Pterygium is a benign lesion of the conjunctiva that frequently occurs on the nasal side of the conjunctiva. It is a vascular fiber membrane that grows over the cornea, like a cloth that grows over the surface of the eye. Its specific cause is unknown, but both are related to sun exposure, so they are more frequent pathologies in tropical climates. They are also more common in patients with chronic eye irritation, whether occupational or otherwise.
It usually manifests itself as a chronic reddening of the conjunctiva, with eye irritation and itching. In extreme cases it can affect the patient’s vision, as the pterygium grows over the cornea and can affect the visual axis(the pupil). Even in cases where the pupil is not affected, astigmatismcan occur by deforming the cornea.
Except for small cases where no growth is detected, surgery is generally recommended. The surgical treatment of pterygium has improved very positively in recent years due to the application of a new technique. It consists of the removal of the pterygium, which is only a portion of the diseased conjunctiva, and itsreplacement with healthy conjunctival tissue (autograft of conjunctiva).This healthy tissue is obtained from the patient himself, being extracted from the upper conjunctiva, where it is always healthy and abundant. The healthy tissue is literally “stuck” over the area where the pterygium was, using a biological fibrin-based glue. This way it is not necessary to use stitches that are always uncomfortable on the eye surface, and a very fast recovery and normal appearance of the eye is achieved in a very short time.