Pterygium Surgery

Pterygium surgery involves removal of the abnormal tissue from the sclera and cornea of the eye. Today’s techniques offer a significantly higher success rate than conventional surgery.

What is Pterygium?

People with pterygium have a growth of pink, fleshy tissue on the white of the eye, which usually forms on the side of the eye closest to the nose. Pterygium usually continues to grow slowly throughout a person’s life, but it could also stop growing after a certain point and, in very rare cases, can continue to grow until it covers the pupil of the eye and interferes with vision.

Although, pterygium is not usually a serious condition, it can cause irritating symptoms such as the feeling of a foreign body in the eye.

Benefits for you

Removal of a pterygium can not only improve the appearance of your eye, but improve your vision, in certain cases. If you have a pterygium and a cataract, it is best to remove the pterygium first to ensure optimal results for the cataract operation as the pterygium can, and often does, distort the shape of the eye rendering our preoperative measurements inaccurate.

Am I suitable?

The Pterygium surgery may be needed if there is

  • Involvement of, or threat to, the visual axis
  • Loss of vision from astigmatism
  • Restriction of eye movement
  • Atypical appearance suggesting dysplasia
  • Increasing size (documented by an ophthalmologist)

Less importantly

  • Increasing size (reported by the patient)
  • Symptoms of irritation and complaints of redness, etc.
  • Cosmetic issues

Procedure

Surgery to remove a pterygium is minimally invasive and fairly quick — the entire procedure should take less than 30 minutes. You’ll usually have local aesthetic prior to surgery and your eyes will be completely numb.
Your doctor will remove the pterygium and replace it with a graft of tissue. The graft of tissue will help minimize the likelihood of the pterygium returning.

You’ll be unable to drive yourself home after the surgery. So you should arrange to have a friend or family member there to take you home.

Your Journey

After you are discharged from the day unit, your eye will be patched. This is to remain on until the next day.
For several days after the surgery, you may experience some discomfort and pain relief may be required.

You will be given eye drops to use four times per day for the first week. At your one-week postoperative appointment (if needed) your doctor will advise you of the frequency until your next appointment. Mostly the follow-up is at four weeks.
You will need to avoid strenuous activity for approximately one week following your surgery. Recovery times vary between patients. Usually complete healing has been accomplished in one month’s time if there are no complications.

After care

  • Your eyelids may be swollen following the procedure. The eyelids will gradually return to their normal appearance.
  • You may experience redness, irritation, dryness, watering and scratchiness for several weeks following your procedure.
  • Daily fluctuations in vision are normal. Your eyeglass prescription may need to be changed.
  • A bandage contact lens may be placed on your eye to help reduce any discomfort. It will be removed at your aftercare visit in week. Do not remove the lens yourself. If it falls out, do not replace it.
  • Do not drink any alcohol the day of your procedure.
  • Do not rub the treated eye(s) for 1 week after your procedure.
  • Do not swim or get into a hot tub/Jacuzzi/steam bath/sauna for 2 weeks after your procedure. You may shower or bathe freely.
  • You may not wear eye make-up for 24 hours following your procedure. After 24 hours, if you wish to wear mascara or eyeliner, open fresh make-up; old mascara and eyeliner accumulate germs. You may resume wearing the make-up you already have after 1 week.
  • Please use the post-op drops without fail (antibiotics and steroids) as advised by the discharge nurse.

Cost

Please contact my Secretary for more information and costs

Contact details

Laser co-ordinator on 08006 125 175
Or Nuffield direct on 0300 790 6190
Or Mr Anandan’s Secretary Sue Da Silva on 07900210191 or email manandan@derbyeyes.co.uk

Nuffield Health Derby Hospital. 
Rykneld Road, 
Littleover,
Derby, 
DE23 4SN

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