Pterygium Treatment Melbourne

Example of a patient who may require Pterygium surgery.

What is a pterygium?

A pterygium is a pinkish, triangular tissue growth that starts on the whites of the eye and spreads across the cornea. The most common treatment for pterygium removal is surgery.

When is pterygium removal surgery needed?

Surgery is recommended if:

  • It affects your vision.
  • It causes grittiness, pain, irritation, redness and discomfort.
  • The appearance bothers you.
  • Your pterygium is progressively enlarging, as it can eventually interfere with your vision and cause scarring.

A pterygium causing significant astigmatism will also require removal prior to cataract surgery.

What happens during pterygium removal surgery?

Pterygium removal surgery is performed as a day surgery. Before the procedure, you will be given a light sedative to make you feel calm and relaxed. A local anaesthetic will be injected around the eye to numb your eye and stop it from moving during the operation.

Surgery involves removing the pterygium and harvesting a small piece of normal conjunctiva from under the eyelid. This conjunctival graft is then glued over the gap where the pterygium was. No sutures are used, allowing for a more comfortable postoperative recovery. This technique, known as conjunctival autografting, reduces the chances of recurrence of the pterygium to less than 10%.

The procedure takes approximately 30 minutes, but you should expect to stay at the day surgery for at least 2 hours to allow for post-operative recovery. We recommend that you have someone with you to drive you home.

What can I expect after pterygium removal surgery?

Immediately after surgery, your eye will be padded up. Until the local anaesthetic wears off, your vision will be blurry and you will not be able to blink or move your eye normally. This should settle down by the next morning.

Your eye will be sore for about a week and may feel gritty and uncomfortable for a few weeks following pterygium surgery while the surface of the eye heals. The eye will also be quite blood-shot initially and it may take several weeks for this to settle down. You will be given antibiotic and anti-inflammatory drops to prevent infection and assist with healing.

Booking a consultation

If you’d like to find out more about pterygium removal surgery, please contact us on (03) 8080 1082 to book a consultation at one of our eye clinics in Melbourne, Victoria, or click on the button below to request a call back.