Pterygium Removal Surgery
A Pterygium Is A Pinkish, Triangular-Shaped Tissue Growth On The Cornea. Some Pterygia Grow Slowly Throughout A Person's Life, While Others Stop Growing After A Certain Point. A Pterygium Rarely Grows So Large That It Begins To Cover The Pupil Of The Eye.
Reasons For Removing A Pterygiusm Although Most Pterygia Are Harmless And Can Be Left Alone Safely;
They Are Surgically Removed For The Following Reasons: -
- Discomfort : - If A Pterygium Is Causing Excessive Irritation Due To Dryness / Inflammation Or A Persistent Foreign Body Sensation.
- Vision : - If A Pterygium Is Obstructing Vision.
- Cosmetic : - If A Pterygium Is Unsightly Or Cosmetically Unappealing.
Facts About Pterygium
- A Pingueculum May Develop Into A Pterygium.
- Commonly Found In Individuals Who Spend A Lot Of Time In The Sun Or Live In Dry, Windy, Smoky, Dusty, Sandy Tropical Climates.
- Reported To Occur In Males Twice As Frequently As In Females.
- Almost Always Confined To The Exposed Surface Of The Conjunctiva, And Usually On The Side Closest To The Nose. Less Often, It Can Also Occur On The Outer Side Of The Cornea.
- One Or Both Eyes May Be Involved.
- Some Pterygia Grow Slowly Throughout A Person's Life, While Others Stop Growing After A Certain Point.
- Pterygium Is Alteration Of Normal Tissue Resulting In A Deposit Of Protein And Fat.
- Not Dangerous (Non-Malignant) But Can Become Uncomfortable.
- Usually A Pterygium Does Not Lead To Anything Catastrophic Such As A Serious Loss Of Vision Or Blindness.
- Can Eventually Distort Vision Due To Growth Onto The Cornea, And Eventually Even Onto The Central Part Of The Eye Blocking Light From Entering.
- Removing A Pterygium Surgically Will Take Care Of The Problem.
- The Rate Of Recurrence Is As High As 40%, And They Tend To Come Back Bigger And Faster.
Diagnosis Of PterygiumThe Symptoms Described Above May Not Necessarily Mean That You Have Pterygium, But Because Pterygium Can Sometimes Look Similar To More Serious Eye Growths, It Is Important To Have Your Eyes Checked By An Eye Doctor. Although Some People With Pterygium Constantly Feel Like They Have A Foreign Body In Their Eye, Others Are Asymptomatic. In Most Cases, A Routine Eye Exam Reveals Pterygium In Asymptomatic Individuals Or In Patients Who Present With Cosmetic Concern About A Tissue "Growing Over The Eye." People With Pterygium Should Be Seen By An Ophthalmologist Annually, So That Encroachment On The Pupil Can Be Recognized And Treated Before Interference With Vision. External Slit Lamp Measurements Or Photography Can Assist Your Eye Doctor In Following The Progression Of The Pterygium.
Prevention Of PterygiumThere Is Nothing That Has Been Clearly Shown To Prevent A Pterygium. However, Because The Presence Of Pterygia Has Been Linked To Exposure To UV Radiation, It Is A Good Idea To Minimize Exposure To Sunlight (UV Radiations) By Wearing Protective Eyewear With Good Ultraviolet Blockage, Or At Least Hats With Brims. Consult Your Eye Doctor About Protective Coatings On Sunglasses Or Regular Spectacles. Protecting The Eyes From Sunlight, Dust, And Other Environmental Irritants May Prevent Pterygium To Develop. Fortunately, Most Cases Of Pterygium Are Not Serious And Surgery Usually Is Not Necessary.
Prognosis Of PterygiumMost Pterygia Grow Slowly And Almost Never Cause Significant Damage, So The Prognosis Is Excellent. Again, A Diagnosis Must Be Made To Rule Out Other More Serious Disorders. The Risks Of Pterygium Excision Surgery Are Low And, In General, If The Pterygium Is Excised Before It Encroaches To The Center Area Of The Cornea, The Prognosis For Post-Operative Vision Is Excellent. Pterygia Often Come Back After Surgical Removal. These Recurrent-Pterygia Probably Have No Relationship With Exposure To Ultraviolet Radiation.
