Pterygia are benign growths of tissue across the surface of the eye. These can be gritty, red and sore. Many of these problems can be managed simply with lubricating eye drops and wearing sunglasses. Occasionally they do need to be removed if there is a suspicion that the lesion is growing or may be cancerous. Pterygium surgery has a reputation as a painful operation, however with modern techniques of using Tisseel glue rather than sutures and long-acting anaesthetics, this is no longer the case. Dr Cunneen has extensive experience in managing pterygiums as well as malignant tumours of the ocular surface and will discuss the best option for you.
The most commonly performed operation to remove pterygia involves dissecting off the diseased tissue and replacing it with a graft of healthy conjunctiva. This is usually taken from under the upper eyelid and then secured with glue into the defect left by the pterygia. As with all grafts, it is initially inflamed, however over the following weeks the appearance returns to that of the rest of the eye.
If you’re interested in improving your vision, please book a consultation with Dr Tom Cunneen.