ve seen for a long time. He advised that it would work but only for a few years. However, I’m going to contact a specialist in adult strabismus to get his opinion also. At this point, I think it would be worth it even if I had to get another surgery in a few years. Or, maybe by that time Botox techniques will have improved even more, and I could just get some injections to adjust it. I just feel that the strabismus is such a turn-off to people that I would never have any luck getting married, etc, as sad as that may sound. However, I don’t really even blame people for looking at me strangely – I even think it looks bad! I only remember meeting one other person in my life with strabismus like mine, and honestly it’s hard NOT to look at their eye when you meet them – it just stands out so clearly.

    I will post back with updates!

  5. Well, as I continued searching the internet, I came upon this video of “superior rectus recession”:

    If strabismus surgery is anything like that, then maybe I should just forget about it. That looks absolutely horrible and risky. Since my outward eye has almost no vision anyway, I currently do not have any double vision, nor do I expect any vision improvement from the surgery. The only benefit of surgery would be the straightening. But what if the doctor made a mistake? Could that eye just be left even more damaged? Then I’d be much worse than I am now…

  6. Lois:
    I guess this site has died out. I guess my list of questions killed it. It was a good run since 2005. I will occasionally respond on the other site. Keep me posted on your situation. You have my personal e-mail. Thanks for all you have done for us.

  7. Max posted on Sept. 27 and apparently I missed the notification of that, George. I’m sorry Max, but your comments are here now. George, you can see Max’s comments by scrolling up on this comment page. A person’s first comments are are automatically held in queue for approval to prevent the site from being overloaded with spam.

    I’ve got several things going on now, and the site seems to be doing better now so I’ve not taken time to move it to the new server yet. I did get some software that is supposed to make the move easier, but I will have to learn the software first!

    As soon as I get caught up a bit and have a chance to move Eyes Apart to the new server, I plan to start posting to the site again. Then things should pick up here again!

    Your list is great, George and I appreciate everything you have done here. I’ll be in touch with you as soon as I can get Eyes Apart moved. Sorry I’m so slow.

  8. Hello ,
    I am 21 years age , i am thinking of getting a surgery done for my wide squint in the eyes . I am very much confused about what to do ?? and whether i should get the surgery done , My major problem with my squint is that it is socially unacceptable and it will also affect my career . please help me ….

  9. Sudip, you can talk with others who have experienced surgery by joining our Yahoo strabismus support group. Just click the purple “Join now” button at the top if you’d like to join our conversations.

  10. Hi I am. 18 and. I have a lazy eye it only started to show when I was 14 .. It has changed me and my life to be honest, I find it hard to look at people straight on because I just feel I’m being judged and I hate that feeling. Even just normal things like going for dinner and chatting with friends I don’t feel comfortable doing because people just mention my lazy eye. I try to avoid the subject with them but deep down I just feel like I’m weird and I just need help to fix this. Having a lazy eye has definately made me more subsconsious about the way people look at me. It just puts me down

  11. Michelle:
    I have had strabismus since I was two. In 1956 I had surgery when I was 11. Since then it slowly drifted for the next 60 years until I could no longer look at people in the eyes, and if I asked a question, they looked around to see who I was talking to, and some snickered as they walked away. My eye went out to 50 diopters. I could not even look at myself in the mirror. I procrastinated for twenty years scared of the surgery. Finally in 2008 I could no take it any more and at 63 years of age, had it done. It was a life changin experience for me . For the first time in decades I could look at people direclty. Four years later after the procedure, no one including myself can detect any deviation. Hundreds of us have visited this site for help (not so many recently), and have been helped. Lois set this site up in 2005 and now she also has another one on Yahoo which is very active. If you have any questions, we are here to help. You can go to the Yahoo group at the top of this page and join that very active group. There is probably is no feeling that you have that most of us have not experienced. You are far from being alone. Just ask.

  12. Michelle:
    Do you mean that your lazy eye has drifted outward (exotropia) or inward (esotropria), and that is the reason why you are self-conscious? If that is the case, I recommend you get a measurement of the deviation in diopters from an opthomologist. Within 10 diopters is considered cosmetically straight. As I said, mine was extreme at 50 diopters exotropic. Many people have a dominant eye, meaning the other is lazy. I recommend you make a list of questions before you see the opthomologist, preferrably one who specializes in strabismus conditions and surgery. If you need help making that list, I can help you with that.

