A pterygium is a growth on the front surface of the eye (conjunctiva and cornea). Although its cause is not well understood, it is more common in people who work outside in the sun for many years but any one can develop a pterygium.
For pterygiae that have grown very large, are frequently irritated or have grown so far onto the cornea that they interfere with vision, surgical removal is the only treatment. Prior to surgery, lubricating drops and ointments should be used. If these do not make a patient comfortable, surgical removal may be indicated. It is also acceptable to surgically remove a pterygium if the patient wishes to have it removed for cosmetic reasons or if it interferes with contact lens wear.
The surgical removal of a pterygium is considered a very safe procedure. However, as in any surgery, complications are possible, but uncommon, including infection, bleeding, chronic irritation, redness of the eye, re-growth and very, very rarely loss of vision and the eye. It is also possible, but rare, to have reactions to the local anesthesia used to numb the pterygium prior to surgery. These reactions are usually mild but can be severe or even life threatening reactions.
Pterygiae may re-grow in 5% to 30% of cases all over the world.
As with any surgical procedure, no guarantees can be made about the results of surgery.
Call for an appointment for an evaluation to see if you're a good candidate for this surgery.
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