Pterygium Surgery

Clewner & Kelly Eye Center -  - Ophthalmology & Cataract & Corneal Surgeon

Clewner & Kelly Eye Center

Ophthalmology & Cataract & Corneal Surgeons located in Boca Raton, FL

A pterygium is an abnormal growth on the white portion of your eye. Pterygium surgery can correct his condition and is available from Lawrence Clewner, MD, and William Kelly, MD, of Clewner & Kelly Eye Center in Boca Raton, Florida. If you’re concerned about changes in the appearance of your eye or a change in vision, schedule a diagnostic exam right away. Online booking is available, or you are always welcome to call the office to book a visit.

Pterygium Surgery Q & A

What is a pterygium?

A pterygium is a noncancerous conjunctiva growth. It occurs in the clear tissue that covers the white part of your eye. In most cases, a pterygium grows very slowly over a long period of time. For some, the growth eventually stops and there is no change in vision. In other cases, however, the abnormal tissue growth continues until it obscures the pupil of the eye, interfering with normal vision. 

How do I know if I have a pterygium?

The easiest way to determine if you have a pterygium is to look closely at the white portion of your eyes. The growths usually develop on the side of your eye closest to your nose, and usually are pink or fleshy in color.

Additional symptoms of a pterygium include:

  • Itching
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensations of grittiness
  • Burning
  • Feeling as though something is in your eye 


Researchers are uncertain of the exact cause of pterygium, but environmental factors seem to play a role. People who spend a lot of time in the sun and wind have a higher risk. Exposure to sand is also a contributing factor. In fact, the condition is sometimes referred to as “surfer’s eye” because so many surfers develop these growths. 

What happens during pterygium surgery?

Pterygium surgery is a procedure that removes abnormal tissue growth from the white portion of your eye. You’ll receive numbing medication and a sedative to help ensure you remain comfortable during the procedure. 

Once you are numb, your specialist carefully cleanses the surrounding area to reduce the risk of infection. Next, the abnormal tissue is carefully removed, as well as some of the surrounding conjunctiva tissue. 

A membrane tissue graft is placed to jump-start the healing process. A special biologic glue holes the grafted tissue into place. Sutures are often unnecessary. 

After your surgery, you’ll need to use special medicated eye drops. These drops reduce the risk of infection and bring down inflammation as your body heals. You’ll wear an eye patch during sleep. 

The best way to prevent a recurrence of pterygium is by avoiding excessive ultraviolet exposure. A great pair of eyeglasses can go a long way toward protecting your eye health and vision. 

To explore pterygium surgery in more detail, schedule an appointment at Clewner & Kelly Eye Center today. You can book your visit online, or call to speak with a friendly member of the administrative staff regarding availability.