What is the Pterygium Surgery?
The word pterygium means “little wing” in Greek. It is formed when the vessels and connective tissue of the membranous layer called the conjunctiva, which covers the sclera, the white layer of the eye, become abnormally thick and enlarged, and advance on the cornea, the outermost layer of the eye.
This progressive tissue is called fibroblastic tissue. As soon as this tissue progresses, it disrupts the aesthetic structure of the eye on the one hand, and causes visual impairment on the other. It usually occurs on the inside of the eye, close to the nose.
Pterygium can be seen in both eyes. However, it is not a contagious disease. It can lead to permanent vision loss if not surgically intervened.
What Are the Symptoms of Pterygium?
The most obvious of the symptoms of pterygium is the tissue that appears in the inner part of the eye, along with problems such as itching and stinging. The disease starts in the white part of the front surface of the eye and progresses to the cornea layer if not intervened. In the progression of fibroblastic tissue, which can cause astigmatism over time, the problem of visual deterioration also arises. Apart from these symptoms, the following symptoms are also experienced:
- If the patient wears glasses, the glasses grades change frequently,
- Difficulty looking into the light
- Redness of the eyes after bathing
What Causes Pterygium?
After the eye is anesthetized with local anesthesia, the fibroblastic tissue advancing towards the cornea is cut from where it comes out.
Grafted Pterygium Excision
Today, grafted pterygium excision is preferred instead of graft-free operation in order to prevent recurrence of the disease and for the comfort of recovery. The process is carried out as follows;
- After anesthetizing the eye with the help of drop anesthesia, fibroblastic tissue is cleaned with an average of 30 minutes of surgical intervention. In order to reduce the risk of recurrence of the disease, autograft tissue is taken from the lower part of the lid of the healthy eye and transplanted by grafting.
- Autograft tissue from the healthy area is placed seamlessly using tissue adhesives or dissolving sutures. In patients with recurrent pterygium who will undergo surgery for the second or third time, drugs that will reduce the risk of recurrence can be used during surgery.
What are the Post-Surgery Considerations?
Artificial tear drops should be used for up to 6 months to support the treatment,
- After the operation, the need for glasses change arises. This change should be made after 1 month,
- Eyes should be constantly protected with UV filter glasses in a sharp daylight environment by using sunglasses,
- Dusty environments should be avoided as much as possible, and protective glasses should be used when necessary.
- Artificial tear drops should be used in dry environments, eye dryness should be prevented.
While Pterygium initially has a slightly vascular structure, it attaches to the cornea layer and causes astigmatism by causing the cornea to recede in the process as it continues to progress. Blurring of vision begins with astigmatism. In the stages that it progresses to the pupil, it closes the visual axis and causes permanent visual defects.
Symptoms of the disease in the initial phase of the disease cause complaints such as burning, stinging and eye redness
Surgery is the only permanent method for treatment. After the surgery, extra precautions should be taken to prevent the problem from recurring.