What Is Involved With Laser Treatment for Pterygium?


Quick Answer

The most common laser surgery removes the pterygium and replaces the empty space with the patient's conjunctiva, according to WebMD. This surgery takes about 30 to 45 minutes, and the patient needs to wear an eye covering for several days after the procedure.

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Full Answer

Pterygium is an eye condition that develops in people who spend a lot of time outdoors. It is known as surfer's eye because it often affects surfers. It is a growth of pink tissue that forms on the white of the eye, usually closest to the nose, reports WebMD. Other symptoms of pterygium include burning, itching and blurred vision.

Prolonged exposure to UV light and dry eyes significantly increase the risk of getting pterygium. Physicians suggest surgery when other treatments have failed, the patient's eye sight is at risk or it is bothering the patient, states WebMD. One risk associated with this surgery is recurrence after removal; this risk is reduced with a conjunctival or amniotic graft. Other complications include corneal scarring and other damage to the eye, and the surgery itself can also cause astigmatism. After surgery, it is important to use steroid eye drops for several weeks or months to avoid inflammation and to decrease the risk of pterygium recurrence.

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