Objective: To determine the safety and efficacy of conjunctival rotation autografting (CRA) as an alternative to conventional conjunctival autograft after pterygium excision.
Design: Prospective noncomparative case series.
Participants: Consecutive patients seen at the Pterygium Clinic of the Singapore National Eye Centre who were thought to be unsuitable for conventional conjunctival autografting underwent a modified surgical procedure, which the authors describe as CRA. There were 51 rotation autografts performed on 45 eyes of 43 patients.
Intervention: In this procedure, the underlying fibrovascular pterygium tissue was removed and the original epithelium (with minimal subepithelial tissue included) replaced over the bare sclera with a 180 degrees rotation. Surgeries were performed by one surgeon (DT) from April 1995 to May 1996.
Main outcome measure: Pterygium recurrence and complications of CRA were measured.
Results: The mean follow-up time was 12 months (range, 2-22 months). There were 46 primary and 5 recurrent pterygia. The indications for CRA were combined cataract and pterygium surgery (39.2%), double pterygia (31.4%), the need to preserve the superior conjunctiva (21.6%), and superior conjunctival scarring (7.8%). There were two recurrences (4% recurrence rate), one occurring at 4 months and the other occurring at 7 months after surgery. No significant complications were encountered. However, 50% of the grafts remained mildly injected for more than 3 months, and some remained injected for up to 13 months after surgery (average of 4 months). Pigmentary changes were also noted in six grafts (12%).
Conclusion: Conjunctival rotation autografting is a useful technique of conjunctival grafting in cases in which it is not possible or desirable to use the superior conjunctiva as a donor source.