update on Braden – before and after surgery pictures

Linda wrote to me to ask that I share some new pictures of Braden.  As she said, when she was researching Braden’s strabismus surgery, she scoured the web for pre and post surgery pictures.  (She wrote in August about their journey to finding the right eye doctor for Braden).

Braden shortly before his surgery

Braden shortly before his surgery

Braden, post surgery

Braden, post surgery

Braden, post surgery - look at those straight eyes!

Braden, post surgery - look at those straight eyes!

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43 responses to “update on Braden – before and after surgery pictures

  1. Hi all!
    Ann thanks for posting these! Well, it’s hard to believe that at this time last year I was crying myself to sleep some nights because I didn’t have the “right” answer to my baby’s eye issues! I look at the pictures above and sigh with relief, I know I have made the right decision so far! When I come across pictures of Braden pre-surgery, I am amazed at how bad his eye turn was! The above picture isn’t even great example of how far the eye turned in at times.
    Now we travel back to the doctor once every 3 months, and each time I hold my breath, hoping that he will not utter the “S” word again. Please note, this is not to say that we will not be using vision therapy, I haven’t decided that yet. Neither doctor, (the ped ophth or the opt) believe that Braden is using both eyes together at all times, in other words he is still alternating, however, it’s difficult for even an obsessive mommy like myself to see! With each click of the camera, I immediately turn the camera and look for the reflection in Braden’s eyes, and no longer experience the sick feeling I did before surgery!

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  2. Thanks Linda, it’s so good to read this update! I can really relate to everything you’ve written. It’s hard to look back at old pictures of Zoe pre-surgery and see just how badly her eyes were turning in. And I, too, obsessively check every single photo – zooming in on the computer to see if the flash reflections line up. So far so good, but I still worry (we’re parents, I guess we always worry, right?).

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  3. My oldest has had glasses since he was four. He blames me for his turned in eye…although I don’t have one but his vision is also terrible.
    He just started looking into lasic. Luv the pic’s your little one looks great. Nice blog

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  4. Awww … he’s beautiful!

    My 4y/o son has Astigmatism and hates wearing his glasses … It’s ever so frustrating to try and explain that he needs them …

    Great blog!

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  5. I’m 15 and dealing with this eye condition has not been easy. I don’t remember myself without been corssed eyed, but i think the last time i was not crossed eyed is when i was five and it’s been hard living with dis. I have alway tried to meet someone crossed eyed that is around my age but i never did but reading what some people worte has made me find out that i am not the only person wif this condition.

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    • Hi Tanny, thank you for leaving a comment. I’m sure it must feel lonely, but do know that you aren’t alone. There is a great group on Yahoo called “Eyes Apart“, I know that they have many adults who have strabismus (crossed eyes), and I imagine some of them are closer to your age. You should check them out. Best of luck to you! Please stop by again and let us know how you’re doing.

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  6. I am very new to all of this and LOVE this site! My son was just diagnosed with strabismus a few weeks ago and we picked up his first pair of glasses today! I was obviously so scared and upset the first few days but am starting to feel a little better. (Doesn’t help my stress level that I’m expecting my 2nd in 2 weeks!!)

    Linda-Braden looks great! It’s so nice to see all the pics because my son’s eye looks exactly like Braden’s did before his surgery. It’s just so comforting to know there are others going through the same thing. I am wondering does Braden still need his glasses after surgery??

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  7. Welcome Sara! And congratulations on the upcoming arrival of your second. I’m glad you’re feeling a bit better. How is your son doing with the glasses? I’d love to add his picture to our gallery if you’re open to that!

    I’ll let Linda go into more detail, but I do know that Braden still wears glasses. My daughter Zoe has a very similar story to Braden’s she also still wears glasses. The surgery is only intended to fix the cross that the glasses don’t fix, so it’s almost always the case with strabismus surgery that the child will still wear glasses.

    Best of luck and keep us updated!

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  8. Thanks Ann! Ryan is actually doing really well so far. This is only the 2nd day but he doesn’t seem to mind them too much. I’m sure I’ll face some difficult days, but so far so good!

