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Why is squint surgery in children in decline?
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  1. C J MacEwen,
  2. H S Chakrabarti
  1. Ophthalmology Department, Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, Dundee, UK
  1. Correspondence to: Miss Caroline J MacEwen Ophthalmology Department, Ninewells Hospital and Medical School, Dundee, UK; c.j.macewendundee.ac.uk

Abstract

Background/aims: Paediatric squint surgery appears to be declining. This study aims to identify if this is so and, if so, why.

Methods: Retrospective review of (1) episodes of paediatric squint surgery in Scotland and Tayside, 1986–2001, (2) presentations to orthoptists (Tayside) during 1986 and 1996.

Results: (1) Overall, a 58% fall in surgery in Scotland and 59% in Tayside. For esotropia, a reduction of 63% (Scotland) and 69% (Tayside). (2) Incidence of esotropia was unchanged; surgery for these esotropes fell (from 55% to 30%) (p = 0.013). More children received maximum hypermetropic correction (p <0.001) and more developed stereopsis (p = 0.003).

Conclusion: Childhood strabismus surgery, particularly for esotropia, is declining. The maximum hypermetropic correction has improved the functional results.

  • squint surgery
  • children
  • refraction

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