Pterygium Treatment & Surgery
For a smaller pterygium, eye drops or an eye ointment may help clear redness and soothe irritation. A larger pterygium that affects your comfort or sight can be removed with surgery. The most common procedure, the pterygium is removed and healthy tissue from another part of the your eye is put in its place (conjunctival autograft). Your surgeon (Dr. Velasquez) may also use a piece of donor tissue called an amniotic membrane graft to put in place where the pterygium was removed. This outpatient procedure will take place at the surgery center.
Your eye will be numbed using a needle or eye drops. Dr. Velasquez will remove the pterygium. Then the surgeon will take healthy tissue from somewhere else on the conjunctiva or use donor tissue to fill in the hole left by the pterygium.
What to expect after Pterygium Surgery?
After surgery, you will probably need to wear an eye patch for a day or two. Dr. Velasquez will tell you when to return to your normal activities. You may use steroid eye drops for several weeks to months after eye surgery. This medicine helps to keep swelling down in your eye and prevent the pterygium from growing back.
It is possible that having pterygium surgery can change the shape of the cornea, making your vision blurry. This condition is called astigmatism.
It is also possible that a pterygium can grow back after surgery. Here are ways to help keep a pterygium from growing back:
- Wear sunglasses that wrap around the sides of your face to protect your eyes form sunlight.
- Protect your eyes in dry, dusty conditions with wrap around sunglasses, goggles or other proper eyewear.
- Use artificial tears in your eyes when you are in dry conditions.
- Take your eye drops as prescribed by the doctor.
Content courtesy of American Academy of Ophthalmology
Dr. Velasquez will help you find the ideal method of treatment if you experience the symptoms of Pterygium.