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Four Year Old Surgery?

(47 Posts)
confusedmamabear Tue 07-Feb-17 12:22:33

Sorry for posting here, it's for traffic mainly! This may be a bit long but please read...

My daughter has a long distance extropia (her right eye veers of into the outer corner when she tries to see something in the distance, it also happens when she cries or the sun is out). She is only 4 bless her.

Anyway, we've been seeing the Ophthalmologist since last year and they have been keeping an eye on things, we went to an appointment yesterday and were told that although her vision seems fine at the moment, her extropia is pretty prominent and goes quite far out when it happens, like sometimes her eye is almost white! So.... we've been given some options and to be honest, I don't know what to do for the best!

1st option - try special glasses which could help control the extropia but could make her shortsighted and not work at all. If it did work, she'd likely need glasses for the rest of her life.

2nd option - corrective surgery, weaken one eye and tighten the other, high chance it would repair the extropia and all this would be over for her. Her sight would be unaffected too. However, this involves a general anaesthetic sad

So, i am currently battling with myself as I don't know what to do. I don't want to put her through surgery at such a young age (and especially anaesthetic) but then again, she would likely not remember it being so young, it could save her vision and also I do worry that in high school she might be bullied for her eye going lazy so it could perhaps protect her from that too. On the other hand, the glasses may help but would she thank me in years to come for basically choosing to impair her vision and succumb her to glasses for the rest of her life and she still has the extropia when I had the chance to possibly cure her when she was younger?

Grrrr! WWYD? sad

Yura Tue 07-Feb-17 12:26:35

Could you request to talk to an anesthesiologist about the risks? It might help you to get a clear picture of what is involved.

NarkyMcDinkyChops Tue 07-Feb-17 12:27:05

I'd do the surgery. My ds has had several generals anaesthetics, I wouldn't worry.

ArmySal Tue 07-Feb-17 12:29:28

My nephew had the surgery for the same procedure a year ago, all went well.

scaredofthecity Tue 07-Feb-17 12:30:54

I would have the surgery. GA is very safe and there is no evidence for long term affects after just a single exposure.
It could make a massive difference to her life and she's so young she'll hardly remember it.

wigglesrock Tue 07-Feb-17 12:34:42

Is it the actual surgery/anaesthetic that's making you wobble? if the predicted outcome of the operation is very positive for your little girl then to be honest I'd go ahead with the operation without much of a second thought. I know it's scary, they seem very little, they are very little grin but obviously with all surgery at any age there is a risk. One of my dds had an operation (tonsillectomy) at 5, I was a bit frightened, your mind goes over everything, she seemed so small but she at that time needed it, the staff were brilliant, she was brilliant, I was a fecking mess. It's made a real difference to her overall health, I think maybe that's what you have to ask yourself - will it make a difference?

teaandakitkat Tue 07-Feb-17 12:36:55

I would hate it, I would worry like mad, i would be a nervous wreck the whole time she was in surgery, but so long she didn't have any other health problems that might make a ga more risky then I would do it all the same.

confusedmamabear Tue 07-Feb-17 12:40:59

Thank you everyone, I can see that surgery is the best option, I'm just so scared!

Wigglesrock - it's both to be honest sad

Armysal - that's so reassuring, thank you! Did it cure it for your nephew?

Yura - I'm not sure to be honest, I could maybe look into that...

confusedmamabear Tue 07-Feb-17 12:41:53

Teaandakitkat - no, she doesn't have any other health problems...

ArmySal Tue 07-Feb-17 12:48:35

It has confused. Whenever he was tired or tried to look at something in the distance, or even turning his head to look at us his eye would turn outwards. He'd started school and was becoming upset because the other children mentioned his 'funny eye' and he began covering it with his hand when talking sad

He had it done, everything went well and his confidence has improved massively. My sister was concerned in the weeks after it hadn't worked but you can absolutely tell the difference now.

confusedmamabear Tue 07-Feb-17 12:50:37

Thank you armysal, that really is reassuring. Bullying is something I'm worried about with my DD too sad glad your nephew is now okay!

Spikeyball Tue 07-Feb-17 12:52:42

I had eye surgery for a lazy eye when I was 4. I can remember being in hospital but I don't remember any feelings of being upset.

ArmySal Tue 07-Feb-17 12:53:41

I'm sure it will all work out well with your Dd flowers

elliejjtiny Tue 07-Feb-17 12:57:18

surgery. I've had that operation done and so has DS2, all fine. Also from age 3 the risks of GA reduce and younger children recover from things like this quicker than adults and even older children so now is probably the best time to have it done.

