Purpose: To define the amount of time necessary to follow patients after pterygium removal to identify a recurrence.
Methods: The authors reviewed patients who supposedly had a recurrence of their pterygium and analyzed the records to determine the duration of these recurrences.
Results: One hundred sixty-one known pterygium recurrences were identified from records. Those patients with frequent follow-up in whom recurrence could be determined to within 1 month were in group A, and those in whom the time of recurrence was indefinite were in group B. For patients in group A, there was an average time to the first recurrence of 123 +/- 113 days, with second and third recurrences at 97 +/- 58 and 67 +/- 47 days, respectively. Survival curve analysis showed that there was a 50% chance that there would be a recurrence within the first 120 days, and there was a 97% chance there would be a recurrence within 12 months of its removal.
Conclusion: This suggests that a 1-year follow-up time is likely to identify a recurrence.