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Can J Anaesth. 2010 Jun;57(6):602-17. doi: 10.1007/s12630-010-9300-x.

Anesthetic management for pediatric strabismus surgery: Continuing professional development.

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  • 1Department of Anesthesia, University of Calgary, AB, Canada. <>



Strabismus surgery is one of the most common pediatric ophthalmic procedures. The purpose of this continuing professional development module is to update physicians on the anesthetic considerations of pediatric patients undergoing strabismus surgery.


The preoperative assessment is important, as patients undergoing strabismus surgery may have an associated neuromuscular disorder, congenital syndrome, or cardiac disease. Malignant hyperthermia is no longer considered as being an issue associated with strabismus. The laryngeal mask airway is used frequently and has been shown as being associated with a low incidence of complications in strabismus surgery. The anesthesia technique can be adapted to decrease the incidence of the oculocardiac reflex and the oculorespiratory reflex, and the use of anticholinergic prophylaxis remains debatable. Since patients are at high risk for postoperative nausea and vomiting (PONV), combination anti-emetic therapy is recommended using dexamethasone and ondansetron. Metoclopramide was not found to provide additional benefit when combined with other anti-emetics. Droperidol is effective, but there remains a black box warning for dysrhythmias. Effective analgesics in this patient population include acetaminophen, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, peribulbar blocks, and subtenon blocks. Topical tetracaine drops have demonstrated mixed results, and topical nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drops were found not to be effective. The use of opioids should be minimized due to the increased incidence of PONV.


To provide optimal care for the pediatric patient undergoing strabismus surgery, it is important to understand the unique anesthetic considerations for strabismus surgery and to appreciate how each decision regarding the anesthetic technique can alter these considerations.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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