A “pterygium” is a fibrovascular growth which grows from the nasal portion of the white of the eye (the sclera) and crosses centrally over the cornea.
Typically it starts as a “pinguecula”, which is an elevated mass of white tissue over-lying the sclera. Except for occasional redness, pinguecula are white objects on a white background, so they can be hard to see. As a pinguecula grows, it turns into pterygium.
A pterygium may be the cause of several different complaints. It can block the vision if it grows large, but even if it is small it can induce warping of the vision with astigmatism. Pterygia can cause persistent redness and irritation of the eye. They can enhance dryness and foreign body sensation. They can be very uncomfortable and unsightly as well.
Traditional methods of pterygium removal have shown recurrence rates in some studies in nearly half the patients having the surgery. Dr. Klein has several innovations he employs which reducing the chances of the pterygium growing back after surgery drastically.
- Dr. Klein performs the surgery using a graft from the surgical eye which he places over the site where the pterygium has been taken off. This graft acts as a place holder and decreases the chance that abnormal tissue will regrow. Sometimes, if a native graft is not useable, a piece of amniotic membrane can be employed instead.1
- Dr. Klein uses an intra-operative application of the anti-scarring medication mitomycin-C which has been shown to inhibit recurrence.1
- Dr. Klein performs a stitch-less surgery. He uses surgical glue instead of sutures which decreases the post-operative inflammation.2
If you have a pterygium which is symptomatic or is growing and you want an evaluation for removal, please contact our office for an appointment.