What Is Pterygium?
Pterygium Starts As An Area Of Redness And Thickening On The Conjunctiva, Usually On The Inner Aspect Of The White Of The Eye. In Some Cases, The Pterygium May Extend Across Onto The Cornea, Which Is The Clear Front Window Of The Eye. If The Pterygium Grows Towards The Middle Of The Cornea, It Should Be Surgically Removed. Pterygia Can Cause A Number Of Problems. They May Be Easily Visible And Cause Cosmetic Embarrassment. They Often Become Sore, Red, And Gritty, Especially With Wind, Smoke Or Dust. Eventually The Pterygium May Interfere With The Vision Either By Distorting The Cornea Or By Extending Over The Pupil.
Signs And Symptoms Of Pterygium
- Foreign Body Sensation
- Painless Area Of Elevated White Tissue With Blood Vessels On The Inner And / Or Outer Edge Of The Cornea
- Growth Over The Central Cornea Can Affect Vision
How Can A Pterygium Be Treated?
The Comfort Of A Pterygium May Be Improved By Using Eye Drops Such As Artificial Tear Drops Or Decongestant Drops. These Often Help With The Redness Of The Eye As Well. Some Pterygia, Which Continue To Cause Problems, May Require Surgical Removal.
Pterygia Are More Common In Sunny Climates And In The 20-40 Age Group. Scientists Do Not Know What Causes Pterygia To Develop. However, Since People Who Have Pterygia Usually Have Spent A Significant Time Outdoors, Many Doctors Believe Ultraviolet (UV) Light From The Sun May Be A Factor. In Areas Where Sunlight Is Strong, Wearing Protective Eyeglasses, Sunglasses, And/Or Hats With Brims Is Suggested. While Some Studies Report A Higher Prevalence Of Pterygia In Men Than In Women, This May Reflect Different Rates Of Exposure To UV Light.
Because A Pterygium Is Visible, Many People Want To Have It Removed For Cosmetic Reasons. It Is Usually Not Too Noticeable Unless It Becomes Red And Swollen From Dust Or Air Pollutants. Surgery To Remove A Pterygium Is Not Recommended Unless It Affects Vision. If A Pterygium Is Surgically Removed, It May Grow Back, Particularly If The Patient Is Less Than 40 Years Of Age. Lubricants Can Reduce The Redness And Provide Relief From The Chronic. A Pterygium Is A Raised Wedge-Shaped Growth That Occurs On The Surface Of The Eye. It Is Thought To Be Related To Increased Exposure To Ultra-Violet (UV) Light, As It Is More Common In People Who Have Lived In Sunny Areas.
Surgical ProcedureIn Surgery, The Pterygium Is Removed And A Small Piece Of The Conjunctiva, Which Is The Thin Transparent Skin That Covers The White Of The Eye, Is Placed Into This Site From Under The Upper Lid. The Surgery Is Performed Under Local Anaesthetic. There Should Be No Pain During The Surgery, Which Takes Approximately Half An Hour. Following The Procedure, A Prescription Is Given For Eye Ointment Or Eye Drops And Analgesic Tablets. For Approximately 1-2 Weeks Following Surgery, Getting Water, Dust Or Dirt In The Eye Should Be Avoided.
Will The Pterygium Grow Back?
One Of The Main Problems With The Removal Of A Pterygium Is That Re-Growth May Occur, Although This Happens In Fewer Than 1% With Newer Surgical Techniques. To Reduce The Risk Of Recurrence, You Should Try To Reduce Exposure To Ultra-Violet Light Following Surgery By Wearing Sunglasses Or A Hat When Outdoors. Your Surgeon May Advise You Not To Have The Surgery Performed Over The Summer Months For This Reason.
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