After Pterygium Removal Surgery

Reverend Francis RitchieMiscellany383 Comments

Pterygium Removal Surgery

Five days ago I had surgery to remove a Pterygium that had grown to the extent where it was encroaching on my pupil and therefore was affecting my vision. It had grown from the sclera beginning at the corner of my eye, over the cornea, covering one side of the iris of my left eye and was beginning to grow over the edge of the pupil. Because it was beginning to affect my vision I decided to have it removed using a Pterygium removal surgery that involved removing the Pterygium and grafting a piece of sclera from under my upper eyelid to the place where the Pterygium was removed from. This was grafted in place using stitches (sutures). The Pterygium removal surgery was undertaken under local anaesthetic and so I was fully aware of the whole process as it took place. This type of surgery severely limits the chances of Pterygium regrowth.

Being fully aware of the procedure during the Pterygium removal surgery was a nerve wracking experience. My good eye was covered while my left eye was given a numbing and sterilizing drop, an anaesthetic gel and then injected to completely numb it. I was then aware as tweezers, another needle, scalpel and other objects were used during the surgery – at one point I could smell a faint burning – my guess is that a wound was being sealed to stem bleeding… but that’s just a guess. As the surgeon started to work on getting the graft I stated that I could feel something – some more drops or gel were applied (I can’t remember which) but I could still feel something (only faintly) so the doctor injected that part of my eye. I didn’t feel the injection and from then on I couldn’t feel anything again.

All that said, it was painless. The biggest issue during the surgery was controlling my own apprehension. I was aware of a fit of nervous giggles bubbling just below the surface so I concentrated on my breathing and thoughts in order to stay calm and follow the surgeon’s instructions on where to look. I believe sedation is an option but it’s probably easier for the surgeon to work with the patient fully aware so they’re able to follow instructions on where to look in order to allow for better access to the whole eye as needed.

I’m partly writing this for those who may be undergoing Pterygium removal surgery and want to know what to expect. Being fully aware of what to expect during the recovery period is the most important. I had the surgery that involves stitches. Some surgeons use a glue instead for a faster recovery time. I can’t comment on the recovery process for surgery that uses the glue rather than stitches as my surgeon used stitches.

The surgeon warned me that about an hour after the Pterygium removal, once the anaesthetics had completely worn off, that I would feel like I had gone through surgery (I felt fine immediately following the surgery). That warning came true though it took a couple of hours for it to completely set in. I had been given eye drops to use 4 times per day (1 drop each time) and a box of Panadeine tablets to be taken every four hours. I was given enough for five doses to cover the first couple of days. I don’t want to think what it would have felt like without those because I was in agony with them. The first night was extremely painful and irritating. After calling a pharmacy we added Nurofen to the mix and I was still feeling it.

That first afternoon and the following day I tried to keep my eyes closed as much as possible to limit the movement of the eye that had been operated on as the stitches were new and scratchy and my eye was extremely light sensitive. I would have struggled had my wife not been around to care for me, apply the eye drops, monitor my pain medication and get stuff for me as needed. I was very uncomfortable. My wife has been amazing. She’s a real blessing.

The following couple of days were a mixed bag with the stitches being very aggravating as they sit just under my upper and lower eyelids so not only did I have the pain but I felt as if there was something constantly in my eye and the eye naturally kept watering in order to try and flush out what it would have sensed as a foreign object. I used painkillers consistently to reduce the irritation, so needed more than I was initially given. Slow release Voltaren seemed to work well along with Paracetamol and Codeine occasionally. I still had headaches and felt strained every time I tried to keep my eyes open for an extended period.

Yesterday (day 4 following the Pterygium removal surgery) had been preceded by a sleepless night and it took me half the day to be able to get the affected eye open comfortably. Yesterday was also the first day the graft itself looked properly red. Up until yesterday the sclera that was grafted into place had remained white.

I have used my iPad in bed extensively when I have had my one good eye or both eyes open to give myself a low light (screen brightness set at its lowest) and fixed-focus, limited field of vision distraction. Being able to keep my eyes fixed in one place when they have been open has lessened the movement and therefore the irritation.

Today (day 5) is my first day properly moving around the house, using our main computer and keeping my eye open. I can feel things there but it is the most comfortable it has been. The stitches must have softened. It doesn’t feel like a strain to have it open. I am anticipating hopefully being able to go back to work tomorrow (I work in an office) and I also have a post-op catch up with the surgeon to check my progress. It still gets a bit watery.

If you’re getting the surgery it would pay to be fully aware of what type of Pterygium removal surgery you are having and what type of recovery to expect. Make sure you ask lots of questions to get a realistic expectation of recovery and be fully aware of what options there are for dealing with the pain following the surgery.

I’m happy with the progress now and the fact that there is no growth anymore over my iris and pupil makes it worthwhile even if the recovery takes a while longer. The fact that this sort of surgery can be done and for it to be done under local anesthetic only, amazes me. I’ve been told that the eye will remain red for at least a couple of weeks following the Pterygium removal surgery and full recovery may take months, but, at this point I’m glad I did it.


A number of people have asked for a follow up photo of my eye. I just had a cold so it’s not the most stunning looking, but it is now December, 6 months on from my surgery almost to the day and my eye was fully healed months ago. This is what it looks like now. I’ve blurred around the eye so you can see the eye very clearly. It’s important to note that the original Pterygium stretched right from the nasal side and was encroaching over the cornea and was beginning to cover the pupil. It has been completely cleared.

Pterygium Removal Surgery

6 months after Pterygium removal surgery.

  • George

    Five days ago I had a pterigyum surgery.
    My eye is stil red and I sometimes feel a certain discomfort in it. The problem is that I can’t open the operated eye completely so it is smaller than the healthy eye. Is it posibly to remain with this problem for ever?

  • Ludmila Valeva

    Thanks a lot for the detailed explanation. I red it sometime before my operation and it was very helpful during and after it. I didn’t received much advice before and it iwas very important to know wat to expect.

  • Tonghun

    I had surgery done for a pinguecula using amniotic membrane in March of this year (2017). After six months, the discomfort is much less now but there is a bit of scarring (the first three were a bit rough not so much because of the pain but the discomfort). I may need to get the other side done (and possibly the same side again) and ended up visiting Dr. Lawrence Hirst in Queensland and also Alberto Martinez in Maryland. I am thinking of going with Dr. Martinez as he is closer to home (I am in the US) but I could not find many who have had surgery done by him… though it does seem that he has done a lot of them. To the contrary, I can find a lot of people who seem to have gone with Dr. Hirst and most of them seem really happy with the results. Does anyone have first hand experience with Dr. Martinez? Both Dr. Martinez and Dr. Hirst use rather large grafts and it seems the right method but also a bit scary…

  • Renee J. Grant

    Hi I am from Trinidad and Tobago, that’s in the Caribbean. I had pterygium surgery done to my right eye in 2013 by one doctor. It started growing back about a few months after. This year it had grown much thicker and became extremely noticeable so I decided to remove it again in August, by another doctor. Prior to the surgery he said the last doctor removed a part of my eye which he needed for the Conjunctival Autograph to help ensure that the growth doesn’t return. It is almost three weeks since my last surgery and I am noticing a swelling in the corner of my eye, that is completely red and irritable. It seems like it is growing in the same direction where the pterygium was removed. I told the doctor and it seems like there is not much he can do. Please advise me accordingly.

    • Hi Renee, I am really sorry to hear about your situation. Please know that this is not the best place to be asking for advice on such a matter – I don’t believe anybody who has commented here is a medical professional. Most who have interacted here are those who have had, or are considering, such surgery. Your best option is to get further information and opinions from other medical professionals. I would suggest getting a second and third opinion from other professionals.

  • Kerrie Barrett

    I’m 18 years old and had a pterygium removed only two days ago! The easiest part so far has been the actual surgery. I felt drunk the whole time and the surgeon was playing some music which helped me relax. So far, since the sedation had worn off im feeling quite a bit of pain (which I was given codeine for). I’m not too sure when I should be keeping my eyes open? Should I be letting it stay closed or should I be trying to open it at times? It doesn’t hurt to open it just waters a lot! The anxiety in the lead up to the surgery was by far the worst part! I got mine done by Dr Adam Watson at Eye Institute in Auckland πŸ™‚

    • You had it done at the same place as I did, Kerrie. I would say don’t be in any rush to keep it open, but if it’s only watering and not hurting to open it then it’s probably ok πŸ™‚

  • Heather

    Hi Everyone!
    I hope you are still blogging on this website. I have read every single comment and it has been very helpful!! This blog has given me the confidence to go ahead and have the surgery in July. My only worry is that my eye will be red 6 weeks after the surgery. I am a teacher and kids notice every single detail about your eyes. Especially mine, because they are very light blue. How was everyone’s recovery by 6 weeks? Did your eye look some what normal? I’m okay, with a little red, I just don’t want to scare the kids. πŸ™ I would love to see some more pictures at 4-6 weeks is anyone has them available. Thanks so much! I hope to hear from you soon!!!


    • Heather

      Oh and BTW, I will be having stitches with the auto graph put into place. My pterygium is not very big. It only goes on a little bit of the colored part of my eye. I am hoping, because it is small I will have a quicker recovery process!!! Praying!!!!

    • Thanks for your comment, Heather, and for your dedication that got you through all the comments! πŸ™‚ Your eye should be looking ok after 4-6 weeks, but check with your surgeon. It has been a few years since I had mine done and procedures have updated since then, so whoever does the surgery should be able to give you an approximate sense of the recovery time. I hope it goes well! πŸ™‚

  • Lilia

    I had my Pterygium removed 5 days ago, and this this afternoon I noticed the graft is dark red. It looks like a blood vessel is ruptured and the blood is trapped. It’s Sunday now, and I can’t call in. I’m frightened what’s​ going to happen to my eye recovery. Has this ever happened to any of you who had conjunctiva autograft?

    • Hi Lilia, sorry I only just saw this. Were you able to get some follow up contact with your doctor/surgeon?

