About Strabismus Surgery in Children
It can be difficult to know how much a child can understand about strabismus surgery and what they should be told. Experience has shown that children, even children as young as three or four years of age, have a remarkable general understanding of what their problem is and what is being proposed. As the years go by, both that understanding and the consequent anxieties and concerns tend to become more significant and complex. When it comes to sharing the details of the surgical plan and experience, a person can be trusted to tell the truth about what they wish to know and in what detail. Your doctor may ask, or you may volunteer on behalf of yourself or your child, how much detail you wish to have presented, both before and after the surgery. Parents will have the best idea for their children, as individuals, what should be shared. One potential strategy is to simply say and ask as follows: “The doctor is going to fix your eyes. Do you have any questions?” Or, “What would you like to know about that?” Please share with your doctor what you would like to know and in what detail. Hopefully, what comes before this will have helped!
Parents may have a number of reactions to strabismus in their child. Please remember that a substantial part of a parent’s job description is to worry and even second-guess themselves. Strabismus is a problem that fits into the category of “it is what it is”, and we happily have a good range of treatments for it. There is certainly no need for blame or guilt, in that there are no circumstances where something was done wrongly by a parent or where something could have been done to prevent the condition. The impressive experience of seeing children bounce back very quickly from surgery is up lifting; most parents will note that the experience was harder on them than the child.
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