Skip to content

Pterygium Needs SMILE Eye Surgery

  • 3 min read

Small pterygium pose a conundrum for lasik eye surgery as the flap may cut the pterygium. Pterygium Needs SMILE Eye Surgery. In this post we will see why lasik has been a challenge in youg people with early pterygium. We will discover the possible complications of resorting to lasik and other options used till now. Finally we will understand why SMILE eye surgery may work very well and be the best possible option.

Left Eye Pterygium near pupillary zone
(Before) Left Eye Pterygium near pupillary zone

Pterygium is a callous like growth which grows along the cornea. It is caused by ultraviolet radiation from the sun and other light sources coupled with allergens and pollutants. These inciting factors’cause degeneration in the tissue beneath the conjunctiva which is the top layer like the skin covering the eye. This subconjunctival tissue gets so damaged that it is not able to fulfill its job of supplying nutrition to the front part of the cornea which is the clear part of the eye. So new blood vessels are generated so that the blood can supply nutrition to the cornea. As the disease progresses the blood supply surrounded by fibrous tissue grows directly onto the cornea and starts marching to the center of cornea. Of course if it reaches the pupillary zone the terrarium needs to be excised and removed. In such cases lasik or smile would not even be considered.

Pterygium Needs SMILE Eye Surgery As Lasik causes problems

in early cases with people looking for a correction for their nearsightedness laser vision correction can be contemplated. Many surgeons try to do lasik on corneas with pterygium. This is risky as the microkeratome can cut the head of the pterygium causing bleeding. We have seen the pterygium grow into the interface of the lasik flap causing drop in vision. A complication like this requires lifting the lasik flap and cleaning the interface growth and excising the pterygium itself.

If a femtosecond laser is used to make the lasik flap, the pterygium can interfere with the laser delivery leading to improper flap.A hyperopic treatment being delivered by an excimer laser itself can be compromised in presence of a pterygium.

Pterygium Needs SMILE Eye Surgery as it is safer

SMILE eye procedure does not require creation of a flap. A 4 mm incision is made through which a carved disc of tissue is removed. SO even if a pterygium is present it will not be cut. Just to remind you, pterygium grows on the surface whereas in SMILE disc is removed from deeper layer of cornea. Even if the pterygium were to grow further it would be on the surface and not where the disc was removed from. The incison to remove the disc is at 12 0 clock whereas the pterygia re at 3 or 9 o clock.

In the US SMILE is only performed by FDA approved Visumax laser.