Pterygium is a fleshy growth that forms on the clear membrane that covers the white of your eye. At Advanced Eye Center in Gainesville, Georgia, Leroy W. Robinson, III, OD, Ealeen H. Kim, OD, William C. Ackerman Jr., MD, and the team include eye surgeons who specialize in pterygium surgery to remove the growth when it impairs vision or causes discomfort. The cutting-edge practice performs procedures at their modern eye surgery center. To schedule a consultation and find out more about pterygium surgery, call or schedule an appointment online today.

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What is pterygium?

Pterygium is a raised, flesh-like growth that forms on the eye’s conjunctiva — the clear membrane that covers the white of the eye. It grows from either corner of the eye and spreads outward, sometimes covering the cornea.

Experts theorize that these growths occur from excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, wind, and sand. Though not cancerous, pterygium can grow large and affect your vision.

Treatment usually includes lubricating eye drops or steroids to reduce the discomfort pterygium may cause.

When do I need pterygium surgery?

Your provider at Advanced Eye Center determines when you need pterygium surgery. The team takes a patient-centered approach to care and conducts comprehensive eye exams to fully understand your eye condition and treatment needs.

They may recommend pterygium surgery if your growth is large and impairs your vision, causes significant discomfort, or alters the cornea’s curvature. They may also recommend surgery if you’re unhappy about how the growth affects your look.

What happens during pterygium surgery?

Your provider at Advanced Eye Center customizes your pterygium surgery plan so you get the best outcomes. The team takes an evidence-based approach, using advanced tools and techniques when removing the growth.

During the procedure, your eye surgeon removes the pterygium and may cover the area with a healthy piece of conjunctiva taken from your upper eyelid. Or, they may place a membrane over the area that acts like a bandage to support healing.

Pterygium surgery takes about an hour and you must arrange to have someone drive you home after.

What can I expect during recovery from pterygium surgery?

Your provider at Advanced Eye Center gives you specific at-home care instructions following your pterygium surgery. They cover your eye with an eyepatch, which you wear for a few days. They also give you steroid eye drops to reduce inflammation and help prevent a return of the growth.

You can resume most of your usual activities within a few days. The team at Advanced Eye Center schedules follow-up visits after your pterygium surgery to monitor for a return of your growth.

If pterygium returns, it usually happens during the first 12 months after your surgery. Following your provider’s instructions may prevent the growth from returning.

To learn more about pterygium surgery at Advanced Eye Center, call or schedule a consultation online today.