Simultaneous Versus Sequential Ptosis and Strabismus Surgery in Children

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The authors sought to compare the clinical outcomes of simultaneous versus sequential ptosis and strabismus surgery in children.


Retrospective, single-center cohort study of children requiring both ptosis and strabismus surgery on the same eye. Simultaneous surgeries were performed during a single anesthetic event; sequential surgeries were performed at least 7 weeks apart. Outcomes were ptosis surgery success (margin reflex distance 1 ≥ 2 mm, good eyelid contour, and good eyelid crease); strabismus surgery success (ocular alignment within 10 prism diopters of orthophoria and/or improved head position); surgical complications; and reoperations.


Fifty-six children were studied, 38 had simultaneous surgery and 18 sequential. Strabismus surgery was performed first in 38/38 simultaneous and 6/18 sequential cases. Mean age at first surgery was 64 months, with mean follow up 27 months. A total of 75% of children had congenital ptosis; 64% had comitant strabismus. A majority of ptosis surgeries were frontalis sling (59%) or Fasanella-Servat (30%) procedures. There were no significant differences between simultaneous and sequential groups with regards to surgical success rates, complications, or reoperations (all p > 0.28).


In the first comparative study of simultaneous versus sequential ptosis and strabismus surgery, no advantage for sequential surgery was seen. Despite a theoretical risk of postoperative eyelid malposition or complications when surgeries were performed in a combined manner, the rate of such outcomes was not increased with simultaneous surgeries. Performing ptosis and strabismus surgery together appears to be clinically effective and safe, and reduces anesthesia exposure during childhood.

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