Pterygium photoA pterygium is an elevated, wing-shaped growth of the conjunctiva (the covering of the white part of the eye) that invades the cornea (the clear front window of the eye). It is thought to be due to chronic sunlight exposure, especially in childhood and early adult years. A pterygium is a benign (non-cancerous) growths, but can continue to grow across the cornea. Surgical excision may be necessary due to the following reasons:

  • The pterygium grows across the cornea and is at risk of covering the pupil, thereby blocking the visual axis.
  • The pterygium causes a distortion of the surface of the cornea resulting in significant astigmatism. This can lead to distortion of your vision.
  • The pterygium becomes red, inflamed and irritable, and does so on a recurrent basis.
  • You are concerned about the unsightly appearance of the pterygium and wish for it to be removed.

Excision of the pterygium alone is associated with a high recurrence rate, whereby the pterygium may grow back in the same location. To reduce the risk of this, our surgeons excise the pterygium and use a conjunctival autograft. We will discuss this is greater detail during your consultation, and answer any questions you may have.