Explaining Strabismus Eye Surgery to Kids
A Parent’s Perspective on Strabismus Surgery, By Linda Warnick
At a younger age, Matthew might not have understood to be anxious about the surgery. But at age five, he was very worried. It helped to reassure him that he was in good hands with his doctor and how much the surgery would help him. It also helped tremendously when Matthew connected with a person who had undergone the same type of surgery and had done very well with it. He offered Matthew such encouragement about the surgery and really rooted him on. After this, we began to see Matthew start to relax about the surgery.
Many hospitals give tours of the pediatric surgical unit prior to a patient’s surgery and Matthew had a very positive experience with this. The medical professionals related so well to him and helped to relieve a lot of his anxiety simply by showing him what to expect (on a very basic level) and how comforting an environment it was in the unit. It was also very helpful for Matthew to hear from them what he might be experiencing after the surgery and how these post-surgical side effects should pass overtime. Indeed, Matthew learned he would have “red eyes” post-surgically and also could experience some double vision. Upon experiencing this after the surgery, it was very reassuring to him to remember what he had been told – that these symptoms should go away in time and that he did not have to worry about it.