Cornea Procedures
Pterygium Surgery
Superficial Keratectomy
Phototherapeutic Keratectomy (PTK)
Punctal Plugs
Artificial Cornea
Implantable Miniature Telescope (for Macular Degeneration)

Pterygium Surgery

A pterygium is a benign, fleshy growth of the conjunctiva (clear skin layer of the eye) that grows onto the clear cornea. It may be small, causing no symptoms. As it grows, a pterygium can cause irritation, redness, irregular astigmatism (change in the curvature of the cornea), and ultimately decreased vision. Occasionally pterygiums may be quite severe, depositing scar tissue into the cornea and causing severe loss of vision. 

A pterygium occurs more commonly in people who have had significant sunlight (UV rays) exposure over time (spending time outdoors, especially in sunny climates).  Other environmental factors such as chronic eye irritation from dry, dusty conditions can lead to pterygium growth. Wearing UV protective eyewear helps prevent pterygium formation, growth and recurrence. 

Treatment for a pterygium depends on the severity. In mild cases, the redness and irritation can be minimized with lubricating eye drops. As progression and blurred vision occurs, surgical intervention is warranted. 

Pterygium surgery removes the fleshy growth by peeling it off the clear cornea and smoothing out the underlying scar tissue if present. The conjunctival portion (visible on the white of the eye) is cut away.  In  order to minimize the risk of recurrence, a chemical called Mitomycin C is used along the edges from where the abnormal tissue was removed. The opening left after removing the pterygium is then covered with a graft, which further decreases the risk of regrowth. The preferred graft material is your own smooth, clear, normal conjunctival tissue from the top of the eyeball (under the upper lid). If there is scarring or a very large area, a special amniotic membrane graft can be used instead. The graft is secured with tissue glue, instead of sutures, which makes the recovery less uncomfortable for most people. 

The eye will be numb during the out-patient surgery. A patch and shield will be placed on the eye after surgery. You will see your doctor the day after surgery for evaluation and instructions on drops and restrictions. Most patients recover in approximately 6-8 weeks. 

Each patient's eye is different. The description above may not apply to every individual situation. Your doctor will perform a full evaluation and discuss her findings thoroughly. A treatment regimen will be planned and re-evaluated throughout follow-up visits. Please contact your doctor if you feel you have dry eyes or if you have any concerns or questions regarding your ocular health. 

As cornea specialists in DFW, Dallas-Fort Worth, Dr. Koreishi and Dr. Ple-plakon strive to provide the best cornea care, availability, and patient education. Now open Plano Cornea.

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