Chapter 23: Making the Decision to Proceed with Surgery
A Patient & Parent Guide to Strabismus Surgery
George R. Beauchamp, M.D.
Making the decision to proceed with surgery. No parent wants to put their child through a surgery. Yet all of the signs were pointing toward it. My husband and I were faced with a tough decision whether we should proceed with an eye muscle surgery for our child. I highly encourage anyone faced with a similar decision to sit down with your child’s ophthalmologist and ask the questions you need answered in order for you to make an informed decision. Ask about the risks of surgery, the surgery itself, how your doctor thinks the surgery will help your child, and what you should expect to see with your child as he/she heals. Our doctor was wonderful in taking time to answer all of our questions. This helped us immensely in feeling comfortable about our decision. If you are still unsure whether you are making the right decision after speaking with your doctor, get a second opinion from another medical professional. It can only help in your decision-making process.
A recurring question of ours in considering surgery was this: Can we really put Matthew through a surgery, given his young age? And yet, in speaking with our doctor, we began to realize two things. First, once there is an indication for surgery, there is no advantage to waiting. The younger the child, the more flexible and adaptable is their neurology. Second, the older the child is the more aware he/she is of the concept of surgery and the more anxious the child can be. We found both of these points to be very compelling when we were weighing our decision to go forward with surgery.
Read about Explaining Eye Surgery to My Son
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