  • Sam

    Little after one year of Ptyergium Eye Surgery (left eye w/stitch/graph) I still have redness and visible scar tissue. Had follow up few months ago and was told nothing can be done to correct this. Prescription drops for the redness, but use only under extreme conditions or emergency. It can do harm down the road from frequent usage. Vision issues I think?. Blah Blah. I won’t be using it. No photos will be posted. Sunglasses will stay on. Apologies to friends who pressure me to take them off and others that want eye to eye contact. Thanks Dr Allavie of Riverside Eye Specialist in Riverside California for 40 yrs of ….. Etc. Etc.. Etc… what ever he does..Good luck to everyone else needing any surgery.

    • I’m really sorry to hear that the outcome of your surgery has been a bad experience, Sam πŸ™

    • Kym Tries It

      I am experiencing this same thing Sam I didn’t even Go back to the doctor because there has been literally no change it is actually worse than before I did the surgery. My eyes are blood red and discoloured it looks so patchy you can see the nasty scar on my eyeball. I’m so tired of crying my life is affected work is affected I live in sunglasses this is no way to live I don’t know how much longer I can live like this..

  • Lisa

    I’ve just had surgery I was put to sleep for mine as it was quite a big one took 2 1/2 hours to remove it i am a bit worried as I can’t open my eye at the min it feels like I’m straining it

    • Healing will take time, Lisa πŸ™‚ It’s best if it’s not opened straight away. 2 1/2 hours is a big surgery – it must have been significant! If you’re worried, talk to your doctor/surgeon. But don’t feel like the eye has to open yet.

  • “el radar” benitez

    Where are you from?USA?state?is it very well know that pterygium is much more current to appear in persons living near the meridional Ecuator line,because the eye forms a protection over it,withdrawing the sclera tissue from the corner towards the iris/pupil to protect it from the more direct solar rays common in that tropical zone.

    • I live in New Zealand. During the height of summer our UV index reach 12 with the far north of the country reaching 14. There are many reasons for our high UV rating (lack of ozone, low pollution, our proximity to the sun during summer etc etc). The harshness of the sun is said to be one of the causes of our high rate of pterygiums.

  • Pauline Raya Limtaveemongkol

    Hey guys, just wanted to share my entire experience with you. We all know how it feels to wake up one day with red veins going through the white of your eyes – it can be a stab to your self esteem.
    Anyways,after months of research, I thought the risk of getting surgery was not worth it and I was devastated. Then I finally found a doctor nearby I felt was so confident with her work… I felt comfortable to go through with it!
    How much worse can my eye look right? All in all, I’m more than glad I went through with the procedure and would encourage you guys to do the same. It’s not as bad as people make it seem – I’m serious! Here is my daily log.

    Surgery day
    I was extremely nervous seeing so many stories with unsuccessful turn outs and complications for pinguecula surgery.
    – Numbing drops, completely awake
    -Didn’t feel a thing, completely painless
    -Procedure technique: Conjunctival Autograft and stitches

    Procedure itself was quick, about 10 minutes total.

    -Felt completely normal immediately after the surgery. 20 minutes after,started feeling like tiny shards of glass were cutting my eye. Or as if I had 5 eyelash hairs poking the inner side of my eyeball. It was
    more annoying than it was painful, nothing any of us cant handle. Eyes keep watering because of that.
    – Came home and tried to rest my eyes as much as possible.
    – Slept with a plastic eye patch scotched to my eye to avoid contact during sleep
    – Don’t expect to get deep sleep this first night.
    -Redness is 5/10 and you can see the outline of the graft placed over
    where my pinguecula was removed. Only noticeable up close.

    Day 1 after surgery
    Woke up and still felt those annoying scratches in my eye with slight more intensity.
    Pain increased from yesterday, as expected, but still bearable. But If you lay still in bed with your eyes closed, you wont feel a thing.
    The real pain here is that I’m super bored.
    Eye was a little crusty upon waking up. Not sure if my vision is blurry from all its watering or from the surgery itself.
    Eye is feeling quite more sore today than yesterday.

    Follow-up Appointment:
    Doctor takes out the protective contact lens and my eye feels 20% better. She says to expect my eye to get redder as the week progresses.

    Sitting upright or standing is not an option, laying down is the only way to not feel the pain. Caved in to Tylenol.
    Redness 3/10

    Day 2
    Pain levels decreased a lot! Still at bed rest.
    I can keep my eyes open comfortably now. Watched TV all day with no problem.
    Just mostly painful when I’m standing on my feet too long, or if I look left and right.
    Redness 4/10 (more like pink)

    Day 3
    Feeling great! Almost feeling back to normal,
    Just feels like something is in my eyeball here and there.
    Cant look side to side comfortably at all.
    At the end of the night my graft was starting to look bloodshot.
    Redness 4/10 (still pink)

    Day 4
    Woke up and the graft was completely covered in blood!!!
    Up to now, my sclera had been white. Freaking out, but it is part of the healing process. Eye pain is mostly gone, just feels like there is a foreign object in eye when standing/walking.
    Feels better to lay down.
    Redness 9/10

    Day 5
    Feeling pretty normal today! Walking is easier. Now the eye just feels dry most
    of the times — still feels extremely uncomfortable to look left and right quickly without the feeling of straining it
    Redness 9/10

    Day 7
    Everyday after this, redness clears up a little day by day. Comfort levels increase by the say as well.

    Redness starts looking unnoticeable by Day 10. By Day 12, my eye is fully functional and I’m back to my normal activities πŸ™‚
    Redness 7/10

    Week 3
    Appointment: Doctor says I’m healing very well. Eye looks good and I’m extremely happy with the outcome thus far – my eye looks quite normal again! It will continue to heal and find its way back to full whiteness!
    I’m really glad I went through with the procedure.

    Here is some information about my ophthalmologist – she is very confident with her work, and I loved her:

    Dr. Linda Vu
    511 E Garvey Ave #201
    Monterey Park, CA 91755

    • That looks like a fantastic and quick recovery, Pauline! Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

  • Ridia

    Nice to know all of your experience, but in my case after surgery Jully 27/08/16, there was no pain at all , and didn’t ve any painkiller but there was bit irritations, because of stitches there were bit preeky feelings but that’s all, had given 2 eye drops and one eye cream. For one month, then again my doctor ask me to continue for one month more, but my redness was there, and last month Doctor ask me to use Cationorm eye lubricant 3 times / every 8 hrs for one month,
    For day 3 after my surgery I started my usual daily life normally, and now afterdon’t even think there were any sugery, more over I barely use my reading glass, as my vision got improve, my doctor told me, it will come normal white after using this lubricant hopefully. And yess to come in normal stage it takes at least 6 months he told,

  • Pauline

    Hi guys!

    First off, this thread is the best thing I’ve come across since I was diagnosed with Pinguecula. I just had surgery to remove it two days ago and was wondering when my eye would feel mostly normal again? I’m having a hard time looking from left to right without it throbbing in pain.

    I am also keeping a daily log to share my surgery experience with you guys and will post when it is mostly healed! I would love to help more people out and reassure anyone out there who is worried.

  • Dominique

    I just came across this post while searching for post operative care info for pterygium removal surgery. For anyone else out there I can testify to opting for the adhesive glue rather than stitches. I’ve had both (I was one of the stats for recurrence as first op didnt utilise graft method). Way less pain, irritation and discomfort the second time around and hardly touched my painkillers. Thanks for sharing your experience, Reverend.

    • Thanks for commenting, Dominique. If I had to get it done again with the advances since I had my done I think I would request just glue now.

  • Anthony McClelland

    gday I had the surgery yesterday morning the Pterigium was on my pupil and my vision was very blurry. I was alseep for the op. I am wearing sunglasses as I type this and have turned the contrast and brightness right down. my eye is very sore and super sensitive by the private hospital gave me panadol, iboprufin and endone. the endone also helped me to sleep Its been about 24hrs since to op and my eye feels less blurry. I can feel the stitches and it hurts to blink. I have post op appiontment in 15 minutes so bettter get going. Cheers anthony. Queensland Australia

  • Rachel

    Hi I’m 29 and live in Australia I just had surgery 3 days ago I had a small Ptergium on my right eye and a pingucula on the left from years of surfing
    I had surgery on both eyes with stitches I haven’t found it painful at all but a little scratchy I’m having eye drops four times per day – steroid and antibiotics
    They are quite red but that is to be expected
    My vision is pretty good
    I will update again soon

  • Nayar Mante

    hi Sir Francis, i had my pterygium removed last 8 days ago. it’s still red. but i can see some remnants, i mean i t was not removed all. i can see some remaining parts of my pterygium. how about yours?

    • Hi Nayar, I am a few years on from my surgery now and there was no remnant as you can see from the photo I posted a number of months later. If you are concerned that it was not all removed I would suggest talking to your surgeon/doctor to express your concern.

  • bkattorney

    I had mine two days ago. very little pain only where graft was removed. Patch left on for 2 days, just took it off. Lots of watering, scratchy. No stitches, only a graft.

  • Paulette Moana

    Does anyone still blog on here. It has been 7 days and im still in pain

    • Paulette, I feel for you. Have you let your surgeon/doctor know that it is still very uncomfortable?

  • Antony Baroni

    My experience is similar to Francis’s. Had mine removed Wednesday morning. Wednesday afternoon was very challenging with the pain level. Heights I couldn’t imagine. Luckily my wife arrange some Nurofen plus. Today is day 4 and it’s quite uncomfortable with the eye always watering yet improving. Anyone having this procedure done shouldn’t underestimate the recovery time required.

  • Shahnaz

    Hi!i hve jus read all the discussion. I did my surgery on 19th janury 2016 and i had to travel back to my work location. So i travelled on 9th feb 2016. Everything was very good and smooth but three weeks ago i felt again irritation n my eye got red i went to the doctor. He said ur pterygiom is reuccuring. M so worried n tenzed plz tell me what should i do now. What type of care or drops i should use. Cuz my eye is alwaz red now. And i have to work on system almost for 4,5 hours

    • T Bird

      Did your Dr prescribe you steroid drops post surgery? Just curious, what kind of surgery did your Dr perform? Was their a graft put in place or just bare sclera? My Dr used Mitomycin with an amniotic graft.

