Video

Voice Over:
5 year old Jake, and mum Kirsty, came to see Dr Dawn about a problem with Jake’s eyes.

Dr Dawn:
Does it bother him?

Kirsty:
With his glasses off. He hates having his glasses off because it takes him a long time to focus, because he’s long-sighted as well so that doesn’t help.

Voice Over:
The family check in to the eye hospital at Adam Brookes Hospital. An orthoptist takes Jake through a number of tests to measure the extent of his squint.

Orthoptist:
Look again, you’re nearly right, look again.

Jake:
H!

Orthoptist:
Yay!
What’s underneath that L?

Jake:
Umm, a curly c?

Orthoptist:
A curly c.

Voice Over:
These results get passed to Miss Louise Allen, a specialist eye surgeon, who explains how she’ll straighten Jake’s eyes.

Louise Allen:
So when we do the operation to correct the squint, we are weakening one of the muscles in the eye and what we do is take the muscle off and pop it back on the eye, sew it back on about 6mm back, which loosens the muscle, makes it less efficient.

Jake:
You mean you have to break the muscle off?

Louise Allen:
I put it back on again, don’t worry, it should be fine.

Kirsty:
It’s in the wrong place, so it’s making your eyes go funny.

Louise Allen:
It’s a little bit tight at the moment, so we have to weaken it, make it a bit looser. Alright? And that will stop making your eye turn in.

It’s going to be sore for at least 24 hours, and they are quite miserable to start with, but they usually sleep fairly well the first night and after that it’s usually fine. It’s just the first bit of the day after the operation, and the trick is really, we give you some calpol and some nurofen, to take that you have to keep going quite regularly for the first 48 hours or so. But after that it’s ok. So are you going to see me early in the morning? And don’t sneak any food ok?

Voice over:
It’s the day of surgery and despite Jake’s smile he’s a little apprehensive.

Kirsty;
Today’s operation day and we are waiting for him to go down at the moment. Just hopefully everything will go well and we can take him home this afternoon. Feeling a bit scared or are you ok? Little bit scared?

Dad:
Little bit scared.

Nurse:
Alright, if you’d like to go through, if you’d like to follow me.

Voice Over:
First Jake is given an anaesthetic gas to make him go to sleep. the operation he’ll be having is called a bimedial recession and is expected to take 30 minutes.

Jake’s eye is clamped open, and a traction stitch is made to give Dr Allen, complete control of the eye during the operation.

Louise Allen:
The first stitch I am going to do is the traction stitch to hold the eye over, so I can get to the muscle which is on the inside corner of the eye here. Now I’m going to make a little cut in the outer coating called the conjunctiva, that covers the eye. That’s the bit that gets inflamed when you get conjunctivitis. That’s the muscle right there, that’s the one that’s over working for him. Squints are pretty common, they affect about 5% of the population. The most important thing about squints is that if you catch them early enough, you can often, especially with childhood squints, you can often stop the child from needing surgery from correcting them with glasses. So it’s quite important that if you notice a child over the age of 6 months squinting from time to time to get it checked out. Unfortunately, for Jake he wont be able to use his eyes together, although I can make them look a lot straighter. And that’s mainly because he has already lost that ability by the time his squint was noticed really. This means he’s got a higher chance of needing future squint surgery, about 30% chance of needing some more surgery at another time in his life, in adulthood because the eyes wont be working together. But we can prevent that happening if we can prescribe glasses early. So we are now going to cut the muscle off its original place of insertion onto the eye, so we are going to measure back from the original place of insertion here, so Neil is marking me a little mark with the ruler, so I can see how far back I am moving it. So I am going to secure it on to the eye here. And then what you should be able to see here is the muscle further back from it’s attachment before. For the type of squint that is due to long sight, if Jake had been able to come and been given long-sighted glasses at a very early age, when he was just starting to squint, it would have probably prevented him from needing this operation. They squint without their glasses, but with their glasses their eyes are straight, and they get 3D vision. Unfortunately, Jake has lost his potential to see in 3D vision, which is a shame really.

Voice Over:
The specialist repeats the same procedure on the other eye.

Louise Allen:
Jake’s operation went very well indeed, completely routine. He’s going to be a little bit sore for a couple of days, but after that really he should adjust to it quite well. He’s got some drops to use for about a week or so, that will just calm the eye down, make it feel more comfortable. So he should be able to see fine from when he wakes up. There’s usually a little bit of screaming for the first few hours but after that he should be fine.

Voice Over:
Jake was treated as a day case, so after a few hours in recovery, he was free to go home, and back to school a few days later.

Jake: I can see!

Voice Over:
4 weeks later and mum, Kirsty, has noticed a big difference since Jake’s operation.

Kirsty:
It took him a while to recover, and his eyes were really sore afterwards, but now they are a lot better focused. They look nicer, whiter, not so red and patchy in-between. Had we not have had the operation for him they would have probably got worse. He was having troubles concentrating and things before, now he seems to be a lot better at concentrating, he doesn’t seem tired all the time.

