The term pterygium refers to a fleshy thickening of the conjunctiva which has grown onto the surface of the cornea. Commonly seen in people with high outdoor exposure to UV light, dust and wind, such as fishermen, surfers, and golfers, the treatment of a pterygium is to reduce its exposure to UV with sunglasses or a hat, and to use lubricant eye drops regularly.
If the eye becomes inflamed, anti-inflammatory eye drops may be required. If the pterygium continues to grow and threatens vision, or becomes cosmetically unacceptable, it can be surgically removed.
The autograft technique, in which conjunctival tissue is harvested from a healthy area and grafted into the defect left after removal of the pterygium, is most commonly used. The graft can be held in place by stitches or a tissue glue (TISSEEL).
Pterygium Surgery (Keratectomy) – Post-Operative Eye Care
- Leave the eye patch on overnight
- Start the drops on the first morning post-operatively, four times a day for one month
- Generally this is a painful procedure and the eye could be uncomfortable for about a month
- Do not swim for one month post-operatively and avoid rubbing the operated eye
- Wear a protective shield over the eye while sleeping