    • shahnaz

      Hi! Before surgery i didnt use any kind of drops but aftr my surgery i was advised to use drops for at least one month. Now within two month my pterygium reuccured. One month was for recovering but the next month it staryed growing again. Cuz i have travelled back to my work location so i could not go to the same doctr! Now plz advise me somthing so i could at least relieve my eye from redishness. It looks so embarresing. I had jus for one month my full eyeball clear. ;-(

    • T Bird

      Really sorry to hear you’re having a hard time. I would advise you to find a local eye doctor and hopefully you can get some relief. Even if it’s not the same doctor, I would see an ophthalmologist and see if they can help you.
      I’m over 7 weeks from having my surgery and still using steroid drops.

  • T Bird

    I will comment on my surgical experience. I had surgery on my left eye Feb 10th. It’s day 9 and my eye is feeling great. My surgeon is from Des Moines and use the amniotic graft with fibrin glue. The Dr. also used a bandage contact lens over the cornea for comfort and healing. Day 1 was pretty painful and gritty and no pain-killer prescribed. Day 2 was much better and I could open the eye a little easier. Now I can pretty much use my eye to it’s fullest extent.
    I will comment on the vision improvement because that was the most important aspect to me. Prior to the surgery I think I had about -1.25 D of astigmatism. Not horrible but very annoying. I also had irregular astigmatism that made night driving difficult. The Dr took the bandage lens off day 6 and wow what difference! The surgery greatly improved my vision and now I don’t need glasses. I’m hopeful that my vision will continue to improve because it’s not perfect but I’m satisfied if it remains unchanged from what it is today.

  • Jacklyn

    I just had a pterygium removed Jan 22! I also stayed awake during the procedure. The first day the pain was unbearable. Day 2–I was doing all normal activities, with minimal pain. so far I love the results except for a gray spot that showed up after poking myself in the eye with the eyedrops :-(. The Dr said everything is fine with it and will follow up in 2 more weeks. I’m still using steroid and Ketoralac drops 4 times daily.

  • venkat

    Pterygium Surgery Removal operation done for me on 26th jan, still im getting little bit pain if I watch my computer continuously
    and my eye is still looking many days it will take to become normal(white)….

    • Hi Venkat, it depends on type of procedure you had. Was the graft put in with stitches or just glue. Recovery with stitches takes longer than glue. Everyone’s experience varies.

  • Candy Pfau

    There are always risks for any eye surgery. When I had my surgery done for this 25 years ago the only option was scrape, trim and stitch. So far, the growth has not grown back much. Now my other eye has the same benign growth encroaching on my pupil and feels gritty all the time. Now here in the states they just recommend radiation. I just do not want that. Glad your outcome was a success. Since I have previously already had some sort of radiation treatment to my throat for a different health issue, I would rather not have any more radiation. I guess I will just live with daily eye drops unless it threatens to cover my pupil. I am almost 70 so maybe I can get by with no surgery.

    • Thanks for your comment, Candy. I’ve not heard of radiation being offered for the removal of a Pterygium before. Radiation is not something I would choose.

  • Anna Hernandez

    Just had pterygium surgery done yesterday. The Dr never told me what to expect and I never asked. I assumed it was some type of laser removal thing and done! Nope! I did watch YouTube videos today uggg. Ok eye was numbed, did feel a little pressure so he numbed it more. Once it wore off it hurt and was irritating. I choose to take Tylenol and sleep my day and night away. This morning the patch was removed and I see double and it’s very watery the pain is minimal. I’m keeping my eye closed while watching tv and surfing the web. Hope this double vision goes away quick. I would think this requires a few or more days off.

  • Holly R

    Francis Ritchie, May I ask who and where your surgery was performed? Your eye looks wonderful.
    I am on the fence between the P.e.r.f.e.ct. Method of removal or Dr Arun Gulani’s Method.
    I was so sure Dr Gulani was the best route..Now I’m doubting it and wondering if the P.e.r.f.e.c.t method created by Dr Hirsh in Australia is the better way to go.
    Australia is not an affordable option for me now but If anyone on this forum is aware of another Dr in the USA that performs the P.e.r.f.e.c.t. Method, preferably near Florida or Georgia any info would be graciously appreciated. -Hallz

    • Hi Holly, I had my surgery done at the Eye Institute in Auckland, New Zealand, where I live. It’s not a complicated surgery so it’s probably worth just looking for a surgeon locally.

  • GW

    How long post surgery until your eye was white again?

    • This was a number of years ago now so I can’t remember exactly, but it was probably a few months before it was fully healed. I believe there have been some advancements in the surgery since then and operations without stitches are now a lot more common. Without stitches it heals much faster.

  • EmilyD

    Any chance we can get a list of doctors who do this surgery, their location, cost — whether or not it was covered by insurance and whether or not you would recommend the doctor (based on your experience)?

    • Hi Emily, because people read this from around all the world the practicalities of that would be difficult and take a lot of work. It sounds like the sort of thing that would work as a crowd-sourcing app πŸ™‚ Google is good for finding appropriate medical providers in your area. That said, such a list could be helpful so feel free to explore how to create one πŸ™‚

  • Michele Stafford

    I just had my second eye done (pterygium removal and conj graft) in St.Francis private hosp in Mullingar 4 weeks apart I took my bandage of the next day it was bloodshot and jus feeling a bit like grit in it my eye sight was perfect and I was put to sleep for the procedure when I woke up I knew nothing about what was done the best way I think the staff was amazing couldn’t do enough for me after first week with my first eye I felt great jus a bit of blood shot but I was driving 2 days later. I am writing this now and I got my second eye done yesterday. I can not recommend St. Francis Hosp enough all the staff was so patient and brilliant. Hope this can help somebody to make their mind up about getting it done as I am very nervous and put it off for years

    • Diana Domenech

      Hi! I had my pterygium surgery almost 2 months ago and my eye is still red, with blood vessel, is not completely white. The part of the graft looks better, but i can notice a lot where the incision was done, I don’t know if is scaring good or bad. Is it the scar fading with time or my eye is gonna look so weird forever?
      thanks for helping and I found very good this blog.

    • Michele Stafford

      Had my first eye done nearly 5 weeks ago before it was very cloudy looking on half the eye. Now it is very clear looking and I don’t get the feeling there is something in it at all times. My second eye was done 5 days ago there is bloodshot in the corner but the eye is clear to look at. Maybe go back to Hosp to ask about scaring I don’t know as I don’t have that get a second opinion from St. Francis Hosp in Mullingar they are amazing. My eyes is much better and look much better.

    • Daians Do

      Hi Michelle!thanks to answering. You don’t have any scar?can you see the graft or it look clear?
      sorry for my english. I can’t go to this hospital because I’m living in Barcelona:P

    • Michele Stafford

      Hi Daians
      Really I just have a little bloodshot in one eye. My eyes are clear no sign of any work done people have commented how clear my eyes look. It is the best thing I have ever done. They don’t itch or feel they have anything in them.

    • Daians Do

      so lucky..i had very small pterygium, the first level and im thinking than may be it wasn’t a good idea do it. Because it’s very slow process and now i’m scared that it won’t look good.

    • Michele Stafford

      I used MAXITROL eye ointment 3 times a day try it and see if it makes a difference

    • Daians Do

      cheers Michelle!

  • Molly

    I just had the surgery done three days ago and its Exactly like you said! The only problem is my MD didn’t give me anything for pain. I just hope it gets better soon

  • Lisa G

    Pain killers?? You guys can’t be serious. I had this done and it was nothing. Soreness to the touch but no need for pain killers. An Advil would suffice if you feel the need to be taking something. It’s very minor and Painless

    • Lisa, there are a number of ways this procedure is done and some cause more pain than others. Did yours involve stitches or was it just glue? how big was the pterygium? That will have an affect on how much was cut out and how big the graft was. I’d be very cautious about minimising the experience of others in your comment πŸ™‚

  • Josh

    I recently underwent this same procedure, and having found this blog in my research before deciding to have the work done, I wanted to share my thoughts and experience as it differs slightly from most here.

    I had my Pterygium for 4.5 years +/- before it began negatively impacting my vision. I was referred by my own eye Dr. to a well known surgeon who has a very large practice in Fort Myers, Florida. Originally when I did my own research I decided I wanted to have the procedure done with glue, it seemed the success rate was sufficiently high and the pain(less) benefits were obvious. After meeting with the surgeon though, I learned he wanted to do the operation with stitches (sutures). I agreed, as it gave me the best long term chance for non-reoccurrence.

    Th surgery: I was put under anesthesia, my eye was numbed, and I woke up before the procedure itself. I can honestly say that although I was conscious through the main event, I felt no pain (or anything, for that matter) and didn’t experience anything negative. The procedure took maybe 10 minutes, and I was so groggy from the drugs that it flew by. I couldn’t see anything, and hardly hear anything other than the Drs. quietly talking to one another. I was shocked at how quickly the entire thing went by. I know others have mentioned their surgeon had asked them to “look” in a specific direction, I had none of that. It’s possible someone else in the same situation might have a more negative or anxious experience, but this thing has given me such a hard time in the last 12-18 months that I would have handled the surgeon a hammer had the surgeon asked for it.

    Post Op: The drugs lingered in my system for over 24 hrs, but the eye numbing wore off by that evening (4 hrs or so). I had been given pain killers and used them at 4-6 hr intervals as directed through the first 24 hrs after surgery. If your surgeon doesn’t proscribe a painkiller on a sufficient level I’d be a little wary, it’s something you’ll want at least for the first 2-3 days. With the meds, other than some sharp pains when I’d look too far in either direction, it wasn’t so terrible. I slept fine that first night, and almost the entire next day as well. The drugs they give you during surgery combined with the pain killers really knocked me out, I had a hard time being awake at all for more than a few hours. And something interesting I learned, people with lighter eyes (mine are light green) take longer to recover from the meds than those with darker eyes. As I had been warned about, I experienced double near-range vision through my second day. Day 2 was relatively easy and by the end of that day I started to feel like I didn’t need the pain killers. Day 3 I cut out the pain killers all together. Days 3-4 I felt a “foreign body” sensation off and on, no different than having an eye lash in your eye. It only lasted a few minutes each time and I’m sure it’s my own eye healing itself. I’m on day 6 and have lived without my eye bandage or pain killers since day 3, and feel good. I’m still light sensitive, I’m still bruised around the eye, it still looks bloody, but it’s looking better every day and I’m experiencing less sensitivity to looking around (mine was inner right eye, and I had a hard time looking far right) than before. It’s almost a non-issue, huge improvement. Vision in the operative eye isn’t 100% but I was advised this takes between 2-5 weeks to return to normal. I’m still taking 2 types of drops 4x per day and will continue for 5-6 weeks.

