A pterygium is a growth on the cornea. It tends to look like a pinkish triangle, and most often shows up on the side of the cornea near the nose. It may affect one or both eyes and is usually associated with sun exposure.
If you continue to be bothered by symptoms, or if the pterygium affects your vision, then a surgical procedure, pterygium excision, may be recommended. Some people may also want a pterygium excision for cosmetic reasons.
The surgical procedure may be done using local anesthetic. The surgery typically takes about half an hour, during which the growth is removed and covered with a piece of healthy conjunctival tissue from under the eyelid.
There may be some discomfort and a foreign body sensation in the eye after surgery, but your physician will provide you with prescriptions beforehand to manage this, plus a prescription for an antibiotic ointment to promote healing. Most patients are healed from surgery after about three to four weeks.
Pterygium excisions have a high success rate. However, there is a 5 percent chance that the pterygium may recur and that it may grow faster and larger the second time. Medications may reduce this risk.
The specialists in the Campbell, Cunningham, Taylor & Haun Cornea Center will fully evaluate you before recommending pterygium treatments and provide you with full details on the reasons for their recommendations and projected outcomes.
For an appointment, call (865) 584-0905.