Pterygium Surgery

Southern Eye Institute

Board-Certified Ophthalmologists & Board Certified Optometrist located in Houma, LA & Thibodaux, LA

If you develop a small spot of thickening tissue on your eye, it could be a pterygium — a non-cancerous growth of your eye’s mucus membrane. If you have a pterygium that disrupts your vision, the board-certified ophthalmologists at Southern Eye Institute in Houma and Thibodaux, Louisiana, provide surgery to remove it. Call to learn more about pterygium surgery or use the online tool to schedule a consultation today.

Pterygium Surgery Q & A

What is a pterygium?

A pterygium, sometimes called a “surfer’s eye,” is a growth that occurs on the eye’s conjunctiva, a mucous membrane that lines the ocular surface. This growth appears elevated and triangular in shape, extending onto the surface of the eye.

Researchers don’t know exactly why a pterygium develops but believe it has to do with exposure to UV rays and other specific environmental conditions that feature a lot of sand, dust, and wind.

A pterygium doesn’t always cause symptoms. As it grows, however, you may experience dry eye, itching, and tearing. 

If the tissue grows so large it covers your cornea and interferes with your vision, the ophthalmologists at Southern Eye Institute may recommend surgery to remove it.

What happens during pterygium surgery?

Pterygium surgery is minimally invasive and takes just 30-45 minutes. During surgery, your ophthalmologist removes the excess tissue from the surface of your eye. 

They then take a graft of skin from under your eyelid to fill in the space where the pterygium was. Without the graft, your eye is left to heal on its own and the risk of pterygium recurrence is high. 

Southern Eye Institute performs pterygium surgery as an outpatient procedure. They numb your eye and provide light sedation so you can relax.

If you have a pterygium present on both eyes, surgeries are scheduled a few weeks apart to allow for proper healing and minimal vision disruption.

What should I expect during recovery from pterygium surgery?

You’ll be sent home with an eye patch to minimize residual bleeding. During recovery, expect to feel mild irritation, blurred vision, and redness around the eye.

Southern Eye Institute gives you comprehensive post-surgery guidelines, but you can usually return to driving, work, school, and other normal activities within a few days.

Full recovery may take several weeks or a few months. You’ll need to use antibiotic and steroid drops for 1-2 months to prevent infection, minimize inflammation, and reduce the risk of recurrence.

If you have a bothersome pterygium on your eye, call Southern Eye Institute to arrange a consultation for surgery or book an appointment online today.