It’s A Go For Strabismus Surgery

Posted By on March 8, 2007

Lyra will be having bilateral strabismus surgery next Tuesday, March 13th. Both of Lyra’s eyes cross inward. The purpose of this surgery is to straighten her eyes. By improving the appearance of her eyes it will hopefully improve her psychological and emotional development. The realignment of her eyes may also improve her depth perception and improve the likelihood of developing equal vision in both eyes. The following is from an information sheet given to us by Lyra’s pediatric ophthamologist, Dr. Trudi R. Grin called “Understanding Eye Muscle Surgery.” This explains the surgery:
” Eye muscle surgery involves re-positioning the muscles that attach to the eyeball. It is similar to releasing the tension upon reins to a horse’s head in order to control the horse. Muscles are attached to each eye to pull the eyes up, down, left, or right. Surgery to these muscles strengthens or weakens their functioning in order to straighten the eyes. This is done by putting a suture into the muscle, then cutting the muscle off of the eye and re-sewing the muscle at the appropriate position, which in turn strengthens or weakens that particular muscle.”This surgery was originally scheduled for February 27th. We chose to reschedule the surgery after we decided to have some blood testing completed first.
We did not take Lyra to have genetic testing after she was born to determine which type of albinism she had. At the time it wasn’t a priority. We knew we weren’t planning on having anymore children and it wouldn’t have affected how we cared for Lyra. During our planning and preparation for her surgery, we remembered there was one type of albinism, Hermansky-Pudlak Syndrome (HPS), that included bleeding tendencies. We hadn’t seen any symptoms such as easy bruising or prolonged bleeding that would give us reason to suspect HPS, but because we didn’t have the genetic testing, we couldn’t know for sure.
We still don’t know the answer to that question, but we do know that Lyra doesn’t have a bleeding disorder. Because of the time frame necessary to get an appointment and complete genetic testing, we decided to take her to a hematology clinic to test specifically for any bleeding tendencies. A genetic test alone would tell us if she had HPS, but we would still had to of had the blood testing to determine if the platelet dysfunction was present. Similarly, just because all of her blood tests came back normal, this does not tell us she doesn’t have HPS. Because of the risks involved with surgery, obviously testing for the bleeding tendencies was the priority. We plan to schedule the genetic testing after her surgery, hopefully within the next 6 months.

This surgery is an outpatient procedure. We have to be at the hospital by 6:45AM and the surgery will begin approximately an hour after we arrive. They said the surgery should last 45 to 60 minutes. After the surgery, she’ll need to stay in the recovery area anywhere between 30 and 60 minutes, hopefully no longer. After that she will be able to go into a “post-op” room where we can finally be with her again. They told us that assuming everything goes well, we could expect to leave the hospital before noon. Pain after this surgery is usually mild, but we may need to give her Tylenol or ibuprofen for the first day or so. Eye care following the surgery is fairly simple…basically just keeping them clean and free of crusty gunk. “Blood-tinged fluid will ooze from the eyes for a day or so following surgery.” Yipee! Doesn’t that sound like fun.
I’m not really even too worried about the actual surgery. I’m worried about her being put under general anesthetic. That’s what scares me. I know I’m going to be crying my eyes out when I have to hand her over to the nurse. It’s going to be an agonizing 1-2 hour wait. I can barely type this without crying. All I can do is pray and know that I’ll be leaving her in God’s hands.
She’ll be safe.

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One Response to “It’s A Go For Strabismus Surgery”

  1. Heather Kirkwood says:

    I’m thinking about you all today. I’m sure the surgery will go well. It will probably be harder on mom and dad than on Lyra – grin!

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