A pterygium is a benign growth of the conjunctiva – the white part of the eye - that typically begins at the inner corner of the eye, and can spread to the surface of the cornea. Since it is associated with and thought to be caused by ultraviolet-light exposure, low humidity, and dust, it makes sense that we see an increased incidence of pterygium at our Las Vegas vision correction practice.
Pterygium surgery is designed to remove this growth from the eye. The downside to traditional pterygium surgery is that the pterygium may grow back in up to 50% of patients. At Westfield Eye Center, we employ advanced pterygium removal techniques which have proven highly successful, and significantly reduce the rate of recurrence of the pterygium.
If you would like to learn more about pterygium removal surgery, click here to request a consultation online with a qualified ophthalmologist at Westfield Eye Center in Las Vegas.
Although it is a benign (non-cancerous) growth, a pterygium can obscure a person's vision and cause irritation. Larger ptergia can create the constant sensation of a foreign body in the eye. Your ophthalmologist in Las Vegas will help you to determine if pterygium removal is the appropriate treatment for you.
Your Pterygium Removal Procedure
Not all pterygia need removal. Mild cases which cause only slight discomfort can typically be managed with lubricant eye drops. However, if the growth causes significant irritation and/or obscures vision, surgical removal may be necessary. Traditional pterygium surgery has a high rate of re-growth, but newer techniques have reduced the rate of recurrence dramatically.
When your ophthalmologist removes the abnormal tissue, a gap in the mucous membrane is left behind. In order to prevent re-growth of the pterygium, this space must be filled with a tissue "auto-graft" or self-transplant of normal tissue or an amniotic membrane. This tissue is painlessly harvested from underneath the upper eyelid, and can be attached using modern tissue adhesive, instead of stitches.
During your procedure, you are comfortably sedated, and the eye is numbed, so there is no discomfort. The entire procedure typically takes less than an hour, and most patients can return to work within 1 or 2 days of surgery. The eye will return to its normal appearance gradually over the course of 2 to 3 weeks.
To find out more about pterygium removal surgery, click here to request a consultation online at our Las Vegas vision correction practice. Or, you may call our office at 702-362-EYES (3937) to schedule an appointment.