Surgical management of pterygium

Ocul Surf. 2014 Apr;12(2):112-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jtos.2014.01.001. Epub 2014 Jan 31.


Pterygia are noncancerous growths of conjunctiva that may require surgical removal because of discomfort, cosmesis, or obstruction of vision. Pterygia often recur after excision. The major goal of pterygium treatment is avoiding recurrence, but complication rates and cosmetic results are also considered. Despite the number of techniques available, there is no consensus on the best procedure. Even the best techniques carry risk of recurrence and complications. In this review, different surgical techniques, graft attachment methods, and adjuvant therapies in current use are discussed. Also discussed are newer techniques that early studies have shown to be promising, but require more investigation before becoming a recommended treatment. The review is intended to provide an overview of the current research to inform surgeons with regard to their decisions and aid researchers in hypothesis generation.

Keywords: adjuvant therapy; conjunctival disease; graft attachment; pterygium; recurrence.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Conjunctiva / surgery*
  • Conjunctiva / transplantation*
  • Humans
  • Ophthalmologic Surgical Procedures / methods*
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control*
  • Pterygium / surgery*
  • Recurrence
  • Sclera / surgery*
  • Transplantation, Autologous