Forty-two eyes (32 patients) with pterygia were treated with simple excision at the Ophthalmologic Clinic of University of Kinshasa during a four year period (from Jan. 1, 1983, to Dec. 31, 1986). The mean age of patients with pterygia was 36 years (range of 22 to 70 years). Nineteen (59%) patients were males and thirteen (41%) were females. Twenty (48%) pterygia affected right and left eyes and 9 (21%) pterygia affected the right eye and 13 (31%) the left eye. The pterygia were classified in four stages according to the degree of penetration from the surface of the cornea. Most of the excised pterygia were at stage one or two. With an average follow-up of six months (range, one to 34 months), 10 (24%) of the eyes had recurrences following their primary irrespective of the eye condition and the stage of advancement. Rate of recurrence of pterygium after primary excision was higher before the age of 40 years. The recurrences were also twice higher in females than in males. Excision of the recurrent pterygia indicated a recurrence rate of 100%. These results confirm that simple resection was not indicated for recurrent pterygium, which could be treated with an other surgical technique as previously recommended. The results of this study showed that the primary excision could be reserved only for pterygium at stage 1 or 2 after the age of 40 years.