A pterygium occurs when the covering of the white part of the eye grows over the clear window at the front of the eye (the cornea). They occur more commonly in people from tropical regions who have had high UV exposure.
This video provides an overview of Pterygium and what causes it.
This video shows how Ptyergium and treatment options affects vision.
Along with looking unpleasant, pterygiums can cause irritation and dryness. They can also interfere with vision by distorting the cornea which can throw the eye out of focus. This can also interfere with achieving a good result after cataract or lens surgery. A pterygium can also grow across the line of sight and leave permanent scarring.
Pterygium removal is a surgical procedure. It is performed at a day surgery and does not require an overnight stay.
Patients experiencing discomfort and have a red elevated growth on the white of the eye, typically on the nasal side.
30-45 minutes per eye.
Removes unsightly growth, improves comfort and can improve vision.
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The eye is made numb by an anaesthetist who will give you medication to ensure you are relaxed. The procedure takes about 30-45 minutes where the pterygium is carefully peeled off. This leaves a raw area on the white part of the eye which is covered by stitching in place a graft from the covering of the white part of the eye, generally from under the upper eyelid.
The eye is often quite irritable for a week after the procedure. The stitches will eventually dissolve. Drops will need to be used for a month after surgery. You can anticipate recovery time to be about a month.
As with any surgical procedures there are risks. However with modern surgical techniques these risks are less than 1%. These risks include infection, recurrence of the pteryium, double vision and scarring.
Most people require a week off work. You should also not drive for the first few days after surgery.
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