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Pterygium Surgery

Pterygium Surgery

A pterygium is a superficial, noncancerous growth that usually occurs on the nasal side of the white part of the eye. Also known as surfer’s eye, it is often a triangular shape and if left untreated, it can obscure your vision. When this growth reaches the coloured part of the eye called the iris, it is usually removed.

Pterygia can affect one or both eyes and is most common in those over 40 years of age. The disorder also occurs twice as frequently in males than females. Risk factors include individuals whose job exposes them to UV light. For example, arc welders, farmers, and fisherman.

Pterygium causes

  • Exposure to excessive amounts of ultra-violet (UV) light
  • Environmental irritants such as chemicals, dust, wind, or air pollution
  • A family history of the disorder

Signs and symptoms of pterygium

In some cases, a person may notice the formation of a pterygium but may not necessarily experience any other symptoms associated with the growth. If you do experience symptoms, they can include the following:

  • The feeling or sensation of a foreign object in your eye
  • Eye dryness caused by reduced tear production
  • Blurring of vision
  • Inflammation of the eye
  • Eye redness
  • Obscured vision if the growth advances gradually across the pupil
  • A burning feeling in the eye
  • Difficulty wearing contact lenses

How is a pterygium diagnosed?

  1. Slit lamp: Also called biomicroscopy, the slit lamp allows your eye doctor to microscopically examine your eyes for any problems or abnormalities.
  2. Photo documentation: This involves your eye doctor taking pictures to track and record the growth rate of the pterygium
  3. Visual acuity test: This eye exam is done to measure how well you can see from a specific distance
  4. Corneal topography: This tool creates a 3D map of the surface curvature of the cornea. It provides your eye doctor with details regarding the condition of the corneal surface.

Pterygium surgery at Kloof Eye

The long-term solution for a pterygium is surgical removal. The removal of a pterygium is done either because the vision is being influenced by the growth, or because of cosmetic reasons. These growths can also occasionally become inflamed and irritated. When this happens, the ophthalmologist at Kloof Eye will prescribe eye drops for relief. Artificial tears are also used to keep the eye well lubricated.If your vision has become problematic, we may recommend surgery. The procedure involves carefully removing the pterygium. We then take a section of the conjunctiva from under the eyelid and graft it onto the area where your pterygium was. This is done to prevent recurrent pterygium growths. Pterygium surgery is a fairly quick and low risk procedure.

You will be sedated and your eyes will be numbed to prevent discomfort during surgery. It is a minimally invasive surgery that generally does not take more than an hour and is performed under local anaesthetic. Our ophthalmologist at Kloof Eye will provide you with general guidelines in order to prepare you for the procedure.

Although the operation itself is painless, you may experience some pain for a few days after the surgery. Please ensure you keep your regular appointments with us after your operation so as to prevent recurrence. If you want your pterygium surgery performed an experienced corneal surgeon, choose Kloof Eye.

There are 3 main indicators for the removal of a pterygium and they include:

  1. A large pterygium that is threatening the central cornea.
  2. A pterygium that is causes chronic irritation
  3. If it is cosmetically unacceptable.

Why choose Kloof Eye for your pterygium surgery?

The ophthalmologist at Kloof Eye uses modern, micro-surgical techniques to remove a pterygium. We pride ourselves on being equipped with state-of-the-art technology that ensures the best outcome for all our patients. Our team sets the highest standards in everything we do. Our vision is to transform lives by providing optimal eye care services in Pretoria.

Should you or someone you know have symptoms of a pterygium, do not hesitate to contact us.  We focus on delivering personalised, safe, and high-quality eye care to all our patients. At Kloof Eye, we place all our patients at the heart of everything we do. Let us help you achieve your goal of clear, healthy vision.