Pterygium is a triangular extension of the degenerated bulbar conjunctiva (the transparent sheet above the eyeball) over the edge of the cornea.

How do you know you need Pterygium surgery?

The decision to have pterygium removal surgery should be made after careful consideration and discussion with your ophthalmologist to make sure you understand the risks and benefits of the procedure.

Pterygium does not always show symptoms. When it does, the symptoms are usually mild. Common symptoms include redness, blurred vision and eye irritation. You may also feel a burning or itching sensation, constant tearing, grittiness in the eyes, dryness of the eyes. If a pterygium grows large enough to cover your cornea, it can interfere with your vision. A thick or larger pterygium can also cause you to feel that you have a foreign object in your eye. You may not be able to continue wearing contact lenses when you have a pterygium, because of discomfort.

Diagnosing a pterygium is simple. The ophthalmologist can diagnose this disorder based on a physical examination using a slit lamp. Possible additional tests may include:

  • Visual acuity test – this test involves reading letters on an eye chart.
  • Corneal topography – this medical mapping technique is used to measure changes in corneal curvature.
  • Photo documentation – this procedure involves taking photographs to track the growth rate of the pterygium.

What treatments exist for Pterygium?

Depending on the stage of the pterygium, symptomatic medication may be recommended, consisting of artificial tears (with steroid anti-inflammatory), sunglasses with UV protection or surgery.

The surgical process consists of removing the membrane in an attempt to keep the cornea as transparent as possible and with a regular surface.

What does Pterygium surgery involve?

Your doctor may recommend surgery to remove the pterygium if eye drops or other treatments don’t work. Surgery is also recommended when a pterygium causes loss of vision or a disorder called astigmatism, which can lead to blurred vision. The surgical procedure may also be discussed if you want the pterygium removed for cosmetic reasons.

Pterygium surgery involves the removal of abnormal tissue from the eye’s sclera and cornea. The surgical process consists of removing the membrane, trying to keep the cornea as transparent and smooth as possible. Today’s techniques offer a significantly higher success rate than conventional surgery.

The surgery is a very quick procedure that takes less than half an hour. The eye will be completely numbed with the help of local anesthetic.

The surgery consists of removing the pterygium and replacing it with a tissue graft, which is glued in place. There are no sutures and the procedure is completely painless. You will wear an eye patch for a day or two. You can return to work or normal activities within a few days.

If you have the surgery, pay special attention to the eye in the following year. Most of the time, if pterygium reappears, it will happen within the first 12 months after surgery. After surgery, it is prudent to always wear sunglasses with frames outdoors.

What to expect after Pterygium surgery?

After pterygium surgery, it is normal to experience some discomfort and redness. It is also common to notice blurred vision during recovery. However, if you begin to experience difficulty seeing, a complete loss of vision, or notice an increase in the pterygium, schedule a visit to the clinic.

Healing after pterygium surgery usually takes a few weeks, during which time patients should rest as much as possible. You will be prescribed eye drops or ointments to use several times a day. In the first few days after surgery, patients may experience sensitivity to light, which can be managed by wearing dark glasses. Patients may also notice swelling or redness of the eye. These side effects should improve over time. The exact length of your recovery will depend on the size and severity of the pterygium and your personal healing progress.

Recovery is easy. In the first few post-operative days you will find that:

  • the eye is red
  • the eye is more sensitive to light
  • vision is still blurry

What complications can occur after Pterygium surgery?

There are some risks associated with these surgeries. In some cases, a pterygium may reappear after being surgically removed. Also, your eye may feel dry and irritated after surgery. Your doctor may prescribe medication to give you relief and reduce the risk of pterygium growth.

Pterygium surgery generally has good results, especially in patients who comply with the prescribed eye drop schedule after surgery. There are some rare risks associated with pterygium surgery. These include:

  • Eye swelling
  • Double vision
  • Prolonged redness
  • Infection

What are the specialist's recommendations after Pterygium surgery?