    For the added benefit of reoccurrence insurance, I believe it’s totally worth the 2-3 days of discomfortable to have the stitches done and spend the time couch surfing. Many reviews here seem to indicate much higher pain levels than I experienced for longer periods of time… I can’t tell you exactly why mine went a little smoother, but I’d suggest everyone do their research and find the best surgeon possible as I think the quality of mine definitely contributed to my overall well being, speed and ease of operation, pain levels, and (fingers crossed) recovery time.

  • Anthony Attard

    I had this surgery last week. I was very nervous about having the surgery and the few weeks after of pain and discomfort. However I think I have been blessed. It’s been 5 days now and I have only taken two pain killers on the night of the surgery. Other than that the only discomfort I have had is the stitches and that only feels like a bit of sleep in my eye that I can’t dislodge

  • Cherie Fesi

    I had the surgery done 6 weeks ago and it looked like it was getting better and now it’s terrible all red, worse than before the surgery. I didn’t have a graft or sutures. Does this mean it’s coming back or do I need to wait more weeks for it to become whiter again?

    • Hi Cherie, if you didn’t have a graft then your surgery was very different from what is being discussed here. The best course of action for you is to talk to your doctor/surgeon to let them know what is happening and get their thoughts. Your eye has had surgery so it will look worse for a while as it heals, but its best to talk to your doctor as they know the surgery you’ve had, have probably done it plenty of times, and are aware of what path the healing process will/should take πŸ™‚

  • Marama Baker

    Hi, 3 days after surgery my eye went a really dark red blood shot. Did this happen to anyone else??

    • That’s probably not unusual experience, Marama. Your eye has been through a traumatic experience and is healing. If you’re concerned, talk to your surgeon/doctor. They’ll be the best informed about what is going on with your eye. The internet can be a worrying place to research such things as it will often turn up the worst answers πŸ™‚

  • Renee

    Just wondering how long after surgery does the donation area (the spot on top of the eye that the graph was removed from) remain tender?
    My husband had surgery in both eyes….first surgery was at the end of April 2015, and the second surgery was in the beginning of June 2015. He had the graph procedure in both surgeries nasally and the amniotic tissue in the second surgery on the temporal side. Both are doing fine….but the first surgery eye is still tender / discomforting at the top of the eye where the donation/graph came from….the second surgery eye he rarely feels any discomfort…..just wondering if anyone else has experienced this and how long it took to not feel like anything?
    Any comments on what it could be or how yours felt would be much appreciated…..
    Thank you……….

    • tina

      Hi Renee,

      I am considering pinguecula surgery and I wanted to know how your husband’s surgery went. Was the cosmetic outcome worth the surgery?



    • Renee

      Hi Tina,
      my husband had his surgery because he felt constant irritation from the pingueculas in both of his eyes (not to mention you could see them as well….but this wasn’t the main concern…) The surgery wasn’t as bad as we had prepared ourselves for….but still had lots of anxiety….He doesn’t feel the irritation anymore except for the “healing” of the graph donation area on the top of the first surgery eye.
      So far….. yes it has been worth it.

      Dr. Martinez of Visionary Ophthalmology in Rockville MD preformed the surgery…we traveled from over 8 hours away to have the surgery with him……I would definitely recommend Dr Martinez if you are considering surgery….he has preformed thousands of these procedures and is very personable and caring… can call his office and even speak with him about any concerns you are having…..

    • tina


      I have some irritation as well, but not as bad. I had plugs put in so it does keep my eyes more moist. It’s more of a cosmetic concern for me I suppose. Do you mind sharing before and after pictures or does the doctor have before and after pictures? I only found two on his website and I guess I don’t want to do it if the outcome will be worse.


    • Renee

      Hi Tina,
      We have before and after pictures…I tried to post them, but you can’t zoom in on them so its hard to see…..whats your email and I can send them directly to you.

    • tina


      Thank you so much Renee. My email is It’s hard to find before and after pictures and not all surgeons post a gallery so you can see how it all turns out.



    • tina

      My email is I really appreciate it.

    • Tonghun


      Thanks for the posts. How is your husband doing after two years. Is everything good?

  • Megan

    Hi, I had the surgery for pinguecula June 19th 2015. I had 3 pings removed. In my case I opted to have surgery for cosmetic reasons and to prevent any further growth. I had the glue and graph procedure. Today is day 5 and there is still a great deal of redness. But luckily all the pain has vanished.
    I was wondering if after months out the eyes look normal for most people? Or can people still tell that you have had surgery?
    Also thank you for this blog! It truly is so great that so many people can come together and share their experiences/offer support/offer advice.

    • Megan

      If months after surgery, do the eyes look normal for most people ** ?

    • HI Megan, yes, it should look great months after the surgery. The redness will take quite a while to disappear as the eye heals. I hope it goes well πŸ™‚

  • Laura Perez Diaz

    Hello, i had my surgery 8 days ago and my eye is still red and watery. Since yesterday my vision is a bit blurred. Did anyone experience this? Am scare πŸ™

    • Hi Laura, there is no need to be frightened. That’s quite normal. Your eye has been through a lot and when you think about it, what has been done is amazing! It takes a while for the graft to ‘take’ and heal. Your situation is very normal. I notice you wrote this 16 days ago. I would imagine it is still red, but how is it feeling now?

  • Renee

    My husband had 2 pinguecula removed yesterday, one nasal side, and one temporal side, both graph procedures with glue (no stitches), He has a contact lens on for helping with healing that will remain in place for two weeks…..the bandage from over the eye was removed today…..he has very blurred vision and double vision….has anyone else experienced this 1 day post op? How long did it last?
    Any input appreciated – – –

    • Hi Renee, 1 day post op everything will be sore, red, and the vision would have been blurry. That’s very normal. How is it now? i would imagine there is still some redness?

  • Michael Nwigani

    Mine was removed on 27/06/2015 and using both ciprofloxacin eye drops IP and hydroxypropyi-methycellulose eye drops, I am getting better by the day even today being 6 days after..

  • Jake Bartsch

    I had my pterygium removed 2 weeks ago and am still experiencing random shots of pain and tiredness in that eye. It does well and then out of nowhere I have to close it due to the pain I feel. During these times it feels as if I have something in the eye that I can not seem to remove. It gets bad enough that I have to pull the vehicle over and let my wife continue the drive. Please tell me that others have experienced this as well and it went away. Other than the previous mentioned my eye looks awesome. I am getting my second one done today!! Wish I would have found this blog sooner as these are realistic accounts and not just my surgeons who has never experienced the surgery himself.

    • Hi Jake, how is your first eye now? And how did the surgery go on the second eye?

  • paula

    thank you so much for sharing your story, im here prety scared because my vision is very blury in the eye where i had the surgery, is this normal?
    i had a great vision on that one, is it gonna come back?

    • paula

      surgery was about 5 day ago…

    • Laura Perez Diaz

      Hi Paula i had my surgery 8 days ago and am experiencing blurry vision since yesterday. Is your vision back to normal? I truly hope so

    • Hi Paula and Laura, your situation is very normal. These things don’t heal straight away. The pterygium was cut away and replaced with a piece taken from another part of your eye. That’s amazing! But it also means that you’ve got to expect that it takes time for your eye to adjust, take in the new piece of eye and heal.

  • Peggy D

    Had my SECOND pterygium surgery six days ago. Yes, it grew back, same eye, in eight years. I also had a LOT of skin grafting this time (with glue) as the surgeon said I had the most scarring he had ever seen. Had a crazy amount of pain the first night – much, much more than the first surgery. The intensity of the pain was because of the degree of scarring and grafting he had to do. I did NOT hesitate to take the RX pain killer and slept well the next couple of nights and no longer need it. Vision is still not back all the way but gets better each day.
    I hate being a couch potato but I highly suggest it at least until you are cleared. (I go for my one week post-op in two days.) I was putting ravioli in a pot of boiling water yesterday and it splashed right into my eye. I’m fine but it freaked me out so doing nothing is my new mantra – at least for the next couple of days.
    Wondering how soon everyone got back behind the wheel… I have an hour’s drive to the doctor on an interstate and thinking I may take up an offer to drive me there.

  • Caye Mitchell

    To follow up, I took 1week off and I am back at work now. I never heard of this condition but I am glad my Optometrist found this. Thanks Dr. Stanis of Dr.Bizer’s Visionworks.

  • Caye Mitchell

    Hello, I had pterygium removal surgery on my left eye May 5th 2015. At John Kenyon Eye Institute here in Jeffersonville, IN Dr. Asim Piracha World Renowned Specialist did my surgery. My surgery was painless. Given twilight anesthesia where you are some what aware but still under. I don’t remember being put under. It’s been a week and a half now. The eye bandage was removed yesterday and it was irritated all nite and believe I have stitches cause the top is very scratchy,but it’s healing well. I will be getting the right eye done next. Yes this is an experience for me but glad I had it because of my vision. And I had great care. It takes time to heal.

  • Emmanouil

    Hello everybody!The same here….I have pingueculas in both eyes and specially in my right is always irritated( red, pingueculitits). I am looking for a specialist in Europe tha does this surgery as i live in Germany!Does anybody now someone?

  • Renee

    My husband is getting ready to have surgery for pinguecula removal next week…anything special I can do to help prepare and take care of him before and after…we are traveling out of state to have this procedure done and are planning on staying in the area for at least a few weeks for follow up and in case there are any problems, etc…..he is having a local anesthetic for the conjunctiva graft with glue (no stitches) and a contact lens for two weeks afterwards…. Anything special to help with his (and mine) anxiety and recovery? Do you feel like eating much afterwards? is there anything special we should be looking/asking the Dr. about?

