If your child’s eye has developed a squint or become crossed, your eye surgeon will first determine whether it is associated with a structural or systemic disease. Once that is ruled out, they may diagnose the condition as acute comitant esotropia, which will require a surgical intervention.
While misaligned eye surgery has been traditionally used to correct this condition, in recent years, surgeons have successfully used non-surgical Botox injectable treatments to correct esotropia.
Oculoplastic surgeon Dr. Jennifer Hui provides eye care procedures to patients in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, La Quinta, Coachella Valley, Riverside, Redlands, Yucaipa, Loma Linda, and surrounding locations.
When to Perform the Procedure?
When your child’s eye has become crossed all of a sudden, prompt treatment is vital. In absence of a timely correction, risk of abmlyopia (lazy eye) and a permanent reduction of depth perception (stereopsis) increases.
However, despite the risk, your surgeon may prefer to wait for a few months before perform strabismus surgery. During this waiting time, they can evaluate whether the esotropia may improve naturally. This is a rare occurrence, but it will avoid the need for surgery.
Botox injections are a safer and completely non-surgical alternative, which will not disturb the eye muscle anatomy at all. Therefore, if the eye surgeon has expertise in Botox injections, they will usually prefer to treat a crossed or misaligned eye with Botox.
Surgical and Botox Injection Procedures
If a traditional strabismus surgery is performed, the eye surgeon will separate the targeted muscle from the eye and position it in a new location with sutures. This will mitigate the deviated gaze as the tension on the eye reduces. While this will involve some scarring, your child’s eye alignment will immediately improve.
In case of Botox treatment, your eye surgeon will inject botulinum toxin directly into the eye muscle to temporarily weaken it. While some patients can see noticeable results within a day, almost all patients will regain proper eye alignment within one to two weeks.
Results of the Procedure
Whether you undergo the traditional strabismus surgery or a Botox injectable treatment, the treatment goal remains the same in both procedures. In both cases, the treatment will target the medial rectus muscle of the affected eye, which controls the eye’s inward-turning position and movement.
Effectiveness of Botox
The muscle weakening effect produced by Botox will slowly wear off over three to four months. But while the medial rectus muscle is temporarily relaxed, it will be allow the outward pulling muscle (lateral rectus) to strengthen itself. The brain also has a chance at the same time to regain control of eye alignment and binocular vision.
Therefore, even with Botox injections, the corrected alignment may last indefinitely. A research study published in the American Journal of Ophthalmology has shown that the efficacy of results with Botox injection is quite similar to that of traditional strabismus surgery.
However, researchers say that some children may not respond to Botox as expected, in which case, standard surgery is recommended. In some cases, Botox and surgery may be combined for more effective results. Oculoplastic surgeon Dr. Jennifer Hui receives patients from Palm Springs, Palm Desert, La Quinta, Coachella Valley, Riverside, Redlands, Yucaipa, Loma Linda, and nearby areas for advanced eye care treatments.
For more information about cosmetic surgery and nonsurgical eye treatments and procedures performed by Oculoplastic Eye Surgeon Dr. Jennifer Hui for patients in and around Palm Springs, La Quinta, Coachella Valley, Palm Desert, Riverside, Redlands, Yucaipa, Loma Linda, California and surrounding areas call 760.610.2677 or click here to contact us.