    I’d love to add his picture to the gallery, should I email it to you?

    Thanks for letting me know about Braden’s and Zoe’s stories, it’s comforting to hear 🙂

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  9. Hi Sara,
    Good to hear that Ryan is doing great with his glasses. Brady never really gave us a problem, thankfully! He will continue to wear glasses, at least until adolecence, but I am thankful each day that his eyes look straight. I don’t think he has full 3D vision, however, I did notice that he did better with steps immediately after surgery!

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  10. Our Dr. said that Ryan will most likely be in glasses until adolescence also. I don’t think his prescription is very strong but I am just so new to this whole glasses thing! His good eye is +1.75 and his bad eye is +2.00. He is still doing great wearing them except for the fact that they get dirty constantly. I hate taking them off to clean them bc then it’s just a pain to get them on him again. I hope the more he gets used to them the less he’ll put his fingers all over them! I also think I need to get them adjusted this week. Which from what I’ve been reading here, everyone deals with often! They keep slipping down his nose and then he just looks over the top of them. I’m sure we’ll figure it all out soon 🙂 (I HOPE!)

    Linda-That is so great that you noticed Brady doing better with stairs right away! How long ago was his surgery? How old is he now?

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  11. Can anyone offer any advice?? My 22 month old son is having strabismus surgery next Thurs. What should I expect? Or are there any helpful tips for his recovery etc?

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    • Hi Shannon, that’s exactly the age Zoe was when she had her strabismus surgery in August. I’ll tell you that it was both easier and harder than I expected, but Zoe did wonderfully.

      I wrote a long post about what happened that day and during recovery here: https://littlefoureyes.com/2008/09/01/surgery-redux/

      I was very surprised by how quickly Zoe was back up and running the afternoon after then surgery, but she was pretty moody that whole week – and she HATED the eye ointment and said it hurt – but you have to do that. She was also pretty sensitive to the sun, so we kept her inside for the first few days after the surgery, and then tried to keep her away from playgrounds with sand or a lot of dirt that might blow into her eyes.

      Let me know if you have any specific questions. And good luck to you and your son! Let us know how it goes

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  12. Hi Shannon. Our daughter had strabismus surgery at nine months. The worst part was coming out of the anesthesia as other mothers can attest. Once she got over the after effects of the anesthesia, she was back to her normal self within a day. It is very common that the site where they did the surgery is red, but it did not seem to bother our daughter. You will most likely have to put in antibiotic eye drops or ointment to prevent infection after surgery, but I would definitely recommend eye drops over the ointment. This can be a struggle in the beginning. All the best to you and your son! I hope all will go smoothly and this will straighten his eyes permanently!

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  13. Hi Shannon!
    Brady was close to that age also when he had surgery. I was so glad I had read up on it before so that I knew what to expect. You now know that coming out of the anesthesia will be the worst, the kiddos just don’t know what happened to them, they are very confused and disoriented. Hopefully, you can get him calmed back down and to sleep and he can sleep it off. I was also prepared for the “bloody tears”. So that helped. Brady was back bouncing around that night. I couldn’t believe it. His eyes were red for a few weeks, but not near as noticeable as I thought they would be!
    Let me know if there is anything else I can help you with!!

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  14. Hello, I am from El Salvador. My english isn’t very good. My 8 and a half baby boy has strabismus, esotropia, he goes to surgery next monday, I am very frightened and scared about it. Isn’t he too young for surgery? Will he needd more surgery later? I pray God that everything will be fine. I had the opportunity that a hospital ship calle USNS Comfort arrived here last sunday, the ophtalmologist saw my baby boy and schedulled the surgery, they are from the US Navy. Please tell me what should I expect before and after surgery. The surgery will be in the ship, it’s the largest hospital ship in the world. about the anesthesia, Brady and Zoe how many surgeries? just one. They eyes look very straight now, for me these photos are a relief and first God my son will be like that soon.

