Strabismus, also known as lazy eye, occurs when the eyes are misaligned. As a result of this misalignment, your eyes cannot focus on the same object because one eye will always be turning in a different direction. Typically, patients with strabismus are born with the condition, though adults can develop it later in life from disease, poor vision in one eye, or a previous head injury. Adults with onset or acquired strabismus will typically experience double vision, which can often be treated with prism glasses.

Surgical treatment for strabismus is most effective when the patient is still young. However, the condition can usually be improved at any age. It is important to note that even when strabismus is corrected in children, it can return later in life, requiring additional treatment. Our pediatric ophthalmologists perform surgery to adjust the muscles that support the eye, allowing them to properly move with the eye as you focus on objects near or far. To learn more details about how the surgery is performed, you can view our powerpoint presentations below, discussing the recession (loosening) procedure and resection (tightening) procedure.

To show the life-changing effects of strabismus surgery, we like to share the story of one of our patients who had been “cross-eyed” her entire life, which lead to teasing by others. When she was a child, her parents were informed her strabismus could be corrected, but it may come back. As a result, they refused treatment, since they believed the problem would return. When the woman visited our practice looking for relief from the condition, we explained how strabismus could come back after surgery, but if this were to happen, we assured her we can correct the problem again. After performing the surgery, her strabismus was improved, allowing her to have straight eyes for the first time in 29 years.

Please have a look at the before-and-after photos below to get an idea of how surgery to adjust the eye muscles can improve vision. If you are seeking relief from the effects of strabismus, or if you would like to learn more about how the condition can affect adults, please contact Eye Doctors of Washington.


Esotropia before surgery

Esotropia before surgery

Aligned eyes after surgery

Aligned eyes after surgery

Even though the patient’s left eye was not crossing, this patient required surgery on two muscles of her right eye and one muscle of her left eye. Without operating on the left eye muscle, there would have been some residual eye crossing after the surgery.

“My right eye was permanently turned in. I was having constant double vision and headaches. I was referred to Dr. Vicente at Eye Doctors of Washington for evaluation of my strabismus. He took the time to explain my problem. After a couple of office visits he had sufficient eye measurements to offer me eye muscle surgery to align my eyes. The surgery went well and after a few weeks, my eyes had healed and my double vision and headaches resolved. I am thankful to Dr. Vicente and his staff.”

Decades of scientific research have produced surgical tables and graphs which let your eye surgeon know how much to move each operated muscle, and how many muscles to operate depending on the amount of eye deviation present.

View Dr. Vicente’s Scientific Lectures


*Click on an image above to enlarge.