Pterygium Removal

When you’ve spent a significant amount of time on the water or on the ski slopes without effective eye protection, you can develop a pterygium, which is a growth on your eye. This growth, dubbed surfer’s eye, is both unsightly and irritating. And without pterygium treatment, it can lead to vision loss. Call the pterygium specialist at Eye Physicians in Downtown Manhattan at the first sign you need a pterygium removal to ensure the best outcomes and prevent further complications.

What Is Pterygium Surgery?

Pterygium RemovalPterygium removal surgery is used to effectively eliminate an abnormal growth of tissue called pterygium, which is sometimes associated with an eye disorder called surfer’s eye. Pterygium, pronounced ter-IDJ-ee-hum, is defined by the formation of fleshy tissue on the conjunctiva, which is the thin, transparent membrane that covers the white area of the eye. In severe situations, it can expand over onto the cornea, resulting in visual abnormalities such as astigmatism and eventually loss of sight.

This benign growth is often caused by extended exposure to ultraviolet rays, which is how it earned its name as surfer’s eye. Pterygium treatments are performed to relieve symptoms, prevent vision loss and improve the appearance of the eye. Pterygium surgery helps avoid recurring episodes of conjunctivitis also caused by the pterygium. Different surgical techniques and approaches may be used depending on the size and severity of the growth.

The eyes are an extremely delicate area, and even minor negligence can result in long-term problems. That’s why it’s important to consult with a pterygium specialist who has years of expertise treating this condition. Eye Physicians has optometrists and ophthalmologists with extensive experience in pterygium removal surgery and other procedures, such as:

Which Eye Conditions Can Be Healed by Pterygium Removal?

Pterygium removal, sometimes referred to as pterygium excision, generally treats the unwanted tissue itself by cutting it out. But it can also relieve associated symptoms and effects. Also, while pterygium removal is a unique treatment that addresses a specific eye problem, it can indirectly relieve some problems with vision, such as:

  • Treating the growth of fleshy tissue on the conjunctiva, halting its advancement and lowering the risk of recurrence
  • Removing the redness, burning, irritation, itching and gritty sensation in the affected eye and on the eyelids that pterygium frequently produces
  • Reducing visual abnormalities such as astigmatism or impaired vision and improving visual acuity
  • Eliminating causes of dry eye syndrome by restoring tear film stability and relieving dry eye symptoms
  • Maintaining corneal health by reducing the risk of corneal irregularities often caused by pterygium

Pterygium removal surgery is used when other pterygium treatments, such as topical medicines, artificial tears and steroid injections, don’t effectively manage the pterygium or provide sufficient symptom relief.

What Happens in a Pterygium Removal Surgery?

Pterygium removal surgery is a straightforward procedure usually performed by an ophthalmologist pterygium specialist. It normally takes between 30 minutes and an hour to finish. The steps include:

  1. Before the surgery begins, your eye is numbed with local anesthesia so you don’t experience any pain during the treatment. A relaxing medication may also be given if you need it.
  2. The eye is cleaned and prepared to prevent the possibility of infection.
  3. Your pterygium specialist creates a small incision in the conjunctiva, which is the thin, transparent membrane that covers the eye’s white component. This incision provides access to the pterygium.
  4. Sensitive surgical equipment is used to gently raise and remove the pterygium tissue from the eye’s surface.
  5. The goal is to remove the abnormal development completely while causing minimal damage to the surrounding healthy tissue.
  6. After removing the pterygium, the surgeon may repair the conjunctival incision with tissue glue or sutures.
  7. Sutures can be either absorbable or non-absorbable.

After the procedure, you usually stay in the clinic for a brief time for observation. Arrange for a ride home after the treatment. During the first few days after surgery, you may experience pain, redness and tearing in the operated eye. Your NYC eye doctor may prescribe pain-relieving eye drops, creams and oral medications to manage any post-operative discomfort and to promote healing while avoiding infection.

For the majority of people, pterygium surgery takes only one session. In rare cases, though, multiple sessions may be required. Large or recurring pterygia, complications or cosmetic concerns that need addressing might call for repeated surgeries.

What Are the Advantages of Pterygium Removal?

If you’re unsure about getting this procedure, consider all the advantages as they highlight the importance of early intervention and undergoing pterygium treatments as soon as possible. Some of the benefits include:

  • Restoring clear vision as pterygium usually interferes with your eyesight as it develops on the cornea, resulting in blurry vision or astigmatism
  • Improving your appearance as pterygium can be unattractive, appearing lumpy and red or pinkish in the eye
  • Being able to wear your contact lenses without the interference of a growth that impedes smooth insertion and removal
  • Reducing the likelihood of recurrence because, while pterygium can occasionally regrow after removal, effective surgical methods make a considerable difference
  • Undergoing shorter recovery times due to advances in surgical procedures, allowing you to resume your normal activities sooner

Pterygium surgery decreases infection risk through the use of clean operating rooms, preoperative medications and thorough wound closure. Surgeons maintain sterile conditions during the procedure to reduce the spread of germs. Preoperative medicines reduce bacterial presence on the eye’s surface, while perfect wound closure establishes a barrier against contaminants. Antibiotic eye drops are used after surgery to reduce the risk of infection, making it the safest pterygium treatment option for you.

Don’t allow pterygium to limit your eyesight and comfort any longer. Take control of your eye health by removing pterygiums before they create major vision problems. Trust the experience of Eye Physicians in NYC to deliver the care you require. Their expert team ensures your safety and effective healing, restoring clarity and comfort to your vision. Contact Eye Physicians in NYC today for the best pterygium removal treatment and regain your eye health with confidence.

Page Updated on May 22, 2024 by Dr. William Hogue, OD (Optometrist) of Eye Physicians
William Hogue, OD

My name is Dr. William Hogue, and I am an optometrist dedicated to providing top-quality professional eye care. I'm trained in treating various ocular conditions, including dry eye syndrome, glaucoma, and retinal issues.

I earned my chemistry degree summa cum laude from the University of Tennessee. Subsequently, I obtained my Doctorate of Optometry (OD) and Master of Science (MS) from the New England College of Optometry. Following graduation, I completed an ocular disease residency at the State University of New York’s College of Optometry. Beyond my clinical work, I have also been a supporter of Volunteer Optometric Services to Humanity (SVOSH).

More about Dr. Hogue

Eye Physicians
110 Lafayette St, Suite 503
New York, NY 10013
(212) 292-4814

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