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    • Hi Lisseth, I wrote a longer post about Zoe’s strabismus surgery, you can read it here: https://littlefoureyes.com/2008/09/01/surgery-redux/

      There’s also a very helpful write up by the Children’s Eye Foundation about what to expect, though it’s a longer document – http://www.childrenseyefoundation.org/For-Parents/Patient-and-Parent-Guide-to-Strabismus-Surgery.aspx

      Both Brady and Zoe have had only one surgery for strabismus, but needing additional surgeries is a possibility, I believe that happens in one in every 5 or so cases.

      The anesthesia is very safe. Scary, so see them put under anesthesia, but it is as safe as such things can be.

      Best of luck to you and your family! Please keep us updated and feel free to send us more questions. This is tough, to see your baby go in for surgery. Be kind to yourself, it’s normal to be worried about this, but you’ll need to be strong and calm for your son so that he feels safe.

      Ann

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  15. Thank you for your support. I’ll read the articles, I already read yours and it is very complete. How months old was your baby when he went to surgery? My baby has 8 and a half months. Pray for us

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    • Hi Lisseth, our daughter was also just nine months old when she went in for her first surgery for strabismus. As scary as it was, it truly was the anesthesia that I was the most concerned about. I am glad for you, you can have it done in a big Navy ship. The doctors are very highly trained and will take care of your little baby. I know he is so young, and it is so hard to watch our children to go through such hard things, but they are so much tougher than we are. Your baby will not feel anything as they put them to sleep before they can even think about anything. Our anesthesiologist was so good. He just massaged her temples as they put the mask on her to put her to sleep and before she knew anything was happening, she was asleep. They did put an IV in her foot and a breathing tube in her after she was asleep. The surgery only lasted about 1.5 hours and was on both eyes. When they brought her to me after surgery, she was just beside herself, but I was still nursing her at the time, and she could breastfeed (breastmilk is considered a clear liquid, which meant I could also breastfeed her until just a few hours before and then right afterwards) right away and calmed right down and went back to sleep. She did cry all the way home in the car, but the rest of the day, she was pretty much back to normal. She saw the world in a whole new light. She did have a sore throat for a few days afterwards from the breathing tube and her eyes were red, but no other sign that she had just gone through surgery. It would be a lot harder if I had to put her through this surgery now that she is 2 as it would be a lot harder to explain now. She just forgot right after surgery that anything had happened to her as she was just so young. So, take heart, your baby will make it through this like a trooper! We will be praying for your family! I know it is so tough! God will take care of your little baby and you, too!

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      • Did your daughter need another surgery? or just one when she was nine months old. I am really scared, some people tell me that I should wait until he is bigger, 2 years old for the surgery, my local doctor always recomend me that, he only prescribed the patching (all day alternating on each eye everyday) and glasses. He has been wearing them since march 4th. I am very confused, the navy OP tell me all the complications that could happen as in all surgerys, infections, hemorragies, under or over correction, that further surgeries may be needed. I pray God to guide me. Are yor eye’s daughter straight? Does she wear patches or glasses? Please answer me Corrie. And thank you very much

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  16. Well, I wish I could say that my daughter’s eyes are completely straight. We are still patching, and my daughter has been wearing glasses since two weeks after surgery. We also patched Ellie alternating eyes since she is four months old. Since she was so young at the time, I was not as consistent as I should have been with the patching. Ellie had surgery on both eyes and immediately after surgery, they were completely straight, both of them, but soon after surgery (about two weeks), her left eye started turning in again. So, this is when she got her first pair of glasses. Since then, we have also been patching, since her brain just prefers using the right eye (this eye is straight since the surgery). Yes, our ophthalmologist is recommending a second surgery now on the left eye. We have been doing vision therapy for a few months now and though it has helped, we may not be able to prevent a second surgery. I can tell you that it is highly recommended to do the surgery before they are two years old, because this is a very critical development period of their eyes and their response to the brain. I know you don’t have much time to make a decision, and I can’t help you make it, but if I had to do it over, I still think that I would have put her through the surgery, because now at age 2, it will be a lot harder! Yes, we also prayed this would be the one and only surgery she would have to go through, but it was not to be for her. It is never good to make a decision when you feel under pressure to do it. Yes, the doctors have to tell you of the potential risks of surgery of any kind, but they are very rare. I, too, was very concerned about all of that. Have you been consistent with patching? Does your son keep the glasses and patches on? Have they been able to take very accurate measurements of his eyes or has he been resisting with the measurements? You can ask me anything you like, I will be glad to give you any information I can to hopefully make the right decision. My personal e-mail is caekoenig@yahoo.com, if you like to send me a message, and I can give you my phone number if you would rather like to talk on the phone. We will be praying for you! All the best to you and your little man!