    Any comments would be greatly appreciated…..

    • Renee, it sounds like you’re well prepared. Not having stitches means the recovery should be quicker than mine was. It sounds like you’re in good hands, so trust in the Dr and the ability of the body to recover. You’ve got nothing to worry about. The anxiety is understandable but I think you can relax. Enjoy the time away from home πŸ™‚

  • Zetec51

    I had pterygium surgery, conjunctival graft, 5 days ago and would absolutely definetly advise against it unless absolutely necessary. I still have pain, blurred vision.I am on Tramal 100sr, Panadeine extra, local anaesthetic,steroid and antibiotic eye drops. Doctor said “will go away in about two weeks” I was told I would be back to work after 3 days, minimal pain. Nothing further from the truth. If I knew then, what I know now, I wouldn’t have had it done….

    • Zoe

      Sorry to hear that Zetec. The pain should be getting better though with each day.. I found that the pain was gone on the 5th day to be exact (with only an uncomfortable-at-the-most stratchiness left). Maybe consult your doctor. I had to take 10 days off work, and even now that I’m back 14 days later I’m still finding it gets a bit sore. The blurriness is still there for me, but very minor. Just give it time, it gets better. I’m sure you will find its worth it in the end πŸ™‚

    • zetec51

      Thank you for your reply..I did consult my Dr and was told “will go away in about two weeks” Drs really need to explain the after effects of surgery. As I said, if I knew then what I know now, wouldn’t have had it,,,,,

  • Nahri

    My patient at the conclusion of surgery

  • Zoe

    Thanks for posting this Francis, it really helped my personal investigation into pterygium removal. Even though this post and all comments are rather old.. I thought I would post on here about my own experience as I this article was helpful when I was deciding whether or not to get my pterygium removed πŸ™‚

    I had mine removed 5 days ago also. I think I have had the pterygium (or noticed its growth) for about 3 years. While it did not affect my vision much or cause any great amount of harm, I was very self-conscious about it and found that I would position myself to look at people in a certain way and try and cover it in job interviews etc.. Basically I hated it and it was for cosmetic reasons. It got very red and unsightly when I would drink alcohol/cry/tear up from sneezing, etc. So a year and a half ago I went to a (very unfriendly) ophthalmologist who basically told me I was an idiot for wanting it done cosmetically, that it would PROBABLY scar, that it would PROBABLY come back, and that the recovery would be extremely painful for a month. No joke! All of which we all know is very far from the truth. He also said I was too young (I’m 20) which I thought was very unfair.

    Flash forward to a year later, it grew even more and I was officially done with it. I got a referral from my GP (who studied ophthalmology for a couple of years before having kids – so she knew her shit) to one of the best opthamologists in Melbourne. (I’m from Australia). He was actually a corneal specialist and so this meant, she informed me, that because he had so much experience in performing very precise surgery (the transplant of corneas), he would be the best option for a perfect pterygium removal. She said it was virtually impossible any scarring would occur. I met with him and he was really lovely, but gave me all relevant info. I got an auto-conjuntival graft (I don’t think thats the right term but I’ve completely forgotten it haha) with a contact lens applied over the stitches to reduce pain in recovery (left on for a week). I’m not sure if this is something that he only does or if this is common.

    Flash forward to 5 days ago, I was so nervous going in. As I am so young, I’ve never had surgery or even a local anaesthetic before, so I had no idea! I thought I would give a little spiel of how the surgery goes just for anyone (like me) who is a bit clueless.. Basically I went in, waited around, was given a hat and shoe covers, laid down and was sedated (optional but DEFINITELY a must for me – I was so anxious). He told me I wouldn’t remember the local anaesthetic and he was correct. The only parts of the surgery I remember are the surgeon telling me “i would feel this” at the very beginning (A cut in the eye – not painful) and then at some point a while later I could feel my eye a tad, just pressure, so I told him and he just said that he would be 30 more seconds and not to worry. Cue sedated me – nervous giggles and “thank you, thank you, thank you” hahaha.

    Then I got out and OBVIOUSLY i felt great. I rang my boyfriend and announced “I don’t think it will even hurt!”. Haha… 2 hours later I was in a fair amount of pain. All of that day and night were quite painful and I was on a lot of codeine/panadeine. Surprisingly though, the next two days were okay.. I was bed ridden the entire time and couldn’t open the eye apart from when I had to put drops in. It was of course painful at times but definitely not as bad as I had hyped it up to be. This could just be retrospect though, at the time I was pretty miserable.

    So the past three days I have been able to open my eye up, look at my phone and stuff which has made the whole recovery way less boring. The worst part is having to sit in bed and just try and sleep all day because you can’t do anything and in pain with nothing to take your mind off it. Today is the best, and I am currently sitting up at my desk writing this on my laptop with my eye open. My eye is very red and sore looking, lots of bruising under it. All of which I expected, hoping it will fade a bit in the next few weeks. I look a bit scary! Also the eye is strained easily and I can’t really change vision direction, I have to slowly move my head. It is VERY light sensitive and I haven’t left the house yet.

    Im sorry this is so long! I just wanted to post it for anyone who is tossing up whether they want/need to have it done and explain how I found the surgery and recovery πŸ™‚ All in all it was so definitely worth it, and it hasn’t even healed yet but I can already see my nice big round eye again and its made me very happy and excited for how it will turn out. Some factors that may have made it a bit less painful for me.. I am young.. have never had surgery/anything like that.. I have very big, open eyes and my pterygium was small by most standards, it wasn’t anywhere near my pupil.

    Hope this may help someone!

    • Zoe

      Just an update.. Around 8 days post op I noticed that it appeared some of my stitches had come out on the inner most part of my eye – creating a sort of ‘hole’ where two bits of surface skin had separated, exposing the underneath part. I contacted my surgeon and went back in two days later. He said it didn’t normally happen and that mine had come apart and made a particularly big gap.. Anyway he explained that this would raise the likelihood of recurrence from 10 – 15% to 20 – 25 %, but apart from that the only real issue was the look of it. He said it would heal up fine and go white, but it would be like a little ridge. I was very upset and he said either he could try and re-stitch it, or I could just leave it.
      I chose to have a small procedure that same day where he stitched the two parts together with 3 stitches. I was awake with a local anesthetic, it was pretty scary as my previous surgery I had been sedated. Fast forward two days, and the stitches came out again πŸ™ I sort of expected this, as he said the younger you are the ‘thicker’ the skin on your eye is. I contacted him and he said there was no use in trying again (which I completely agree with), and to just leave it and keep applying antibiotic and steroid drops, and I will see him in a month and see how it is looking then.
      I was upset about it but in the grand scheme of things it is very, very minor. There was no fault from either party, simply my eye being stubborn! My actual eye looks perfect without the pterygium and all, so I suppose my only concern now is the pterygium growing back. All in all though, I’m very happy with the procedure and if I am unhappy with the appearance of my inner eye later down the track, my doctor said that there is the possibility of getting a graft put over the gap… but I don’t know if it would even be worth the hassle!

  • Hector

    It’s been 12 days after my pytergium surgery using graft/sutures and my left eye still red. I have experience pain for 1 day after my surgery only ( very difficult if you are alone). My doctor give one eye drops and eye ointment to be used for 3 weeks.

  • RayKay

    Thank you for posting about your pterygium surgery! I was researching this procedure before I had mine done in January and found this post (and all of the responses) very helpful.

    In 2005 I had Salzmann’s Nodular Degeneration and had to have multiple nodules peeled from the cornea on my right eye, and then later
    that year the same procedure on my left eye. This was extremely painful, and I was so afraid that the pterygium surgery would be as bad. Fortunately, it was not bad at all (maybe I was just lucky??).

    I thought I would take this opportunity to post about my experience, so other’s researching this procedure can see how mine went.

    First of all, I had the procedure in Austin, Texas and the eye surgeon was Dr. Yen Dang-Nieman. She is wonderful! She was also the surgeon that performed my surgeries in 2005.

    I was completely awake during my procedure, although I did have an IV in just in case the procedure became too painful. Dr. Nieman started out by putting the numbing drops in my eye. I felt part of the procedure, but by the time I asked if she could put in more numbing drops, she had already put the glue on my eye and was unable to use more drops.

    After cutting out the pterygium, Dr. Nieman put Mitomycin drops in my eye for a certain amount of time, then thoroughly rinsed it out with saline solution. Then she placed an amniotic membrane graft over the area where the pterygium was removed (she used glue and two stitches to hold the graph in place.)

    I was in the Operating Room for a total of 35 minutes. Before I was released, I was given a 7.5 mg. tablet of Vicodin. I repeated the 7.5 mg. dose of Vicodin 3 more times that day (total of 4 doses).

    The first day after surgery, I took a 7.5 mg. Vicodin about every 7 hours (for a total of 4 doses).

    The second day after surgery, I took one 7.5 mg. Vicodin and later in the day I took two Motrin.

    The third day after surgery (and from then on), I did not need any pain medicine.

    For the first week, I used 1 drop 4 times per day of Prednisolone Acetate (steroid) and 1 drop 2 times a day of antibiotic drops.

    At my follow-up appointment at 1 week post-surgery, my eye pressure had started getting a little high (28) so I was told to reduce the steroid drops to 1 drop 3 times a day, continue 1 drop 2 times a day of the antibiotic drops, and add 1 drop 2 times a day of Alphagan (to try to lower the eye pressure).

    At my follow-up appointment at 1 month post-surgery, my eye pressure was even a little higher (36), so my steroid drop was changed to Lotomax. I am to use 1 drop 2 times a day and the Alphagan was changed to Combigan and I am to use 1 drop 2 times a day of this as well. I was told to
    discontinue using the antibiotic drops.

    For the first few days, I had really bad pain but it only lasted for a few minutes. This would happen several times a day. Also, my eye felt slightly irritated.

    After the first few days, I had no pain and felt no irritation at all.

    The attached pictures were taken: day of surgery, 1 week post surgery, 2 weeks post surgery, 3 weeks post surgery, 4 weeks post surgery

  • Dani

    I just had This done a week ago tomorrow and I had no pain what so ever, but everyone is different, just constantly feels like there is something in my eye, which today is much better. I’m hoping to have my other eye done soon but it’s not near as bad as my left eye was

    • I’m really glad your experience has been good, Dani. It sounds like the recovery is going really well.

