Background and objective: The efficacy of the surgical management of pterygium with conjunctival autograft was evaluated.
Patients and methods: In a retrospective survey, the records of 94 consecutive patients who underwent surgery for pterygium between 1984 and 1993 were reviewed. Only the first pterygium procedure for each patient performed at Wills Eye Hospital was included. The statistical technique of survival curve analysis by the Kaplan-Meier product limit was used to analyze the results separately after the removal of primary and recurrent pterygia.
Results: Thirty-one patients with primary pterygium underwent simple excision. Forty patients had conjunctival autografts. The recurrence rates estimated at 1 year were 40% and 16%, respectively (P= .031). In both groups, patients who were 50 years old or younger were more likely to have a recurrence (P = .029). All 23 patients with recurrent pterygium had conjunctival grafts, and the estimation of recurrence at 1 year was 25%. No serious complications occurred in any group. *
Conclusion: Conjunctival autograft decreases the recurrence rate for primary pterygium compared with simple excision.