BACKGROUND Strabismus correction in children is associated with a high incidence of postoperative nausea and vomiting. The purpose of this prospective, double-blind study was to examine the influence of the surgical method for correction of squint on the incidence of postoperative vomiting. METHODS One hundred and twenty consecutive children aged 2-12 years, scheduled for elective strabismus surgery, were enrolled in this prospective, double-blind study. A standardised total intravenous anaesthesia was given to all children. The development of perioperative oculocardiac reflex was noted and the number of episodes of vomiting during the first 48 h postoperatively was recorded. At the completion of the study, the children who were operated with myopexy according to Faden, were allocated to a Faden group, those without a myopexy to the non-Faden group. All the patients included in this study were operated on by the same surgeon with standardised techniques. RESULTS The Faden group was younger, lighter and the operation time was longer (P<0.05). The incidence of vomiting was greater in the Faden group; 53% versus 12% (P<0.05). The incidence of oculocardiac reflex was similar in both groups; 40% in the Faden versus 28% in the non-Faden group, respectively. The total dose of propofol and alfentanil was similar between the groups. Requirement of analgesics for postoperative pain was similar in both groups. The only independent risk factor for postoperative vomiting was the Faden operation. CONCLUSION The surgical method used for strabismus correction in children has a great influence on the incidence of postoperative vomiting. The Faden operation is associated with a very high incidence of postoperative vomiting; this particular group of patients has to be considered as a high risk group for postoperative vomiting and deserves an antiemetic prophylaxis.