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The pterygium is a wedge-shaped growth of the mucous membrane developing on the white part of your eye. These growths are benign but can affect vision. They most often develop on the inner corner of the eye and may appear in one or both eyes. As it enlarges, it can appear red, pink, or yellow and cause uncomfortable symptoms. Thankfully, a pterygium can be removed with a surgical procedure.

What is pterygium surgery?

Pterygium surgery involves removing the abnormal tissue growth from the cornea and sclera of the eye. The pterygium is removed surgically, and the area restored with transplanted tissue called an “auto-graft” technique. This technique has the advantage of preventing re-growth of the pterygium. The transplanted tissue is secured with an advanced technique for faster healing and less discomfort, or a “no-stitch” approach.

In some cases, the abnormal growth leads to corneal scarring and vision loss. If you have a pterygium, ensure you have your condition evaluated by a board-certified eye surgeon, as early intervention is critical. If the cornea was damaged by a pterygium, a surgical repair will be required to protect your vision for the long term.

What is the procedure like to experience?

You will be under light sedation, and the eye numbed with local anesthesia for your comfort. As you rest comfortably, the abnormal growth is delicately removed and replaced with a graft of healthy tissue and held in place with a modern tissue adhesive, speeding both the surgery and the recovery time. The entire procedure takes only minutes to perform with this advanced technique, after which you are free to return home to rest and recover.

What is the recovery time?

Full recovery will require two to three weeks, as the eye adjusts and returns to a healthy appearance. You are free to return to your usual activities, including work in two to three days. You will have certain eye medication to administer on a specific schedule.

What causes a pterygium?

The exact cause of these abnormal eye growth is unknown but is believed to be associated with too much exposure to UV rays, as are more prevalent in people who live in warm climates.

These growths often develop in surfers, swimmers, or on the eyes of people who spend a lot of time outdoors, exposed to sun and wind exposure.

To avoid developing another pterygium, keep your eyes protected with sunglasses or a hat. To prevent a re-growth or a new growth, prevent the following types of exposure:

  • Sun
  • Wind
  • Dust
  • Pollen
  • Smoke

Why choose Beverly Hills Institute of Ophthalmology?

A pterygium can affect your eyesight and can be an aesthetic problem, as the growth is visible to other people, and appears unusual. Our team of board-certified eye surgeons is widely regarded as being among the most accomplished in the nation. We have continued to stay ahead of the curve in the latest developments in surgical techniques and technology and employ the most advanced techniques for pterygium surgery.

We offer an extraordinary level of patient-focused care in this delicate surgery. You can trust that you will be under the care of a leading ophthalmologist who uses the latest techniques for superior results and faster healing. 

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