  • Don’t drive until you have your doctor’s permission
  • Don’t watch TV or read on the day of the surgery
  • Wait 24 hours after surgery to shower or bathe
  • Wash your eyes gently and keep them closed while you wash them with water
  • Cover the eye(s) when sleeping using eye patches
  • Do not apply makeup for one week after surgery
  • Wait at least a week to exercise after surgery
  • No swimming or contact sports for one month
  • Avoid rubbing your eye(s) for at least three months after surgery

One of the common causes of regression is sun exposure. Wearing sunglasses regularly after the procedure can minimize exposure to UV radiation and greatly reduce your risk of Pterygium recurrence.

It is also imperative that you have all scheduled check-ups for 12 months after surgery to ensure your recovery is successful.

Text medically reviewed by Dr. Teodor Holhoș, Ophthalmic Surgeon
Written by Dr. Holhos Team

SMILE PRO is the second generation of SMILE surgeries. Following the success of RelEx SMILE, Zeiss has developed the next level of this technology.

RelEx SMILE laser surgery is the most up-to-date technique for reducing diopters, which can be performed with the Carl Zeiss Meditec VisuMax femtolaser laser.

The FemtoLASIK surgery is part of the suite of refractive surgeries available in the Dr. Holhoș network, and is part of the 2nd generation of laser surgeries.

Excimer Laser Diopter Reduction surgery is for those who want to get rid of glasses and have been diagnosed with myopia, astigmatism, myopia and myopic astigmatism, hypermetropia.

Presbyopia is an age-related disorder that makes it more difficult to see nearby objects.

High diopters (myopia, hypermetropia, astigmatism or presbyopia) can be corrected with a lens implant. The procedure is similar to cataract surgery, except that in this case the lens is replaced before the cataract appears.

Lens implant surgery (cataract surgery) is necessary for people with cataract and is the only method of treatment. Find out what the surgery involves and what the consequences are.

The eye is a very complex organ, the component parts working as a whole so that we can see. The center of the eyeball contains vitreous fluid, a clear gel that maintains the spherical shape of the eyeball.

The vitreous body is located in the center of the eyeball, between the lens and the retina, and appears as a “gel”. A healthy vitreous is completely transparent allowing light to reach the retina without any problems, resulting in a clear vision.

Retinal membranes are diseases of the interface area between the back of the vitreous and the central area of the retina, the macula; they are characterized by the appearance of a translucent “sheet” in this area, which pulls and folds the macula, thus affecting the retinal cells and causing specific symptoms.

Glaucoma is a chronic, bilateral eye disorder characterized by progressive destruction of the fibers of the optic nerve, the nerve responsible for transmitting information from the eye to the brain. Learn more about glaucoma surgery.

Pterygium is a triangular extension of the degenerated bulbar conjunctiva (the transparent sheet above the eyeball) over the edge of the cornea.

Crosslinking surgery is the procedure used for patients with Keratoconus, a disorder in which the cornea is deformed.

See all

You can make an appointment quickly via the form on the right, or directly over the phone. Our colleagues at the reception desk will be happy to provide you with the availability and information you need to make an appointment. Filling in the form does not represent the registration or confirmation of an appointment, but submitting an appointment request. You will be contacted by our team to check the availability of doctors and make an appointment.


Important note regarding patient consultations and surgery appointments

A patient who cancels a consultation or surgery appointment once, at least one day prior to the scheduled appointment, has the right to a second appointment under the same conditions.
If the patient cancels the second consultation and/or surgery appointment, a new appointment can be made only if the patient accepts to pay for both the consultation and the surgery in advance. This can be done either by payment order or in cash at the clinic reception.
A patient who does not show up for their consultation or surgery, who does not cancel the appointment in due time, or does not answer the clinic’s calls, may request a second appointment only if they pay for the consultation/surgery in advance. 
Patients requesting an appointment for retinal surgeries or laser Prk/Femtolasik/Smile Pro must pay 30% of the cost of the surgery in advance. The appointment will be scheduled only after receiving the advance payment. If the patient is unable to attend the scheduled consultation or surgery, and cancels the intervention at least 48 hours beforehand, they will be refunded in full. If the patient does not show up and does not cancel or contact the clinic at least 48 hours in advance, the advance paid is considered to be lost as damages and will no longer be refunded.