Adjustable Suture Technique Is Associated with Fewer Strabismus Reoperations in the Intelligent Research in Sight Registry

Ophthalmology. 2022 Sep;129(9):1028-1033. doi: 10.1016/j.ophtha.2022.04.021. Epub 2022 Apr 30.


Purpose: To compare the reoperation rates after strabismus surgery with and without the adjustable suture technique.

Design: Retrospective cohort study.

Participants: Patients 18 years of age or older in the Intelligent Research in Sight (IRIS®) Registry who underwent strabismus surgery between January 1, 2013, and December 31, 2018.

Methods: Data were collected from the electronic health records of practices participating in the IRIS Registry. The primary exposure of interest was use of the adjustable suture technique, identified by Current Procedural Terminology coding.

Main outcome measures: The primary outcome was repeat strabismus surgery within 1 year of initial strabismus surgery. Odds ratios (ORs) were derived from a multivariable logistic regression model evaluating the association between the use of adjustable sutures and reoperation rate, adjusting for patient demographics and surgical factors.

Results: A total of 34 872 patients who underwent strabismus surgery during the study interval were identified: 72% underwent horizontal muscle surgery, 17% underwent vertical muscle surgery, and 11% underwent combined horizontal and vertical muscle surgery. Adjustable sutures were used in 18% of patients. The overall reoperation rate within 1 year of strabismus surgery was 7.7%. The 1-year reoperation rate was 6.0% for patients treated with adjustable sutures and 8.1% for patients treated without adjustable sutures (P < 0.001). The multivariable regression model revealed a statistically significant 30% decrease in the odds of reoperation within 1 year of surgery when adjustable sutures were used (OR, 0.70; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.62-0.78), a 40% increase in those with a history of prior strabismus surgery (OR, 1.40; 95% CI, 1.28-1.53), and a 9% increase per decade of age at surgery (OR, 1.09; 95% CI, 1.06-1.11).

Conclusions: In adults cared for in practices participating in the IRIS Registry, the adjustable suture technique was associated with a significantly lower reoperation rate within 1 year of undergoing horizontal or combined horizontal and vertical strabismus surgery. Adjustable suture use in vertical strabismus surgery alone did not reduce the 1-year reoperation rate significantly. A history of prior strabismus surgery was associated with increased odds of reoperation.

Keywords: Adjustable sutures; IRIS Registry; Reoperation; Strabismus surgery.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Oculomotor Muscles / surgery
  • Ophthalmologic Surgical Procedures*
  • Registries
  • Reoperation
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Strabismus* / surgery
  • Suture Techniques