    • Renee

      Thanks so much for all the posts…this is such a scary thing to consider having done….. (located in the States and are considering having pinguecula removed)
      I am not sure how to post a new post – but I would like to know if anyone can comment on the following:
      *Has anyone else had pinguecula removal surgery (before it turns into a pterygium) ?
      *Thoughts on having surgery done before it turns into a pterygium?
      *Thoughts on surgery with only a local antesetia?
      *Thoughts on surgery being done in office surgical room vs surgical center?
      *Any Experienced Drs in the States that preform the surgery? (pterygium or pinguecula)

      *Did most start as a pinguecula (just on white part of eye) then grew into ptergium (onto colored part of eye)? and if so, how long did it take to grow…has anyone had one that hasn’t grown?
      *Is hemorrhage normal when surgery is done or this because its done wrong?

      *Any comments/insight from anyone is greatly appreciated!
      Thanks again for the information – – -it really helps to know were not alone!

  • Jayree

    I had the same surgery 4 days ago. I was looking online for some testimonials because my eye looks horrible, but technically, it looks exactly like yours did at the begining… I don’t have a doctor’s appointment until February 11th, which is 9 days from today. I’m a little freaked out because I haven’t seen any improvement yet. Au contraire, it’s getting uglier.
    After reading your post. I am hopeful…
    Thanks for posting even though it is was a couple of years ago…

    • A couple of years ago but the post is still going strong πŸ™‚ I remember it looking worse before better. That day 5 pic looked way worse than how it looked straight after the surgery but when you think about what is actually going on, that’s understandable. The graft is ‘taking’ and the eye is moulding it into place. That involves setting up the flow of blood I would imagine, and that would explain the redness. Let us know how things go with your appointment.

  • Charlotte

    This blog is invaluable. I have just had pterygium surgery (3 days ago). My surgeon used the glue method. Have to say I was in a great deal of pain for the first two days and sat in a dark room with my eyes closed!! Today I am feeling much better. I was wondering at what point the redness/blotchiness leaves the eye? I have resigned myself to wearing sunglasses for a few weeks (it is snowing here!) Should also mention that I am 21 which is apparently unusual for Pterygium at such a young age.

    • Thanks for the compliment, Charlotte. The redness will last for some time as the graft ‘takes’ to the eye and heals. It probably varies from person to person. But never fear, it will go away. Wearing sunglasses in the snow is definitely a good idea. I’m pretty ‘religious’ (about many things, obviously πŸ˜‰ ) about wearing sunglasses outside now in order to protect my eyes. The sun here in New Zealand is very harsh so it’s worth being a bit paranoid about these things.

  • Nasheetah Mitchell

    I’ve had 2 procedures done, first in April 2013. The Pterygium was removed and I had a skin graph (skin from eye lid), no stitches but instead glue. The graph didn’t take and the growth came back. The second procedure was done in March 2014, this time used a membrane for the graph. The graph apparently stayed but the growth grew over the graph. Now my eyesight is blurry, the later it becomes the more my eyes become a problem. It also looks worst than it did before and I feel embarrassed when making eye contact. I feel that I was better off without having the surgery done. Please can someone advise me on what to do next as it seems that it’s actually becoming more difficult to deal with.

    • Nasheetah, I’m sorry to hear about your situation. It’s sad. That must be really troubling. I’m afraid I don’t have any great advice and believe the best thing to do is to talk to professionals. I know that’s little consolation right now since professionals have clearly been involved… but it’s still the best way forward. I will step away from my computer for a few moments soon and pray for you. I will pray for your healing, for your peace during this phase and for your ability to find sound advice and expertise that will lead to a solution.

    • Renee

      sorry to hear about your bad experiences… did yours begin…in just the white of the eye and then grew into the colored part? how long did it take to grow? do you think it would have been better if you had it removed before it grew onto the color part? where and who did your surgery?

  • I recently went through same surgury on my right eye and they used the glue instead of stiches. the Healing process has been good not too much pain or irritation the only thing i am noticing is the vision aspect. today I am 9 days from the surgury and yesterday they took off a clear contact of my eye, but still having issues focusing, i have 20/20 vision on my right eye but as of today i can even focus on anything more than 10 feet away from me, just starting to get worried not sure if this is something that will be going away soon. can anyone tell me heree if this is something that they went through. thank you.

    • Healing takes time πŸ™‚ Your eye has had some pretty major surgery done on it and after 9 days the graft will still be ‘taking’ to the eye. It took a long time for distortions in my vision to dissipate. Do talk to your surgeon/doctor though if you are concerned.

    • gabe

      Yes thank you Francis for your Reply, the Dr did warn me about that I just thought it would get better Sooner rather than later. Also wanted to get a feel for other people that have had the same surgery and what their time frame was on the vision getting better.

    • Renee

      how is your vision now? how long did you have an issue? was it blurry? how long? did you have double vision at all? anything you can tell me would be greatly appreciated….

  • Ro.

    hi, unfortunately, I have pterygium too, its big now, it has grow considerably in the past year and a half. I’m thinking in removing it. How much did the surgery cost? I’m from Toronto. And thanks so much for sharing your experience, it’s very helpful.

    • Hi Ro, how much it cost me will be irrelevant to you as I live in New Zealand. Our public system will do it for free. I went private though, as I have health insurance that covered most of it. I look forward to hearing how your journey goes.

    • Martijn H

      I have pterygium in both eyes. The right eye more than the other. Last week my eye seems to be irritating a lot more and my vision is blurry, although I can not see that the pterygium really has grown over the iris yet. What is the indication for the doctor when to do the surgery?

    • Hi Martijn, the doctor will probably want to do surgery if it is affecting your vision. The best thing to do is see a doctor and get their advice. Let us know how it goes.

    • If it’s irritating and affecting your vision that’s a good reason to have the surgery, but the surgery can be done at any stage.

  • Karen Mae

    hello? how many months does it takes to fully healed after the surgery? and what does it looks like during the 1st month after surgery, should it be all white after 1 month or there is a little reddish or black???? not black more likely bruises.. it looks dark… if u can remember i commented here like a moth ago about my father getting pterygium surgery, now it’s been a month … it is now white from the reddish part of our eye BUT.. there is this dark things under the iris, it is hidden by the lower eye skin.. so.. what i want to ask is that is it normal or is it cancerous and we should go visit a doctor?

    • Hi Karen, I’m not an expert and this is not an expert forum so I’m afraid I can’t answer all your questions. If you have concerns you should consult a professional. Is you father booked in for regular catch ups with the surgeon or another doctor to assess the recovery? If so, are you asking them all the questions you have in order to deal with your concerns? I could ask questions to clarify what it is you’re mentioning, but it’s best that you discuss those issues with a professional. Let us know how it goes and what answers you get.

  • Paulo Marques

    I’m on my third day after my second pterigiun surgery. The first one done 4 years ago was not succesful, it was done without stiches and in less than one year it had returned. Now my current doctor stiched the patch and I’m more confident about the outcome. The first pterigiun was smaller and because only glue was used, had a less painful and the recovery was faster. Now I don’t have internal pain but an uncomfortable feeling/ little pain when I move my eyes. It feels like I have sand inside my eyes and the tears keep flooding my eye. I’m using prednisone, antibiotics, and a bed time ointment. I can barely open the affected eye, but yesterday was my first post surgery visit and I could see my eye without the pterigium. It was red all the way, but my iris and the sclera was clear of the pterigiun and my eyes looked beautiful. I could see after many eyear my beautiful light brown iris and a clear sclera. This is my third oftalmologists and she is very good. I’m very happy although momentarily grounded in bed waiting to see all the beauty of our planet without the distortions pterigium causes on your vision. Don’t delay pterigium removal. It can grow a lot and an early intervention will be easier on you.

  • Karen Mae

    hello.. good day, my father had the same case and undergone surgery. its only four days since his surgery but his eyes are swollen… is it normal or should we go to the doctor for check up? any advice? i’ll be grateful if anyone will answer my question.

    • Hi Karen, I missed this, how is he now?

    • Karen Mae

      i think he’s doing fine now, its not swollen or anythng.. and its getting white now too.. but there are some red parts on it . it looks like the root that have been removed.. i dont know if its because of the surgery. that it looks a little reddish or the root wasn’t fully removed?

  • Miss Starr

    It is now day 3 since my surgery; removed the bandage the 2nd day. I needed only to take 2 Vicoden for pain the first night. As per my doctors instructions, I have been keeping my eye closed. The eye drops I am using 4 times a day are called Neomycin & Polymyxin B Sulphates & Dexamethasone Opthalmic Suspension by SANDOZ. They sting when first applied and cause my eye to tear for the first hour. My eye doesn’t look too bad, just have red lines in the inner corner. I remembered an interesting comment my doctor made before the surgery was done…he said, “Now I’m going to apply the drops that will prevent this from growing back”. He proceeded to put 3 drops at one minute intervals in my eye before bandaging it up and sending me on my way! My doctor is in Eastern North Carolina. My follow up is Monday.

  • Miss Starr

    Thank you for this article. I read it before my surgery and I’m going over it again. I had my surgery yesterday afternoon. It wasn’t until 1:45 am that the pain woke me enough to go and take my first Vicoden. It worked and I slept until 5:45 am. I may need another dose soon. My Pterygia had not affected my sight as yet but was very annoying; felt like sand in my eye all the time. I did not require stitches. I did feel a plucking and the sound of an electrical instrument of some kind…almost like a drill sound that felt like it was rolling over my eye like a small sander…just a guess. I take my bandage off today and also will take 1 eye drop 4 times a day. How long did it take in days before the redness was gone and your eye was clear? I’m curious to know how I will look for the Christmas holy days, our grown children are taking us on a family trip December 19th. Blessing to you!

