Pterygium is a callous like growth on the clear part of the eye or the cornea. It can be unsightly. Movie actors, young people hate how it looks. A lot of people mistakenly assume the person is drunk. It can make life difficult at work especially if you are making a presentation to close a big deal. Pterygium also affects a person’s vision either by inducing astigmatism or in later stages marching towards the pupil.
There are two important considerations to keep in mind when thinking of getting your pterygium removed. First, the result should be cosmetically pleasing.
Two, it should not come back. Both the goals require meticulous surgery by a skilled cornea surgeon specializing in the latest techniques.
Before the Cosmetic Pterygium surgery:
You should discontinue blood thinners like aspirin, warfarin.
Control the dry eyes
Start antibiotic and steroid drops or ointment
Principles of Cosmetic Pterygium Surgery to avoid recurrence:
Avoid excessive bleeding causing prolonged redness and swelling.
Remove the pterygium entirely from the cornea. Polish the remaining fibers to leave a clear surface.
Mark out the entire pterygium and excise it.
Microdissect the scaffolding on which the pterygium grows.
Cauterize all bleeders.
Cover the bare area with conjunctival autograft or aminograft allograft using tissue or other bio glue.
After the Pterygium Surgery is done:
Taper the steroid and non-steroid drops instead of stopping them abruptly
Use punctal occluders if necessary. Keep the eye hydrated and moist.
Watch for early recurrence.
Treat early recurrence with anti-inflammatory drops or Mitomycin injection.
Cosmetic Pterygium Surgery should not be taken lightly. Please do not wait till you go blind. Also avoid having Lasik eye surgery if you are suffering from pterygium. In such situations alternatives like combined Superlasik and pterygium removal are a superior choice.
If you live outside Los Angeles and would like Dr.Khanna to give a complementary opinion, please send us picture of your eyes. Our Pterygium Surgeon will review your picture and opine whether you are eligible for this advanced procedure.
Rajesh Khanna, MD