What is Pterygium Excision?
Pterygium surgery, also called Pterygium Excision, removes overgrowths of conjunctiva from the outer white layer of the eye that surrounds the eye’s cornea. The conjunctiva is the clear tissue covering the white part of the eye and the inner surface of the eyelids.
Apart from cataract surgery, pterygium excision is one of the most common surgical operations performed by general ophthalmologists.
Who needs Pterygium Excision?
Indications, when you may require a pterygium surgery, include :
- Obstruction in the line of vision
- Blurred vision due to pterygium induced imperfect eye curvature
- Chronic eye irritation
- Cosmetic dissatisfaction
- To restore vision to normal
- To improve the visual appearance
How is Pterygium Excision Performed?
- Pterygium excision is a minimally invasive technique that takes approximately 30 to 45 minutes.
- At first, an incision is made at the limbus, i.e., the border between the sclera and cornea. The region surrounding the limbus is where pterygium initiates intruding the cornea, so it is cut free and peeled from the cornea’s surface through blunt dissection.
- After removing the pterygium, the cornea is polished with a diamond burr.
- Following this, the sclera and conjunctiva are repaired. The conjunctiva is dissected, detaching it from Tenon’s capsule, an elastic connective tissue envelope covering the globe except over the cornea. Then the entire Tenon capsule is removed from the region where the pterygium existed.
- The damaged tissue from the nasal portion of the cornea and globe is removed, and after that, the doctor has few options for filling the gap where the scar tissue existed.
Option 1: Do nothing.
Option 2: Cover the area with a biological material
Option 3: Rotational conjunctival autograft
What to Expect During Pterygium Excision?
The pterygium excision approach is relatively quick and has minimal risk, in which:
- The patient is sedated with a topical anaesthetic to numb the eyes to prevent pain and discomfort during surgery.
- The surrounding areas near the pterygium and cornea are cleaned.
- The lump of pterygium overgrowths, along with some associated conjunctiva tissue, is surgically removed.
What are Risks and Complications of Pterygium Excision?
Pterygium excision usually gives positive outcomes, especially in those patients who comply with their post-surgery prescriptions. However, some rare risks associated with pterygium surgery can occur, which include:
- Double vision
- Eye swelling
- Prolonged redness
- Pterygium excision is an excellent surgical procedure for the removal of pterygium, however, it works best with the conjunctival mini-autograft for effective management and lowering the risk of recurrence of pterygium