Daughter's Strabismus Surgery

We have gone through a hard past few days. My little Emily had her strabismus surgery, to loosen and tighten her eye muscles. Emily was 3 when I noticed her slight misalignment in her left eye. We had her checked out right away and the ophthalmologist prescribed her glasses to try and strengthen her muscle. After one year we did not see any difference in the alignment of the eye, so the ophthalmologist suggested that patch her eye 2 hours a day. We did this for 2 years, without any significant correction. In fact I noticed that by now both of her eyes were misaligned. 

We got a new ophthalmologist and things finally started going somewhere. She started checking Emily every 2 months and said that she was a perfect candidate for strabismus surgery. I was a nervous wreck leading up to the surgery, I was trying to find anything I could online about the procedure and what to expect. I couldn't find much on how kids handle this procedure and decided to write a post to hopefully help someone in the same situation. 

Emily on the day of her procedure. She was giddy and nervous not really knowing what to expect. 

I think the hardest part was the first few hours after the procedure. When Emily came home she couldn't walk so she had to be carried. We got her comfortable in bed. She was crying because her eyes hurt. She fell asleep for an hour or so. She then woke up crying, we applied ice compresses to her eyes and that seemed to help with the pain. 

She was hungry by now since she wasn't allowed to eat after midnight the night of there procedure. 
I made her some scrambled eggs and cut up a banana for her, I had to feed her since she wouldn't open her eyes. I also had to carry her to the bathroom since she couldn't see where she was going. 

The doctor said that she should drink ice cold water and eat cold things because the cold in her mouth can help with the swelling in the eyes. 

I fed her some ice cream and she went back to sleep. 

She woke up crying again. It was so hard to see her this way. I just held her and cuddled with her and helped her hold the ice pack on her eyes. Her tears were bloody (which is normal after the procedure).

By now it was already noon (her procedure was at 8am)
She remembered that the night before I got her a "get well" present and she wanted to open it now. 

She pried her eyes open and I was shocked to see how bloody the inner whites were. I didn't let her see my shock, instead we opened her present. I got her the Princess Sophia Royal Family dolls and a DVD. She asked if she could watch the dvd.

I carried her downstairs and got her comfortable on the couch. 
She watched the movie while she dabbed her watery eyes and applied ice compresses. 

After the movie she started to play with her new dolls. It is amazing how fast she was bouncing back. 

By the evening she was already up and about playing with her brother. I gave her tylenol for the pain every 4 hours. She fell asleep at 9pm that night and woke up around midnight from the pain. I gave her more tylenol and she slept till morning. 

The next day my little sunshine was feeling so much better, but she still complained of pain around her eyes ( she didn't want to wear her glasses) and her eyes were watery (she carried around a tissue)
So I gave her tylenol every 4 hours. Other then that she was back to playing and running around with her brother. 

We had to apply an eye antibiotic twice a day which she hated. It made her eyes blurry for a bit. I would put it on and then cuddle with her to make her feel better for a minute or two. 

By day two we ventured out of the house for a quick lunch and the grocery store. 
She still didn't want to wear her glasses complaining that they hurt her. 
Her eyes were still watery and now they started to itch. 
The itching was the stitches dissolving. 
We stopped giving her tylenol. 

By Day three my beautiful little girl was all better. 
I remember the ophthalmologist saying that the kids usually return to school by the third day, and she was right. If Emily was in school I would have been comfortable to sending her to school by now. 

Other then a little sensitivity to light, she was feeling so much better. 

On day four her eyes are already looking so much better. 
It was Saturday and we spent all day outside.

On the 5th day we went to the zoo and I noticed that her redness got a little worse. But I read that if the child is in the sun (no sun glasses) or in the wind the redness can come back up to a month. 
Other then that she was a happy little camper.

On day 6 ( I have no photo) She felt pretty much the same. 
Her eyes were a bit watery, but other then that she was fine. 

On day 7 we went to our 1 week post op. Doctor was amazed that she looked so good with no bruising or swelling.  She said that her eyes arn't100% aligned but they should fix them self within the next few months. 

Emily also has no depth perception. Which is a result of her misaligned eyes. 
But with this strabismus surgery, she should start getting depth perception in the next year. Which is exciting. Because Emily has no depth perception she isn't able to do things like monkey bars, has a hard time catching a ball, she trips a lot and can not see in 3D.  So it is exciting that now she will be getting depth perception.

To celebrate we came home and baked some brownies.

Now that it has been over a week. Emily's eyes are barely red.
She keeps looking at herself in the mirror excited that they are back to normal. 

We are glad that this whole experience is behind us and Thank God that He blessed the doctors hands who did such a great job on the procedure. 
I also wanted to thank those who kept us in their thoughts and prayers and those who took the time to visit Emily. 


  1. Glad she is feeling better! It would be so scary to have your child go through any kind of surgery, especially to their eyes. Take care:)

  2. what a happy ending to this story! i am sure it was tough watching her be so upset, but i am so happy for her (and you!) following the surgery. she looks much improved already!

  3. She's growing up and into such a lovely girl! Thank God that He's used this surgery to bring healing to her eyes! What a blessing! So glad that she's doing well!

  4. So happy to hear that your sweet girl is healthy and happy! It's so hard to see them hurting. You did an awesome job being her best mama!
    ~ Ashley

  5. Aww.. good to see she is much better now. It pains me to see my child being ill and uncomfortable too, it must have been tough on you too. Well done, mama!