A General View of Pterygium Surgery
Pterygium is the abnormal growth of a benign tissue that can cover the white part of the eyes leading to discomfort and worst could be blurred vision as its growth expands, thus, the need for a Pterygium surgery is highly recommended by an eye care specialist.
The following are some of the usual causes of Pterygium syndrome:
- Prolonged exposure under the harmful rays of the sun.
- People whose activities are mostly done outdoor like the farmers, fishermen and other water related sports hobbies (boating).
- External factors that we face everyday in our surroundings such as dirt, dust and wind.
- Other harmful chemicals and allergens could also be the main culprit of this eye disorder.
Treatment for individuals with pterygium
In cases of mild pterygium syndrome, the person complaining of burning sensation, irritation, redness and tearing is required a thorough eye medical assessment to check any signs of abnormalities. When diagnosed with this kind of eye disorder the following remedies are advised by the doctor in charge:
- Wearing of UVA and UVB and/or polarized protective eye covering like sunglasses and hats with wide brim for sun protection.
- Application of prescribed lubricant eye solutions (artificial tears such as Blink or Refresh Optive but not Visine or Murine) to lessen discomfort and minor inflammation.
- Anti-inflammation eye drops are given to those individuals with severe complaints of inflammation
- Proper monitoring of the pterygium growth’s size.
If the patient’s overall vision is greatly affected leading to poor eyesight condition like astigmatism or severe eye discomfort due to the size of the pterygium, then, the only medical solution that could be recommended is the removal pterygium treatment.
How is the Pterygium removal surgery performed?
With the continuous improvement of our medical technologies and equipment, more advanced practices are already being administered to remove the abnormal tissue covering the white part of the eyes. The eyecare specialist conducts the pterygium treatment with minimal invasive procedures, usually lasting no more than 15 to 20 minutes of operation time, wherein the pterygium is extracted and a tissue graft is taken from the conjunctiva of the patient or from sterile prepared amnio membrane tissue and put on the affected area to minimize the percentage of recurrence. In most cases, these kinds of procedures do not require sutures or stitches. Advanced ocular tissue glues or adhesives are used in place of stitches or suturing.
What are the potential risks of the surgery?
Most reported cases of pterygium syndrome treatments are successful, although there is no 100% assurance that no recurrence will take place, especially to younger individuals with pterygium because of continuous exposures to these irritants like sun, dust, dirt and wind.
These are some of the side effects expected that can happen after the eye operation:
- Swelling of the eyes.
- Temporary experience of double-vision.
- Prolonged redness greater than 3 months.
- Infection though rare with planned prophylactic use of prescribed topical antibiotics after surgery.
- Recurrence of the pterygium.
Recovery period of the patient
Since most pterygium treatments are considered outpatient procedures and no general anesthetic required, the eye patient can be discharged on that same day of the procedure. The healing period may vary from one person to another and minor discomfort like soreness can be felt in the first week of operation while eye redness tends to last up to 12 weeks afterwards.
What happens if a recurrent pterygium is diagnosed?
When a recurrent pterygium is found on the patient, a repeat removal treatment surgery is required which may need the use of other materials for transplantation like amniotic membrane and drugs particularly for the eyes such as mitomycin C and 5-fluorouracil or thiotepa. These alternative options will depend on each person’s individual healing eye response.
Additional eye care tips after the removal pterygium surgery
Use of medicated eye drops and other topical ointments are given to the patient plus protective measures must be followed like the wearing of sunglasses when exposed to extreme hot weather or windy conditions. Follow-up visits for eye examination during the first year are advised to patients who undergone pterygium removal treatment because of any possible recurrence.
If you are experiencing these early signs of pterygium, seek medical help particularly with an eye specialist focused on pterygium treatment. Remember, our eyes have delicate tissues and self-medications are not recommended because they might just add to the severity of the eye problem.
Do your own due diligence and ask referrals from friends, relatives or colleagues at work who have undergone removal pterygium surgery. It really pays off to be informed with relevant facts on this vital matter and love your eyes.