A pterygium is an overgrowth and scarring of the conjunctival membrane of the eye. It is frequently found at the inner corner of the eye on the side of the nose but can be on the opposite side of the eye as well. A pterygium is believed to be caused and aggravated by exposure to ultraviolet light in genetically susceptible individuals. A pterygium can be troublesome and it may be necessary to remove it surgically.
The operation is done as an outpatient procedure. We use local anaesthetic with conscious sedation or general anaesthesia depending on patient preference. The scarred tissue is gently cut away from the eye and, in most cases, a patch of healthy conjunctiva from the same eye is glued over the bare area to maximise comfort, healing and reduce the risk of recurrence of the pterygium.
Mild to moderate discomfort is common after pterygium surgery and usually lasts about 1 week. Most people will need a week off work and normal day to day activities following this operation.