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General enquiries:
+44 (0)207 935 4444
Book an appointment:
+44 (0)207 616 7693
Self-pay enquiry:
+44 (0)203 219 3315

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.
  • The skin around the eye is then stitched and the operation is complete.

Treatment cost

The London Clinic offers affordable, competitive self-pay packages for certain treatments.

Patients have the option to spread the cost of treatment with Chrysalis Finance.

Please call +44 (0)20 3613 7502 to speak to our helpful team to find out more and to book an appointment.

Main numbers

General enquiries: 020 7935 4444 Appointments: 020 7616 7693 Self-Pay: 020 3219 3315

Contact numbers for service departments

Other numbers

Concierge service: 020 3219 3323International office: 020 3219 3266Invoice and payment enquiries: 020 7616 7708Press office 020 7616 7676

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