My DS4 is 3 and is going to have his 13th general anaesthetic later this month. He has breathing problems which complicates things but apart from being extra sleepy after his first major operation aged 6 months and needing a few hours monitoring in HDU afterwards he's been fine every time. And that first time wasn't that bad either, no long term effects.

I understand how you feel though, the thought of it is worse than the reality though.

Okite Tue 07-Feb-17 13:27:01

My DD had bilateral surgery on her eyes when she was 2.5 to correct her squints. It was awful for me, but really straightforward for her.
The worst bit was holding her coming round from the anaesthetic, she was sobbing uncontrollably and was impossible to comfort. Of course, she wasn't really aware what was going on and it was just a reaction to coming round, she didn't even remember it a few hours later.
She got a minor infection in one eye and had antibiotics for a few days which cleared it up. The surgery dramatically improved her squints, by about 90% I'd say. One eye is now perfect, one eye still has a slight turn and she may have another corrective surgery on that in the next year or two (it's now 4 years since her original surgery)
We've had a really positive experience of it and the results were great. In the nicest possible way, it's an entirely routine op for the surgeons. I know it's not for you and your LO though!

DearMrDilkington Tue 07-Feb-17 13:33:53

Surgery, without a doubt.
Make it sound really fun for your dd, and force yourself to feel excited about it to help your dd not pick up on any anxiety.

One small operation and its all over. Get your dd some sweets for afterwards and a bottle of wine for yougrin.

Allthewaves Tue 07-Feb-17 13:35:37


CMOTDibbler Tue 07-Feb-17 13:38:10

I had squint surgery twice - tbh I'd much rather they had got on and done it earlier than all the faffing around trying not to do the surgery. I still squint, but as I'm also short sighted, I'd have to wear glasses anyway so the extra prisms aren't a huge problem

tiggerbounce77 Tue 07-Feb-17 14:03:15

I would personally go for the surgery, it wouldn't have been suggested to you if it wasn't one of the better options. My dd has had 2 surgeries, just turned 1 and then just before her 4th birthday. It's hard for a parent to put a child through surgery but it is sometimes the best option. It can also be very scary for the child, we spent time preparing dd by talking about what was going to happen and also dressing her favourite teddy in a surgeons outfit and telling her that he was doing the operation. Looking back, I wouldn't have changed anything, the 1st op was necessary the 2nd one not so much but has improved things for my dd. I wouldn't think twice about her having surgery if it had been what the doctor had suggested.

user1471537877 Tue 07-Feb-17 14:51:42

Hi op

For a long time I worked in a theatre doing this surgery, it really is very routine and being paediatric only very senior anaesthetists who are extremely experienced will be involved

It's a real game changer for the children like yours and she is still young enough that her brain eye function will be normal

Now from the other side, I have a bilateral compensating divergent squint! It was found too late so I had no option but exercises glasses etc

It was stable till my mid forties but as my reading sight deteriorates it is causing real problems with my squint and I am fighting single eye dominance where my brain is starting to ignore one eye

If I had been found earlier than age 16 and had squint surgery I wouldn't have needed glasses as my standard vision was 20/20 and I wouldn't be struggling at nearly 50 with it as I am now

If my child needed this surgery they would be in and done without question

confusedmamabear Tue 07-Feb-17 16:55:50

Thank you user, that's very helpful, especially seeing it from someone who has worked in this particular area! Thank you and I hope you manage to find help for your eyes!

SomethingBorrowed Tue 07-Feb-17 17:14:07

Difficult decision but I would do the surgery.

bigbluebus Tue 07-Feb-17 17:28:47

Always a difficult decision which no parent wants to have to make about their child. But as others have said, GA is generally low risk in the absence of other health issues - and I say that as a parent whose child had a number of GA's whilst having multiple other health issues. One of the hardest things you will do in life is to leave your child in the anaesthetic room but the Doctors wouldn't be considering it if they didn't think it was the right thing to do. At 4 years of age your DD is probably not going to remember anything about it in years to come. In your position I would be going for the surgery.

TigerBreadAddict Tue 07-Feb-17 17:35:16

If it helps, and it's GA risks concerning you, a child is far more likely to be seriously injured or killed in a road traffic accident than by a GA.
The most dangerous thing you will do with your child on that day, is put her in the car and drive to hospital.
I know it's warped but you might be like me and find that helpful smile

user1471537877 Tue 07-Feb-17 17:44:02

Thanks op, new glasses arriving on Saturday grin but I've had to have new ones every year for the last 5 years and at £275 each time it's getting expensive as they are complex lenses due to the prism

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