Voice Over:
Jake had a marked convergence squint, which meant his medial recti, the main eye muscles, were over-working, causing his eye balls to move inwards. After a 30 minute operation to weaken these muscles he now has more control over his eye movements, resulting in a straighter eye alignment.

Kirsty:
It was a bit stressful, like any operation is for anybody I suppose. I think we are quite happy that we went through with the operation and we are happy with the results.

Read the video transcript

We take an in detail look at the operation to correct a childhood squint.

Patient Name: Jake
Condition: Squint
Specialist: Miss Louise Allen, Consultant Opthalmic Surgeon
Hospital: Addenbrooke’s Hospital, NHS Cambridge
Length of Operation: Approx 30 minutes

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i m husnain live in italy. my problem is also squint last year i operated my eye but there is no to much change when i talk to some one hesitate where r u seen i m here. please help me? when i see in tv programe in chanel 4 embrassing bodies i like when the operation going well . my pray always with embrassing bodies team thanks. i m 26 year old.





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Im 17 years old, and my right eye has been crossed since i was about 6 years old. I hate it and I have no confidence when it comes to meeting new people or being in social places. I have researched my condition and treatments online, but no one can seem to give me a straight forward answer as to what to do. I want to know how to go about getting my eye corrected and also the cost of the surgery. It would be a big help to me if you could tell me these details that I want to know. Also, I live in Ireland, so are any different arrangements needed to be made?





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My daughter sholanda has being wearing glasses since she has being 3 years old she also has a squint to her left eye when we watch your program 3weeks ago do we still need to see our doctor just like most people just for a second opinion because she would also like to get this one corected as she belive this will improve her confident.we live in londons se. we await your answer thank you.





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I am waiting for the date of my 6 year old daughters operation to correct her squint at the moment, it has been really helpful to see exactly what will be done, resources like this are so valuable to parents when you are making this decision for your children. Thank you to Jake and his family.





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Hi my six year old son has just got and appointment for an operation to correct his squint, he has problems with both eyes but they are only operating on one for the time being. My son has only just turned 6 and he is very clingy still, he doesn't like strangers and every appointment at the hospital is still a nightmare, he won't lay on a bed even he has to lay across my knees to let doctors put drops in etc, I know the operation is going to improve his quality of life in the long run as your hear of so many people that loose confidence later in life because of squints but I as a mum I feel like I am taking a lamb to the slaughter house if you get me. Do I try and explain to my son that he needs to go for an operation or just take him like its a normal routine appointment and deal with it when we get there? My 7 years old daughter overheard the conversation with the doctor and blurted out in front of my son, does he have to have the operation and my son started stressing and was so upset so I changed the subject quick and this was a while ago before we even got the date for the op.

I am 19 years old and my left eye is squint. I don't like being squint because when I greet people they always look at the back because they think I m talking to someone else, so I feel discouraged to be around people. I live in joburg I wanted to know where to get help to fix my squint eye? please help!!!





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Go to your doctors and get a referral to the hospital to the eye clinic. If your squint is there all the time and glasses don't improve it, chances are they will do surgery on it.

Does squint condition occurs sometimes temporarily in children due to sleeplessness?





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Hello im 14 i have had a squint since i was born but the doctor didnt notice this since i was in about year 1 at my school and have been wearing glasses ever since i wish i had a operaiton so i didnt have to wear glasses because i get bullied





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I'm 16 and ive had a squint since i was 2, and worn glasses ever since. With my glasses on you cant notice the squint, but when you take them off its very noticable. When i ajust my eye i can make my eye go straight, but it just goes back in the corner again. I want contact lenses, but without the surgery i cant have them:( and when i went to my opticions, he said that if i have the eye surgery my eye will be straight but if i put my glasses back on i wont be able to see throught them and i will be able to see the squint again, is that true?, also, during the surgery do yo have to be put to sleep, or can you have local anestasia? my mum said if being so im 16 i can go local, but im not sure? thankyou.





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Please go and see another optition, at least ask if you can trial some contact lenses. Then at least you can see if wearing them straightens your eye. I've had a squint since childhood which hadn't been corrected with surgery and like you, glasses straightened it. However i've wore contacts for years and they do the same job as if i wore my glasses. They correct my squint.

my son is 4 and has been put forward for this surgery in the next few weeks this video is a fantastic resource to help parents understand what is involved. It illustrtates exactly what is described on paper but is far more comprehensive. thank you. I hope this video wont be removed its a very valuable tool.





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yes my son is 2 and he had one too he recover well and he is getting much better at his work i thenk u for showing this

I have heard that this op sometimes doesn't work and that it sometimes requires a second op.Having said that, I had a squint and was operated on 40 odd years ago. Mine has stayed fixed (which I am, of course very grateful for). Can anyone tell me if the technique for this operation is still the same as it was then? It felt like I had to spend about 6 years in hospital then, but now I notice it's day surgery.

my grandaughter, is 6 and she needs to have this operation done soon,her eye is ok when glass are on, no boby notices, but when she take her glasses off everyone says things, kids can be so cruel to each other,





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