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  17. Hi everybody, I just want to tell you that we did it, we went to surgery last monday, everything was fine thanks God. But I’m a little worried because I have noticed that when my son looks down his eyes put a little weird, is that normal? I know that I must wait 6 weeks to see the final result. Take care ladies and thanks for your time.

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    • Hi Lisseth, I’m so glad that things went well – thanks for the update! I know that his eyes will be sore for a few weeks, which is why they tell you to wait 6 weeks to know the full results of the surgery. I would keep an eye on it and call the doctor if things seem really strange or get worse, but like Nicole, I could see the cut and stitches in Zoe’s eyes for a couple of months after the surgery, it was really strange, though I think no one else could see it.

      Keep us updated! I hope his recovery keeps going well.

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  18. Hi Lisseth, glad to hear he’s doing good! His eye will look a bit funny when he looks down because that is where they cut the eye to do the surgery. It will take a while for it to look normal again, but luckily you only see it when they look down. My daughter had her cataract surgery in March, and the area that they cut is still slightly visible – mostly just it looks different than the rest of her eye. Maybe not as smooth? But that will go away. Keep us updated!

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  19. Hello,
    My son’s eye muscle surgery was 6 weeks ago. Up until yesterday his eyes seemed back in alignment. His eyes have reverted and look as bad as they did pre-surgery. I am heart broken. Can anyone relate, offer advice?
    Thanks,
    Shannon

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    • Hi, Shannon, I am so sorry about your son’s eyes! I hate to be a bearer of not so good news, but Yes, our daughter’s eyes were perfectly straight after surgery, but two weeks later the left eye started drifting back in, soon after that, she could make that eye disappear, it was so bad. We went back to the eye doctor and she prescribed glasses and we went back to patching. Two years later we are still patching and looking at a second surgery. But this is more typical with the type of strabismus she has (from birth) and may not be the case for your son. Like Ann said, he may need his first pair of glasses or he may need a less strong or stronger prescription. With our daughter, the brain was still seeing a double picture after surgery and therefore started using the stronger eye’s image and not using the weak eye at all, hence the eye drifting inward. I would raise all your concerns with the PO and see what his recommendations are! All the best to you!

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  20. Hi Shannon, oh how disheartening to see your son’s eyes crossing again. Has your son had his follow up appointment? Zoe’s eyes started drifting apart a little bit after the surgery and it was because she needed a different (less strong) prescription.

    Keep us updated

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  21. Shannon,
    almost 6 weeks to the day after my 3 year old’s surgery I noticed his eyes drifting in again. I called the doctor (who of course was out of town for the next week) and was told by the nurse that it may be because he was tired, since it was at night…but it wasn’t. They aren’t straight, somtimes, but not always. We are going back next week. His prescription has not been changed since having the surgery. We were scheduled to go back Sept 2 and doctor said he was going to leave the prescription the same until then, so HOPEFULLY it is something as simple as the need for a prescription change. SO heartbreaking, and defeating after being told that they were straight and that we could stop patching for the next three months at the post op appt until the follow up in Sept.
    Nurse and pediatrician keep telling me its a process and second surgery is common…but still…
    I can relate to you and am going through the exact same thing.
    Count down to appt on Aug 12…

