A squint, known medically as strabismus, describes the situation in which one eye points straight ahead while the other turns inwards or outwards, or looks up or down. The result of this is that the brain favours the straight eye over the other eye, and the eye that is misaligned often becomes ‘lazy’.
A lazy eye develops because the nerve pathways in the optic nerve do not form properly.
The eye needs to be used for this to happen, and in a child with a squint, one eye is ignored, so those important nerve pathways never develop. Adults who retain a squint from their childhood, or who develop a squint later in life, may be treated by surgery to straighten the eye.
Surgery for a squint
Patching or using drops can help improve the function of the lazy eye but it rarely straightens of its own accord. Squint surgery repositions the muscles around the eyeball and is done to make the eye point in the same direction as its partner.
This is a minor operation but it is usually done under a general anaesthetic. Recovery time is fast, and usually requires only an overnight stay in hospital.
Squint surgery – what is involved?
The first step is a pre-operative assessment to measure the degree of the squint and to examine how well the eye muscles work. If the eye muscles on one side are paralysed or do not function well, this can affect the results of the squint surgery. The normal checks of blood pressure and suitability for anaesthetic are also done.
Adult squint surgery can be performed with a local anaesthetic, which makes it possible to check how well the eyes are aligned before the surgery ends. It is also possible to complete the operation under a general anaesthetic but to leave an adjustable stitch in place.
The procedure for squint surgery in detail
Squint surgery usually takes only 20 minutes and consists of the following stages:
The skin around the eye is opened up slightly so that the surgeon can gain access to the muscles that hold the front of the eyeball in place.
The muscles are then either tightened by removing a small section from the eyeball surface and then attaching it in a new position further forward, or loosened by reattaching the muscle further back.
Why choose The London Clinic
Excellence in one place
We operate as teams of experts with world-class resources dedicated to maintaining the highest standards of medical care. You are surrounded by the latest treatments and advice with everything you need to get back to your best health.
Personal care, every time
Exceptional patient care is a way of life for us. Our nurses, clinicians and support teams are dedicated to the care of a very small number of patients, so have more time for you. They’ll be with you every step of the way, tailoring your care around you and giving the peace-of-mind that comes with knowing you’re in the best hands.
We work together as one to guide you through each step of your experience, with complexities unravelled and answers readily to hand. Your personal treatment plan will be laid out for you, with all the details taken care of so you can focus on you.
What's included in your package?
Choosing The London Clinic means your treatment plan will be laid out for you, with all the details taken care of so you can focus on you.
Your treatment package will include:
- Enhanced pre-admission assessment
- Your treatment with our complete care team at your fingertips
- Personalised aftercare and follow-up
We want you to be in control of your health. That’s why we also offer optional services such as comprehensive recovery packages and extra touches for you to choose from during your stay with us.
How to pay
- You can use private medical insurance (PMI) to access this treatment. We work with all major PMI providers in the UK and many internationally
- You can pay for yourself (self-pay)
- If you’re paying for yourself, we have finance options available with Chrysalis