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Pterygium Surgery

What you need to know

Pterygium is a benign growth on the surface of the eye. It is largely related to sun exposure. While the pterygium is a benign tumour, its effects on the vision can be quite debilitating. As the pterygium starts to grow, it initially causes symptoms of irritation and redness which can be quite bothersome for patients.

As it continues to grow, it starts to cause corneal distortion which affects the quality of vision in the eye. If left for long enough and the pterygium grows large enough, these effects on vision may remain permanent despite removal of the pterygium.

Pterygium surgery is a local anaesthetic procedure where the pterygium is removed from the eye. In order to reduce the risk of recurrence, a graft of tissue is taken from underneath the top lid and placed where the pterygium used to be after it has been removed. This is a very effective, safe procedure for treating pterygium.

The reported incidence of recurrence following pterygium surgery using this technique is 10%, however, we have experienced a much lower rate of less than 1%.

It is normal for the eye to feel a little sore and uncomfortable for a few days following pterygium surgery. The doctors at EyeSpecialists use a form of glue, rather than the traditional sutures, to adhere the graft to the bed left by excising the pterygium. This allows a much more comfortable postoperative recovery.

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RANZCO - The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists - The Leaders in Collaborative Eye Care
ANZSRS - Australian and New Zealand Society of Retinal Specialists
ASO - Australian Society of Ophthalmologists
ASRS - American Society of Retina Specialists

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