Pterygium - General Information //
Many pterygia do not cause significant visual or functional problems and do not require treatment. Persistent irritation or progressive central growth with early encroachment on the pupillary region of the cornea is the most common reason surgical removal of the pterygium is recommended.
The pterygium is “stuck on” to the white of the eye (the sclera) and the peripheral cornea. When removal is necessary, it is performed in the operating room as an outpatient procedure under a local anesthetic. The procedure is somewhat analogous to peeling a postage stamp off an envelope with the end result being a smoother corneal and conjunctival/scleral surface. Historically, the surface defects that remained after removal of the pterygium were allowed to heal in on their own. This, however, often resulted in recurrence of some or all of the lesion. Modifications that include the use of conjunctival surface grafts (analogous to a skin graft for a nasty burn), amniotic membranes and medications that inhibit scar tissue and blood vessel regrowth (Mitomycin C, Avastin, etc.) have significantly reduced the frequency of pterygium recurrence – the most common “complication” of the surgery. Most patients return to work within 1-2 days and experience quieting of the eye over a two to three week period. A pterygium sometimes will recur even after the above measures. If small it may be observed; if extensive, additional surgery may be needed.
Surgical Forms //
Once you have had your consultation and have been deemed a candidate for a pterygium excision, below are the surgical forms for you to read and complete. Please use the pre-op checklist form (see below) to ensure you have read and completed the necessary forms. For any questions, please contact Elly, the surgical coordinator, at 248-350-1130, extension 304.
Read, Print, Complete and Return