A pterygium is an elevated, wing-shaped growth of the conjunctiva (the covering of the white part of the eye) that invades the cornea (the clear front window of the eye). It is ]due to sunlight exposure, especially in childhood and early adult years.
A pterygium is a benign (non-cancerous) growths, but can continue to grow across the cornea. Surgical excision may be necessary due to the following reasons:
The pterygium grows across the cornea and is at risk of covering the pupil, thereby blocking the visual axis.
The pterygium causes a distortion of the surface of the cornea resulting in significant astigmatism. This can lead to distortion of your vision.
The pterygium becomes red, inflamed and irritable, and does so on a recurrent basis.
You are concerned about the unsightly appearance of the pterygium and wish for it to be removed.
Excision of the pterygium alone can be associated with a high recurrence rate, whereby the pterygium may grow back in the same location. To reduce the risk of this, our surgeons excise the pterygium and use a conjunctival autograft, which significantly reduces the risk of recurrence.