Pterygium Surgery - Sutureless Surgery with Fibrin Glue
A pterygium is a benign or non-cancerous growth of the conjunctiva, which is a clear, thin tissue that covers the white part of the eye (sclera). A pterygium may occur in one or both eyes.
What is the latest pterygium surgery?
Traditionally, pterygium surgery involves complete excision of the pterygium combined with conjunctival auto-grafting. During the procedure, the pterygium is removed and the gap in the conjunctiva left by the removal of the pterygium is filled with a thin tissue transplant from the conjunctiva underneath the upper eyelid. The graft is held in place with fine sutures. The purpose of an autograft is to cover the bare area and act as a barrier to reduce recurrence.
The latest advancement in pterygium surgery is “Sutureless (No-stitch) Pterygium Surgery”. This technique is similar to the traditional approach except no stitches are used to hold the autograft in place. Instead modern tissue adhesives made of human clotting proteins are used. The adhesives dissolve in a week with no residues and promotes faster recovery. No serious blood borne infections have been reported with the use of these adhesives, and this method is considered to be very safe.
In certain cases, an anti-scarring drug (in the form of an eye drop) may be used following the excision to minimise the recurrence of pterygium.
What will I experience after pterygium surgery?
Following pterygium surgery, you may experience soreness and irritation in your eye for the first 24 to 48 hours which can usually be controlled with oral analgesia. Your ophthalmologist will prescribe an antibiotic and a steroid eye drop to prevent infection and reduce inflammation. There will be redness in the operated eye, which usually resolves in several weeks. You can return to your normal activities within 7 to 10 days after surgery. You will need to use the eye drops for a couple of months as directed by your ophthalmologist. Finally, you should wear sunglasses all the time when outdoors.
What are the risks associated with pterygium surgery?
Complications such as bleeding, infection, and decreased vision may rarely occur following pterygium surgery. Also, it is important to understand that there is a less than 5% recurrence risk despite successful treatment.