Pediatric Eye Muscle Surgery
A Guide to Caring for Your Child
This handout will tell you how to care for your child after eye muscle surgery. If you have any
questions, please ask your doctor or nurse. Our staff is here to help you.
What to Expect
Your child may have an eye patch over the operated eye. You can expect a small amount of
bleeding from the operated eye. Call your child’s eye doctor if the eye patch is soaked with
If your child does not have an eye patch, a small amount of spotty bleeding, swelling, and
bruising is normal. If your child was sent home with an eye box, you can use the sterile solution
and the sterile cotton balls if you need to clean the eyes. We suggest that you apply a cold, wet
compress over the eyes to reduce the swelling, bleeding, and soreness.
To make a cold compress
ξ Always wash your hand before caring for your child’s eyes.
ξ Soak a clean washcloth or packet of 4 x 4 gauzes in a bowl of ice water. Squeeze out the
excess water and apply gauze over each eye. Change the washcloth or gauze when it is
no longer cold, about 20-30 minutes.
If your child has an eye patch, do not use an ice compress on that eye. A dry, cold compress
should be used over the patch.
What to Do
ξ Your child may eat a normal diet.
ξ If the eyes are sore, try to have your child remain quiet the first evening with the head
raised to reduce swelling, bleeding, and soreness.
ξ Use the ice compresses as described.
ξ If your child wears glasses, they should be worn when he is up and around, unless your
doctor has told you to do otherwise.
ξ You may be given a prescription for either eye ointment or eye drops. Begin using the
eye ointment or drops ___________________. Use it ___________ times a day until
your child’s eye doctor tells you to stop. The ointment or drops will help healing and
Follow these steps.
1. Wash your hands well with soap and water.
2. If the medicine is an ointment, you may want to run the tube under a hot tap for a few
seconds to soften the medicine so it is easier to apply.
3. Do not touch the tip of the tube or bottle. This will keep the medicine clean.
4. Have your child lie down or sit with his head tilted back. A younger child will need
someone to support his head.
5. Pull your child’s lower eyelid down with your fingers to form a little pocket between the
eyelid and the eyeball. Support your hand on your child’s cheek.
6. Squeeze a small amount of ointment or instill 1 – 2 drops into the pocket.
7. You may wipe any extra ointment off with a tissue.
8. Put the top back on the ointment tube or eye drop bottle and place it in a clean, safe place.
Note: The ointment may cause a little blurriness for about 10 minutes until it dissolves.
Discomfort or Pain
Often only Tylenol® is needed for pain relief. This depends on the extent of the surgery. Your
doctor will advise you if your child will need something else. Ibuprofen may be used if okayed
by your child’s surgeon.
First Visit after Surgery
If your child wears glasses be sure he wears them to the first clinic visit, unless you were told to
do otherwise. Bring any eye medicine that may have been given to you or prescribed for
your child. Bring the eye box, if you were sent home with one.
ξ Your child may return to school or other normal daily tasks ______ days after going
home, unless your doctor tells you something else.
ξ Your child should avoid activities or injury to the operated eye.
No contact sports for ______ days.
No swimming for ______ days.
Do not get soap or shampoo in the eyes for the first week.
ξ Your child may return to his normal routine such as read, watch TV, play musical
instruments, walk, hike or do other such activities.
When to Call the Doctor
The problems below are very rare. Call your doctor if you notice either of these:
ξ The operated eye turns in one direction and then does not move. This may mean one of
the sutures has come loose.
ξ A pus-like discharge from the eye that lasts throughout the day. It is normal to have
some discharge from the eye when waking up in the morning.
If you have any questions or problems, please call your doctor.
Your doctor: _________________________________________________.
UWHC Pediatric Eye Clinic: (608) 263-6414 (8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday)
Nights and Weekends: This number will give you the paging operator. Ask the operator to page
the “eye resident on-call’. Leave your name and phone number with the area code. The doctor
will call you back.
If you live out of the area, please call 1-800-323-8942.
Spanish HFFY #7277
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright 1/2016 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority, All Rights Reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#4612