  13. Hi George,

    I am 64 and have had 4 surgeries over the years, the first at 3 years of age and the last 3 years ago. Apparently my left eye moved both inwards and outwards as a child and after the first surgery I wore a patch for maybe 3 years. Also my eyes weren’t aligned horizontally although this wasn’t obvious to anyone other than an opthamologist. The last surgery has left my left eye – the affected one – looking worse than previously. The surgeon operated on both eyes and now my left eye appears larger, higher and more prominent than the right eye and is now turning in slightly whereas previously it was turning out at a distance and if I knew it was happening
    I was able to straighten it. My eye still feels tights and as if it is rotating upwards and inwards slightly. I went back to the surgeon and he was happy with it. I have consulted another surgeon who said he could operate again but
    there are no guarantees. He did say he could make the appearance better but that is what the first surgeon said so I am understandably nervous about attempting to have another operation. However I would be interested to know if anyone else has had a similar problem and found a solution as I do work and find it extremely embarrassing meeting new people as they all react and some wont even look at me after the first glance. I am even avoiding friends I have known for years because of the involuntary reactions I get. I dont want to cut myself off socially but I am finding it harder and harder to mix with people. I don’t want to sound like a sad sack as I do cover my emotions well when I am with people, but I would really like to be able to have some improvement.

  14. Jan:
    Sorry I have been away from this site for a while. I have not had your surgery experience, but I know what you mean when you say you are having trouble looking at others. I could not even look at myself in the mirror or in pictures. I think you should use another surgeon. You can go to the yahoo group of eyes apart where it is much more active. This group was very active until about a year ago. Depending where you are located, someone may be able to recommend another surgeon.

  15. Jan:
    Try the “eyes apart strabismus support group at Yahoo. That is the site Lois posted above in her July 21 2012 post. That should get you some responses.

  16. Hi everyone, I’m new to all this. I recently had strabismus surgery and I was wondering how everyone else went after surgery? I have had esotropria ever since a very young age in my left eye. I’m now on my 7th day since surgery and I am experiencing terrible double vision. This is really scary and I am still unable to drive. I am quite fine inside the house only as soon as I go outside everything from a distance becomes double.Even closer on my left side aswell. Eager to drive and just get back to normal. Is there any hope out there?? Thanks

  17. Lillium, it is not unusual to experience double vision after surgery. Surgeons usually over-correct to make up for the tendency to drift back some during the days following surgery. Talk with your surgeon about this. I encourage you to join our Yahoo email group also. Just click the purple box at the top. Many there have had surgery and you will find support there.

  18. hi, i have strabismus alternans. i’ve had 2 surgeries when i was a kid that only aligned my eyes for several months afterwards.
    I was hoping you could guide me in how to find an skilled eye surgeon in the south florida area, I would like to get my eyex fixed hopefully for good this time.

    thank you so much

  19. Jane, click “find eye surgeon” in the sidebar and follow the prompts to find one in your area. You could also joine our Eyes Apart Yahoogroups mailing list (the purple box at the top of every page) and ask there for recommendations for a surgeon in your area.

  20. Hi Team,

    My age 28 male by birth i have Squint eye(mella kannu).

    i need to know can you provide any surgery for this and price details how long i need to stay hosptial..


  21. Hello Srvas,
    Click the link “Find eye surgeon U.S. or international” in the sidebar of any page on this site. This links to a page where you can search for a strabismus (squint) surgeon in your state or country. Here is the direct link:

    This surgery is usually done out-patient (no hospital stay). But you will need to ask the surgeon you choose questions about your particular needs. Most strabismus surgery is done on children, so those who specialize in strabismus surgery are pediatric opthalmologists. You will need to look for a pediatric ophthalmologist who also does adult strabismus surgery. Quite a few adults get the surgery too.

    You can also join our Eyes Apart email Stragismus Support Group at Yahoo by clicking the purple box at the top of any page on You will find others there who have strabismus and also some who have had the surgery.

    We are just a website and support group. We are not a medical team. You will need to search for a strabismus doctor through the link I gave you above. There is also a link on the sidebar where you can search for a vision therapy doctor. Some in our email support group have been helped without surgery by doing vision therapy.

    Best to you,

  22. This message is for George Alexanian,
    Who did your surgery and where is that Dr. located?

  23. Dee:
    I have not been on this site for a long time. My surgery was done by Dr Andrea Lanier in Fresno, California. You probably will be waiting for a long time at the waiting rooms to see her because she takes a long time with each patient at your first meeting and pre-op, but it will be worth it. She is excellent.

  24. Hi george good day to you,
    I had an accident when i was 6 years old, my left eye was accidentally hit by a firework, then my left eye cant see at all, beacause lack of money i did not udergo any surgery and even check.up. my left eye always going outward. I just wanna ask if it is possible to have a surgery im 27years old now, and how much will it cost? Is it too late to undergo surgery? Plss help me, so hard to deal with people, wherever i go they tease me. I had strabismus for almost 20years, hope u can suggest, i need your advices, tnk u so much

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