Ophthalmological (Eye) Surgery

An infant who underwent pediatric eye surgery

When your child needs pediatric eye surgery, high-quality care is of the utmost importance. Nemours pediatric ophthalmologists are experienced eye surgeons who use advanced pediatric eye surgery procedures, including laser surgery, to treat and repair children's eye problems. Pediatric eye surgery is often done on an outpatient basis, so in many cases, your child may not have to stay overnight in the hospital.

Learn More About Pediatric Eye Surgery

Board-certified and fellowship-trained in children’s eye problems, Nemours eye surgeons perform a variety of pediatric eye surgeries to address or treat a wide range of conditions, including:

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Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington

1600 Rockland Road
Wilmington, DE 19803
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For Appointments: (302) 651-4200

What to Bring
  • photo ID
  • medical and pharmacy insurance cards
  • preferred pharmacy name and phone number
  • names and dosage of all medications, including over-the-counter medication, your child is currently taking
  • guardianship and custody papers, if a legal guardian rather than a parent accompanies your child
Returning Patients
  • Patient Presents Without Legal Guardian (PDF)
    English | Spanish
    Note: A parent or legal guardian must be with a child for a first visit.
Forms & Resources
Returning Patient Forms
  • Patient Presents Without Legal Guardian (PDF)
    English | Spanish
    Note: A parent or legal guardian must be with a child for a first visit.
Resources for Patients & Families
Support Service for Overnight Stays

When parents learn that their child needs pediatric eye surgery, often the first question is: “Is this minor surgery?” While eye surgery for kids may be common, and certainly our pediatric eye surgeons at Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children perform hundreds of pediatric eye surgeries a year, we believe that no surgery is minor.

After all, it’s your child, and we promise to treat every child as our own. So we approach every pediatric eye surgery, outpatient or inpatient, with the utmost care and attention to detail.

You can feel confident that our pediatric eye surgeons have the experience and expertise to provide an exceptional level of care for your child. In fact, Nemours pediatric ophthalmologists have been named among the "Best Doctors in America®" for several years in a row.

Our eye surgeons are specially trained and highly skilled in performing delicate eye surgery for kids, from relatively common procedures like pediatric strabismus surgery or pediatric cataract surgery, to laser eye surgery.

We encourage you to ask any questions you may have about your child’s procedure and pediatric eye surgery, and we are committed to doing all we can to help your child achieve the healthiest vision possible.

Types of Pediatric Eye Surgery
  • Pediatric strabismus surgery: Eye muscle surgery which involves loosening or tightening the muscles in order to improve alignment of
    the eyes.
  • Pediatric tear duct surgery: Used to open blocked tear ducts, these short surgeries are usually performed under general anesthesia and have a 85% - 95% success rate for children 1 year old or younger.
    • Probing: A surgical probe (thin, blunt metal wire) is gently passed through the tear duct to open any obstruction.
    • Balloon catheter dilation: A balloon is inserted and inflated with a sterile solution to expand the tear duct, then deflated and removed.
    • Stent: Silicone tubes (stents) are placed in tear ducts to stretch them and left in place for as long as 6 months and then removed.
  • Pediatric ptosis surgery: Eyelid surgery that lifts an eyelid that may be blocking vision.
  • Pediatric cataract surgery: Removing cloudiness of the lens of the eye.
  • Pediatric glaucoma surgery: Used to lower eye pressure that may be damaging vision.
Pediatric Eye Testing

Electrophysiologic testing, while not surgical, may be performed using anesthesia, depending on the age and ability of the child to cooperate.
These tests take about an hour and are usually done on an outpatient
basis, meaning in most cases, your child won’t have to stay overnight in
the hospital.

  • Electroretinograms (ERG): Used to detect abnormalities related to electrical activity of the retina.
  • Visual evoked potentials (VEP): Helps diagnose and monitor optic nerve disorders, visual acuity problems and other medical conditions that affect the eyes.
About Anesthesia for Pediatric Eye Surgery

Parents often have questions about the anesthesia. Rest assured that during any pediatric eye surgery or procedure that requires anesthesia, our board-certified Nemours pediatric anesthesiologists are right there to make decisions on the best types of medicine to keep your child comfortable.

With specialized training and years of experience, our anesthesiologists are able to provide the highest quality care to even the youngest or most medically fragile patients. We encourage you to share any concerns or questions you may have about anesthesia or sedation.

Preparing Your Child for Pediatric Eye Surgery

Preparing your child for pediatric eye surgery is not as hard as you might think. The key is sharing information at your child’s level of understanding, correcting misconceptions, and dispelling any fears your child may have.

With a very young child, you don’t have to say much in advance, but do encourage older children to ask questions and even bring a list of questions for your doctor.