    • It sounds like the surgery went well, Miss Starr. I’m afraid I can’t rightly remember how long it took for the eye to look properly healed. I should have recorded that as it has been asked regularly πŸ™‚ Since you didn’t get stitches, it may heal quicker than mine – that’s how it seems to have worked for others here. My guess is you should be fine for the Christmas holy days and all the photos that should be taken on a good family trip πŸ™‚

    • Miss Starr

      I receive that good word!

  • Michelangelo Valladares

    Hello everyone, my name is Michelangelo. I’m 23 years old about to be 24, and I’m having surgery done on my right eye to remove the pterygium that I have.(10/16/2014) I will be awake and they are doing the graft/stiches method. I will be following you guys up on my procedure as I go through it. Thanks for all the postive posts you guys really make me feel confident. Wish me luck!!!

    • I hope it goes well, Michelangelo. I look forward to your updates!

    • Michelangelo Valladares

      Thank you Francis. I’m currently on Day 4 post operation. The surgery went well i believe but I am having my doubts because how red it is. Up to now my eye seemed to be getting better, except today my eye got really dark red lines going through the graft. I’m hoping this is a normal process assuming that the graft is becoming part of my eye now. But then it became really red, looks like I may have popped some blood vessels in my eye :/ Did you or anyone have this problem? Do red vains start showing in a dark red? and then dark red splotches until it all turns red? Does it have to turn red before it turns white? I see my doctor in 3 days but I would love some feedback. As for recovery, the day of and day 1 were a bit rough because I could feel the stitches and my eyes watered profusely. Day Day 2 (not counting the day of as day 1) was the first day I could open my eye. It got really tired fast so I would close it to rest it. Day 3 came and I was able to open my eye without any problems. The stitches are no longer a problem at this point and it feels good and normal but does not look at all normal. I read that popped blood vessels arent anything to worry about, but with the graft in place im scared it a big issue.

    • You’ll notice my eye was still very red 5 days after surgery (the first photo). After that photo was taken I had a popped blood vessel part way into the healing – it was nothing to worry about. I don’t know about the dark red lines but I’m sure the check up in 3 days will explain it. It needs to be remembered that you’ve had a piece of the eye cut out and placed where the Pterygium was – that bit needs to ‘take’ so to speak… that involves the eye doing some incredible stuff as it accepts the graft so it’ll take a while for it to look like my last image. I know it’s hard but there’s no need to panic – the check-up should help sort things out and if it is extremely worrying for you, see if you can get looked at sooner πŸ™‚

    • Michelangelo Valladares

      So i went to the Doctor today 7 days post op and she says it looks very good however i did get a hemorrhage in my eye and that it’s nothing to worry about πŸ™‚ The red will clear out in time she says approximately giving me a month till it clears. I was happy to hear the good news. Patience is key with this procedure. I have been taking a daily picture and will upload a video to youtube once its all cleared out to help give a better understanding for those going through the process. I will also add a daily log giving my symptoms on how I felt day by day. For those of you who are reading, the first two days are rough. Your eyes will water and it will be uncomfortable. Day 3 was a drastic change I was able to finally feel normal, the feeling you get the first two days will soon pass πŸ™‚ I’m on day 7 and i feel perfectly fine. The appearance is red however do to the hemorrhage, but nothing to worry about. Goodluck to anyone considering doing this procedure or going through the recovery process! God Bless! (I’m 23 yrs old)

    • That’s great to hear! I look forward to seeing the video. I wish I had thought of that πŸ˜‰ I really didn’t think reflecting on my experience was going to help quite so many people.

    • Michelangelo Valladares

      What your doing is great! This page has the best information about the pterygium removal surgery than any other website i could find. This page has actual people going through it and sharing their experiences. Other websites just include information as to what takes place and different methods of removal (Local anesthetic/ general anesthetic, sutures/glue/both, reoccurrence rate, ect.) This page gives you hope and a comfortable feeling that your not alone. Also just you replying got me at ease. So i thank you and everyone for that. I will now give back. Talk to you when all is cleared up!

    • hello my name is gabriel just a question for you did you vision stay the same or did you have blurry vision for a while?

  • Cheryl

    Had the same surgery. If any one is going for this then have it done with sedation. I was worried that i might move or jump if i had been aware of what was going on. It wore off just as they were patching my eye when it was all done.I went home by lunch time after tea and biscuits, feeling fine. I did not get to sleep the first night as it watered profusely , but it was not painful just uncomfortable. My graft had been glued in and this makes me wonder if this is the reason that i feel no pain and if i am honest no real discomfort. On the second morning my eye was stuck together but only slightly.. I am on day 5; the graft area has increased in its redness, it was white for the first couple of days. I am hoping that this is normal as your photo reflects what i am seeing. Follow up appointment two weeks after so i hope it is doing what it should. i do find it hard to have a close look as it freaks me out a bit.I did take a couple of solpadol for the 2nd night, and 1 for the 3rd night but i do not need anything now. i do find i am a bit more sensitive to bright light at the moment.

  • Kendra

    Thank you so much for posting about your experience. It helped give me confidence to have the surgery and to know what to expect. My pterygium was in a “wait and see” mode for 4 years but had started growing again and my Dr said it’s “go time”. Surgery itself was not bad. I had IV sedation so was aware of everything, but very relaxed and no pain during surgery. The last few days have been another story. Lots of pain and irritation and very little sleep. I’m 3 and a half days post surgery and am starting to feel better. I had a conjunctival graft with sutures (my doctor said that would give the best long term results and lowest chance of recurrence). I also had salzmann’s nodules removed at the same time (which my Dr thinks was a result of the pteygium).

    Like you posted, the first few days, I just tried to keep my eye closed. Although I still have pain, today is the first day I can keep my eye open for longer stretches.

    Good luck to anyone considering surgery. Be prepared for the pain and make sure you have a good caregiver for the first several days.

  • Leon

    Hi Frank, I added a message in Jan. I had my operation in Feb. It was, like you an intence experience but an enlightening one. The operation itself was by far one of the most incredible experiences. I could see out of one eye and saw it all HAPPENING! I heard everything and when they commented about how good of a job it was I instantly felt alright. Pain afterwards was nothing near what I thought it would be. However quite uncomfortable!

    Six months on, my two Ptygeriums have complety gone and so has all redness. I can see the moon as a full circle once again which is liberating. My surgeon at Moorfields said to me on the last check up.. When I showed him what the pic of my eyes looked like before he said β€œI can’t believe you used to go around like that ” and I said β€œwe’ll I basically had to beg you to remove it”. My advice, if you really but only really feel like it would make a difference to your life, then ask for it.

    A scary experience at first has ended up making me a new man.

    Good luck everyone! I feel for everyone but from experience know that it can be a life changer for the best!

    And thank you Francis for sharing your experience, it helped me a lot.


    • That’s great news, Leon! Thanks for sharing it. I’m really happy for you πŸ™‚

  • Ed

    I just had a suture-less pterygium procedure performed by Dr. John Hovanesian of the Havard Eye Clinic in Laguna Hills, CA. I had an autograft and amniotic implant operation. No one in Albuquerque offered the suture-less procedure. After researching the various procedures I decided to go with Dr. Hovanesian. This is my 2nd day after surgery and I have no pain requiring any meds. The evening of the surgery I took 1 prescribed tylenol tab. The next evening I took over the counter tylenol and have not needed anything today. I would highly recommend Dr. Hovanesian and his suture-less procedure to anyone requiring this type of surgery. It has been well worth the effort to travel from Albuquerque, NM, to Laguna Hills, CA, to have this urgery done.

    • The suture-less procedure certainly seems to have a better and easier recovery time. Thanks for sharing, Ed. Great to hear that it has gone well for you.

    • Renee

      great to hear it went well….was it a pterygium or a pinguecula that was removed? Did it start out as a pinguecula? if so, how big was it when it first became raised? how fast did it grow? how long did you have it before you did surgery? Are things still going well? Would you do it again? how long did you stay in CA? how many follow-up appointments? Did the doctor use a drop local anesthesia? Any other advice is great appreciated……..

    • Ed

      Hello Renee. I had a pinguecula that slowly developed into a pterygium. I had the surgery last September after it became visibly noticeable and was encroaching across the iris. It developed after years of fishing and playing tennis without sunglasses. I have a pinguecula in my right eye now that will ultimately require surgery. It has slowed in growth as I am using sunglasses all the time now but eventually it will be removed. From the time I noticed the pterygium to the time of surgery was about 2 years. Now sure of the size when it became raised. Things are going well now some 5 months after surgery. The autograft from the top of my eyeball is resolving slowly but getting better and clearing up as the months go by. It is not noticeable as the eye lid covers is completely. The surgery itself was relatively painless. I took a couple of Tylenol with codeine the evening of the surgery and plain Tylenol thereafter for 2 days. The doctors here in Albuquerque offered the suture procedure only which would have required 2 weeks of heavy pain killer medications. I had 1 doctor visit in Laguna Hills and scheduled the surgery a couple of weeks later. The procedure was done on a Wednesday morning with anesthesia and took about 1 hour. I returned for an office visit the following Thursday morning and flew home that evening. I arrived on a Tuesday and went home Thursday. I was back at work the following Monday. I have not had a follow up visit but I will be seeing my optometrist in a few weeks. I will have surgery on my right eye soon, maybe 3-4 months, to have the pinguecula removed before it changes/worsens. I have no reservations about returning to Dr. Hovanesian at this time. My eye is still recovering with some redness but it is slowly dissipating. I have had no vision problems whatsoever and no pain after the procedure. Pretty amazing results so far. Just waiting for a few more months to go by to be completely satisfied with the results but great results to this point. Let me know if you have any other questions. Ed

    • Renee

      Thank you so much for all the information… you have any before / after pictures . . . .
      How long did they say that the autograft part under eyelid would take to heal? Does it hurt or feel irritated at all?

    • Renee

      Hello Ed, just checking to see if you have had the other eye done yet?

