Your Strabismus Operation – what to expect.

Before your operation:

Preop visit:

  • Check vision – better vision will help the eyes stay together after the operation
  • Check the eye position measurements
  • Discuss any new medical health issues/medications
  • Discuss postop strategies, risks, answer questions

Need to do:

  • Admission forms – sign, deliver
  • Glasses – if your glasses have prisms, collect glasses with no prism for use after the operation
  • Chemist – make up antibiotic ointment, bring to hospital
  • Time off – work, no swimming for 1 month
  • Driving – no driving until you adjust to your new position

Day of op:

  • NB must be well
  • No makeup
  • Bring antibiotic ointment with you to the hospital

At the hospital:

  • Anaesthetic discussion/check
  • Anaesthetic may be general or a relaxing anaesthesia before anaesthetic is put around the eye

In theatre:

  • Bring your antibiotic ointment into theatre with you
  • Eyelids, lashes and eyes will be cleaned
  • Dr Dunlop will check both eyes
  • At the end of the operation antibiotic ointment and anaesthetic drops will be put in both eyes

In recovery:

  • The eyes will be blurry from the ointment
  • Dr Dunlop will give you some postop information
  • Glasses on when fully awake


  • Put some ointment into the operated eye/s before going to sleep

Next day:

  • Bring your ointment and glasses (without prisms) to the postop visit (first day)
  • The eyes will be red and blurry from the ointment
  • You may be tired from the anaesthetic
  • Depth perception/3D vision will be different if both eyes have had an operation – use care on steps/stairs and pouring hot drinks
  • Keep your eyes closed in the car or look straight ahead
  • Put some ointment into the operated eye/s in the morning and whenever they feel uncomfortable.
  • This will lubricate the surface and reduce irritation. See postop medication sheet for directions.
  • Lubricating drops are helpful later.
  • Use glasses (no prisms) on, if you use them
  • Dr Dunlop will check the eye position on the first day postop and answer any questions

Postop period:

  • Use medications as per postop medication sheet, reducing each week.
  • Glasses on – this will keep the vision clearer, helping the brain to put the eyes/vision together
  • Eye exercises – the operation has loosened the muscles. Stretch eye exercises prevent tightening of the muscles again
  • Eye position – this will vary while the eyes heal

Glasses check:

  • Dr Dunlop will recheck the eye refraction measurements 4-6 weeks postop. Clear vision is important to keep the eyes aligned.


  • Vision – if the vision is not clear the eyes may turn. The glasses need to be kept up-to- date. Cataracts can blur the vision or cause glare, making it harder to control the eye position.
  • Eye muscles – continue stretch eye exercises to stop tightening of the muscles.
  • Further operations may be required.