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Pterygium surgery with conjunctival autograft

What Is It?

What does it involve?

When the pterygium causes discomfort to the patient or enlarges its size to the extent that it approaches or occupies the area of the pupil, causing astigmatism or impairing vision, surgery is necessary.

When is it carried out?

Keratitis always requires treatment, which varies depending on the cause.

Prior examination

A comprehensive eye examination is required to determine the type of conjunctivitis the patient is suffering from.

Prior examination

Comprehensive eye examination.

Before the Surgery

After surgery, the patient wears a patch, which is removed within 24 hours. The eye is red and will only require a few weeks to recover.

After Surgery

A local anaesthetic is used. The eye is kept open with a clamp. A microscope is placed in position, and the patient is asked to look at a certain point. The patient is protected by a sterile field, but can breathe and speak normally. The autograft involves placing a small portion of the patient’s conjunctiva into the area where the pterygium excision is to be performed. Absorbable sutures are applied or tissue adhesive (biological glue) is used to eliminate the need for sutures.

Pterygium surgery with conjunctival autograft


Like with all surgery, complications can occur, such as infection (0.05%), loss of transparency of the treated area, thinning of the cornea, foreign body granuloma and hypertrophic conjunctival scars. There is a 10% possibility of the pterygium recurring, if it is highly developed, and can do so even more aggressively, if the surgery has not been performed well. If the pterygium has not invaded the visual axis, the possibilities of immediate surgical success are very high (95%+).

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