Chapter 19: Why It May Be Important to a Person to Have Strabismus Surgery (and How Much)
A Patient & Parent Guide to Strabismus Surgery
George R. Beauchamp, M.D.
Why it may be important to a person to have strabismus surgery (and how much) and persons who have endured strabismus know why it is important. And doctors who specialize in strabismus surgery have come to appreciate how beneficial it can be to have well aligned eyes. The potential benefits have been previously discussed (please see the goals section). It can be difficult to quantify those benefits, particularly as they are likely to vary from one person to another. And it is difficult to objectively measure benefits in children. Nonetheless, how such benefits compare and relate to other medical and life circumstance conditions are beginning to emerge. Such studies have been done and are being validated in adults. The results are striking. If we accept that the benefits in adults would be (at least) equal to those in children, we may extrapolate the results of studies in adults to children, hence all persons with strabismus. Using a method called utility analysis—utilities are measures of the quality of life associated with a health status—one can relate how important, cost effective and beneficial strabismus surgery is.
While the data is preliminary, one can say that to have strabismus (and experience its effects) is roughly equal to moderate vision loss in one eye or experiencing a small stroke! When asked whether they would surrender a portion of their remaining life, on average persons with strabismus responded that they would give up approximately 10% of their remaining life to be rid of strabismus! Strong testimony indeed.
Read about A Parent’s Perspective on Strabismus Surgery
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