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  22. Hi Shannon, next monday my son will have 6 weeks after his surgery. Thanks God my son has most of the time his eyes straight but when he looks down his right eye goes down, I must tell you that I feel really bad when I look at him, he uses glasses, he’s almost 10 months old. Unfortunately I have to change of doctor because the old one gets a little mad because I didn’t follow his instructions. My son went to sugery on a navy ship who arrived to my country El Salvador on June. His progress has been tremendous, now he can sit by himself, crawls, stands up and he tries to walk, before the surgery he didn’t do anything of that. So, I found another pediatrician ophthalmologist who has similar ideas with the american doctor who did the surgery, but now she is inhability because of a surgery.

    I pray God his eyes keep straight, I cand understand how you feel, I thought before the surgery that he will be fine. We must trust God, he knows the best and he will do the best for our sons. Take care

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  23. Hello, I would just like to say “thank you” ladies for the support you give through sharing your personal experiences. I tried to read as many posts as I could. My just-turned-one-yr-old daughter will be going into strabismus surgery in two days. I had/have many questions and am so glad I stumbled on this site. I will try to post an update following her surgery.

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    • Good luck, Norma, and let us know how it goes. A lot of us have been through this, and while the surgery isn’t easy, for most of us, I think it was easier than it expected. I’ll be thinking of you and your daughter in the next couple of days. I hope the surgery goes smoothly and successfully.

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      • Hi Ann!
        We made it through the surgery, praise God! It was difficult to see though. My daughter has been recovering well. We go for her check-up Monday morning to see if patching is going to b needed. Thank you for responding to my post. I didn’t realize how long ago all the other postings were until after I commented. So then I was like, wow, I hope these people still keep up with this site..lol. Thanks again and if I get some pictures of before and after I will try to post them. Please pray for a quick recovery and no more surgeries. I don’t think I could put my daughter through it all again.

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      • By the way, I got a little confused with all the stories, you are Braden’s mom, right? If so, has he needed any additional surgeries? How is doing?

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        • Ok. I just answered my question. Linda is bradens mom. Your is daughter Zoe. Has she had any additional surgeries and how is she doing?

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        • Norma, I hope she recovers well, such a relief to have it behind you, isn’t it? Zoe’s surgery was 3 years ago, and she hasn’t needed any more surgeries so far. She’s doing great, she needed to patch for a few months earlier this year, but otherwise, her vision is good (still wears glasses), and she has some stereovision.

          Don’t worry about commenting on old posts, there’s a bunch of us that still keep up even with the old posts!

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  24. Norma,
    Great news about the successful surgery! Braden is still doing great! I do notice a slight turn when his glasses are off, of if he is tired- but I don’t think anyone else would ever notice it. My eye turns as well under those conditions. Please keep us posted!

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    • Hello,
      It’s been one month and almost a half since my daughter’s surgery. She just turned 14 mo and so far so good. Thanks for the update. The doc said at her follow-up after surgery that everything looked great and that she wouldn’t need patching for the time being and we have another appointment 3 mo after surgery so about 1 mo and a half from now. She has been doing great. Her left eye would turn out when she looked in the distance but doesn’t so far. I do notice a smaller turnout though when she is really tired. I don’t know if I am being too critical because I’m always checking? I tried posting pictures last time I was on here but gave up too quickly when I couldn’t figure it out, sorry. Ill try again another time.
      – Norma and Ariella

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  25. If you’d like to follow this link there are videos of Braden reading where you can see his eyes. I’m sure all of you can notice the slight turn at times- (being that we’ve all been through it!). It’s also interesting that the one night that he didn’t have his glasses on he covered up his left eye while reading. I thought it may help for those of you still looking for before and afters to actually “see” his eye in action.

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  26. My daughter just had strabismus surgery on her left eye in houston yesterday. Thank you for posting the pics of braden. His eyes look great! My daughter has kept an ice pack on her eye since we took the patch off so I havent seen the full results yet. She is twelve so I think shes kinda hesitant about people seeing her eye so red. Love the pics anyway. Cute boy! Congrats.

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