Pterygium Removal Surgery to Reclaim Your Eyesight

Close-up of man’s green, healthy eyePterygium removal surgery is a minimally invasive, convenient procedure that can help you see clearly and restore your ocular health. Pterygium occurs when red or pink lesions grow on the white of the eye. While these tissues are benign, they can eventually encroach on the cornea or pupil, obstructing your vision. In this case, Dr. Peter Broberg, Dr. Halsey SettleDr. William McGlathery, or Dr. Ximena de Sabra can perform pterygium removal surgery to remove the lesion and restore your eyesight. To learn more about pterygium removal surgery or schedule a consultation at our Austin, TX practice, contact our office today.

Symptoms of Pterygium

This condition is commonly called “surfer’s eye” because it typically occurs among patients who spend a lot of time outdoors in the sun; chronic exposure to ultraviolet light can increase the risk of pterygium development. You are also more likely to develop pterygium if you suffer from dry eye or are frequently exposed to irritants like sand, wind, or dust. The most common symptoms of pterygium include:

  • Blurry or hazy eyesight, since lesion growth can create astigmatism (asymmetrical or irregularly shaped eyes)
  • A burning or tingling sensation on the eyeball
  • Itching or irritation
  • A “gritty” sensation, as if something is in or on your eye
  • Dry eye
  • Redness

If any of the above symptoms interfere with your vision or cause discomfort, contact our office for a consultation. Mild pterygium is usually innocuous and may only require medicated eye drops to alleviate uncomfortable symptoms. However, more advanced pterygium will need to be surgically removed.

The Pterygium Removal Procedure

This surgery typically takes less than an hour to complete. Before your procedure, your ophthalmologist will administer numbing eye drops and may use sedation to keep you calm and comfortable during surgery. Then, he will make small incisions around the pterygium and carefully remove it from the eye. To help your tissue heal properly and reduce the risk of recurrence, your doctor will then place preserved amniotic membrane (placenta tissue) in the space where the lesions were. We adhere the amniotic membrane in place with special biocompatible glue, making this procedure completely suture-less.


Directly after your surgery, you will need a friend or family member to drive you home. We recommend that you wear an eye patch for the next few days to protect the eye as it heals. You may also need to apply steroid eye drops to keep the eye healthy and prevent swelling, along with antibiotic eye drops to prevent infection. Many patients return to work within a few days, and avoid touching their eyes, swimming, or any strenuous activity for several weeks. A substantial portion of the healing process is usually complete in the first week and most people are entirely recovered within one month.

See Clearly Again

Pterygium can obstruct or distort your vision, making daily activities more challenging. Fortunately, our team of ophthalmologists can correct this condition. To learn more about pterygium removal surgery or schedule a consultation with one of our ophthalmologists, contact our office today.  

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