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Pterygium Surgery

A topical anesthetic can be used before surgery to numb the eye's surface. Your eyelids will be kept open while the pterygium is surgically removed. After the procedure, which usually lasts about half an hour depending on the type of surgery done to remove the pterygium, you may need to wear an eye patch for protection for a day or two. You should be able to return to work or normal activities the following day.


After removal, steroid eye drops will be used for several weeks to decrease swelling and prevent regrowth. A piece of surface eye tissue may be sutured or glued onto the affected area to also prevent regrowth. This method has a low recurrence rate.


The best way to avoid recurrence of a pterygium after treatment is to limit exposure to the environmental factors that contribute to their growth including:

  • Protecting your eyes from excessive UV light with sunglasses.

  • Protecting your eyes in dry, dusty conditions with proper eyewear.

  • Applying artificial tears to your eyes in dry conditions.


Pterygia generally don’t require treatment until symptoms are severe enough. When they become red and irritated, lubricating eyedrops or ointments or possibly a mild steroid eye drop may be used to help reduce inflammation.


If these growths become large enough to threaten vision or cause persistent discomfort, they can be removed surgically in an outpatient procedure.

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