A pterygium is a pink and fleshy fibrovascular lesion usually on the medial part of the eye. It is associated with prolonged UV/sun exposure of many years and may encroach on the centre of the cornea leading to blurred vision.
It may distort vision by causing astigmatism and may also become inflamed leading to irritation and discomfort. Topical lubricants may be used to soothe the eye.
However, definitive treatment is surgical removal combined with a conjunctival autograft. There is a chance of recurrence of about 15 %. In some cases of recurrent pterygia, adjunctive use of mitomycin C is sometimes used to reduce the risk of recurrence.
Surgery is performed under local anaesthesia and sedation and takes about 30 min.
The pterygium is excised surgically and the defect repaired with a conjunctival autograft which is secured with fibrin glue. Recovery takes 3 to 4 weeks and there is discomfort in the eye for about 1-2 weeks. Medicated eye drops are needed for about 2-3 months.