What Is the Recovery Process of Adult Strabismus Surgery?

Following adult strabismus surgery, patients can expect to take anti-infection eye drops and try to reduce swelling, according to Massachusetts Eye and Ear from the Harvard Medical School Teaching Hospital. Both eyes remain red for one to two weeks after surgery, and the redness may not completely disappear for several months.

A combination antibiotic and steroid eye drop, or an ointment, may be prescribed by doctors following surgery. The antibiotic prevents an infection, and the steroid helps the eye heal faster, notes Massachusetts Eye and Ear. Most patients can resume normal medications unless told otherwise by a doctor. If significant swelling occurs, people can reduce swelling with ice packs for 10 to 20 minutes every hour in the evening. A plastic zipper bag filled with frozen peas conforms to the shape of the eye socket better than ice. Frozen peas in a sealed bag prevents water leaks after the peas thaw.

Patients should avoid swimming for up to one week after adult strabismus surgery. A small, dark bump on the white portion of the eyes may appear, which shows an adjustable suture that dissolves after six to eight weeks. The final alignment of the eyes is not known until one to two months following the procedure, explains Massachusetts Eye and Ear. Adult strabismus surgery involves cutting and reattaching a muscle that moves the eye to properly align the organs if they are misaligned. The surgery takes between 30 minutes and two hours.