  • Miss Starr

    Thank you so much for writing your experience with Pterygium removal surgery. I too need this surgery. My doctor gave me IELVRO drops to use each day and I have a follow up visit in November. The drops are not alleviating the feeling of a foreign body in my’s somewhat painful and annoying. I’m looking forward to having the surgery. Your experience has given me a clear picture of what to expect with the surgery and the recovery. Your healed eye looks amazing. I will make sure to ask all the questions you brought up to my doctor before getting the surgery. God Bless you. Jude 1:24,25

    • I hope it goes well, Miss Starr, and thanks for the wonderful benediction from Jude πŸ™‚

  • Michelle

    Hi All, I have had these growths on my eyes form the age of 13 I am now 26, I have been to the optometrist today, He has scheduled me for the surgery in 2 weeks, BUT he will be doing both my eyes at once. I am truly frighten and do not know what to except even after reading all your posts. I have got the worst pain tolerance levels and am terrified of the dark. How long will my eyes be closed and to what can you compare the post op pain.

    • Hi Michelle, I’m afraid I can’t offer much more on what to expect other than what I have written about. I’m a little surprised they will be doing both eyes at once rather than one first, letting it heal and then doing the other, but I trust the advice of medical professionals. It will mean that you go through an intense healing time, but it will be worth it and it means you’ll have both eyes over and done with at the same time. Stay strong πŸ™‚

  • Steve

    I just had this surgery 1 week ago today. I highly recommend anyone doing this procedure to find a surgeon that uses amniotic membrane graft and fibrin glue if you have that option. Only the first 3 days were significantly uncomfortable. For pain all I needed was Extra Strength Tylenol for 6 days. After 2-3 days the white in my eye was already showing and at this point I’d say there is about 50% white and 50% red. If the anesthesiologist hadn’t hit a blood vessel and given me a black eye, it would look pretty good already. Plus the recurrence rate is really low with this type of graft. No stitches means no scratchy pain waiting for the to dissolve or be removed.

    • Renee

      Hello Steve, where did you have your surgery preformed…and how are things going?

  • James

    Hello again,so today I went back to the surgeon for a check and I had developed some sort of scar tissue reaction to the stitches,so low and behold I was on the table,this time in his practice not a hospital operating theatre.I had them removed under local in the eye and now he says just one more week of antibiotic drops and it should finally be over.The biopsy for the tissue after my second operation concluded the lesion had in fact not grown back,I simply had a scar tissue type reaction to the graft and stitches,called a granuloma.
    It has been quite an experience ,with three surgical procedures in the last two months,but the eye is clear of the lesion and it made me face my greatest fears which were anything to do with needles and hospitals,so you could say everything happens for a reason and life is a whole bunch of lessons.
    I will post again when hopefully my eye is completely back to normal

  • Rita

    Thanks so much for all the information on here. I will be having surgery on my left eye in September (2014) and I am so so nervous. The information on here has really helped calm my nerves a little bit. Has anyone here had surgery near San Francisco, USA? I would please like to get recommendations on the best surgeons in this area. Thanks so much!

  • James

    OK so,after returning to the surgeon,he had me back on the operating table and my pterygium had started to grow back again after about one month.He has now removed it again,albeit from a much smaller area,so there were no grafts or stitches needed.After the operation I was on a Nolotil drip and didn’t not feel much pain.There was a bit later on in the evening but I took one nolotil and the anestocil anaesthetic eye drops,which are amazing.
    It is now 4 days after the operation and the patch is off and although still slightly sore,the eye is hopefully healing.
    I guess I was in the 10% to 15% that has a recurrence.
    I will keep you informed as to the progress.

    • Shyster

      Sorry to heard that, hopefully the Pterygium will not grow back again. Fingers crossed, James.

    • Susan

      Hi James, how are you? Is your eye ok now? Please let us know
      Hope you are fine πŸ™‚

  • Samir

    Hello everyone, I am 26 and I also have 4 pings, 2 in each eye. I live in Brisbane Australia, so i fixed the date of surgery for my left eye nasal side on July 14th with Dr. Hirst, please wish luck for me as like most of you guys I really hate my eyes and suffer for the last 8 years,

    • Shyster

      Good luck, Samir!

    • Susan

      Best of lucks Samir! Please keep update! I’m also 26, and I hope I can have the surgery soon, I hate my eye since I got this problem..

    • How was your surgery and recovery, Samir?

  • James

    Now day 19 after my operation.Some of the stitches had become loose so went to see the surgeon who removed some of them.Not the most pleasant experience I have had because I could definitely feel something being pulled out.
    Furthermore he was not too happy with the continued inflammation near the corner of my eye,although the cornea remains nice and clear.I have to continue with 1 drop of of frisolona forte 5 x day 1 drop clorocil 2 x day and I dose predniftalmina into the eye at bedtime.
    Of course I am not to pleased to hear about the inflammation but I will see him in a week and let you know what happens.

    • Samir

      James, Hope everything goes well with your eyes and please keep us updated because I also have the surgery on july 14th

  • jan

    Hi, My dad went through the same procedure almost three months ago but he has a dark spot in front of his eye and could not see through it. Is it normal or something happend wrong during the operation causes it to have that dark spot in the middle of the cornea ??
    Please let me know at what month after the operation you get fully healed!!!!

    • Jan, that’s not something I’m familiar with or qualified to comment on. It would be best for your dad to ask his doctor or surgeon. I would imagine he is having check-ups with the appropriate people to monitor his progress. If those check-ups have stopped he should talk to an appropriately qualified person to deal with any concerns πŸ™‚

  • James

    I am 51 and have had it for probably 5 years but didn’t notice it until about 2 years ago.It was scratching in my eye and sometimes I could not open my eye in the morning without it being quite painful.I used Lubristil eye drops for a while and they did bring significant relieve,although they are expensive.
    It is now 14 days after my surgery and the doctor is please with the results so far.I still have stitches in my eye and they will likely be removed in two weeks time.I do feel like there is something in my eye(because the stitches are there) and it is quite irritating so I keep using the anestocil anaesthetic eye drops.
    On the plus side the pterygium is no longer there and and my cornea is back looking like it used to,so I am delighted.
    My understanding is that with graft surgery the risk of recurrence is between 5% and 15%.Furthermore,you need to be checked for a year after the operation and if they see evidence of it coming back they can used some sort of steroid injection to halt it.
    Finally,I could have done the operation in London,but instead chose Portuga, a place and a surgeon that does lots of these all the time.It is quite a rare operation in the UK because they don’t get much sun.
    Good luck with you decision.

  • Susan

    Thanks for sharing your experience.
    I would like to know how old are you.
    I’ve been diagnosed with pterygium in my right eye and my doctor doesn’t want to make the surgery because he says I am young (I’m 26). He says that the probability of it growing again is very high.
    But it is growing and itches all the time. It’s red and it bothers me a lot. I’m looking for a second opinion, but I would like to know if you or anyone here knows about this kind of surgery in patients of my age with the new methods ( I think my doctor uses only traditional methods like stiches)
    Thanks a lot for your answers!

    • Hi Susan, sorry I missed your question. I am 37 and was 36 at the time of my surgery. I’m not sure why 26 would be considered too young. I think pursuing a second opinion is very worthwhile.

    • Susan

      Thanks a lot for the answer! I have asked for many opinions, and most of the doctors have told me the same, that it would be better if I wait at least a couple of years. So I will need a lot of patience…

    • Zoe

      Hi Susan,

      I am 20 and have had it done! The way I see it.. If it grows back again anytime soon I will be very unlucky and just have to bite the bullet and do something about it, and if it grows back again years down the track then it might not be such a big of a deal. (I had mine done for mostly cosmetic reasons)

      Go to a different doctor, I had a judgemental doctor tell me the same thing and so I went to someone who really understood.

  • James

    Hi all just had my sugery here in Portugal with sutures as my surgeon said the glue can be inadvertantly rubbed off whilst sleepinng and itching your eye.
    The above post is spot on.I was terrified but was sedated although they may have knocked me out completely as I don’t remember more than being on the oprating table.
    Painful after a couple of hours after the op luckily my uncle was there to take me home.I have no idea how I would have managed alone.First night tool 1000mg paracetamol to no effect found some Nolotil which helped alot plus the numbing eye drops. day one and two felt like glass in eye so kept putting the numbing eye drops evry 1 1/2 hrs and they helped massively.On daythree now and up and about feeling much better and delighted I did it.Will keep you posted

  • shonofear

    hey all, thanks so much for this blog post and great discussions, its hard to find good info and feedback on the internet for these pterygium surgeries.
    I to will be getting BOTH eyes done on the 13th June at the same time and will be using the stitches procedure not sure if any glue is involved like Francis surgery. though i was hoping the Doc was going to use the glue method after reading good things about it, even lesser chance of regrowth based on a few studies and obviously less time recovering.
    I’m cutting it close for time as i start a new contract at Weta Digital in Wellington on the 1st of July and really hope that the 17 days post op give my eyes rest before sitting in a dark room for 50+ hr weeks for the next 4 months πŸ˜›
    I was very blessed and fortunate to receive a government grant towards my op so the cost is less than $1k for both eyes.
    As a surfer growing up in QLD, Australia there are a few people getting around with these growths on theirs eyes, makes us all look like we are a bunch of hippie stoners living on the dole, so glad to not be stereotyped into that category after this surgery. Plus my eyes start burning after a big surf and my eyes water for the next day and interferes with my computer work so actually can’t wait to have fresh eyes again. Will have to start wearing surfing sunglasses for those extra glare’y days to lessen the chances of re-growth.
    Question time:
    – was that the Doc’s normal procedure to use the glue with stitches ?
    – were you able to use a computer for long hours after a few weeks of recovery ?
    – how long did it take for your eyes to be completely clean, no redness ?
    – has anybody had any sign of re-growth after surgery ?

    thanks peoples, keep those eyes protected

    • Ken

      Hello, just had right pterygium surgery about 2 weeks ago and my left side in 2 weeks. Nice to see a blog and the discussion regarding this procedure. It does help a lot for people that about to do it and after as well. Shonofear, I’m surprised that you’re doing it both eyes in the same day. I had asked about it because I had it in both as well but my doc wanted to ensure that the other one is completed and out of any complications prior to starting the other side. I would consider maybe taking it one at a time just to be safe.
      I, as well had sutures and glue done w/out the stitches. I believe the suture held it in place. Well, after 2 weeks my about 90% back to normal with the exception of the part where the pterygium was still red but I expect that since that’s where the majority of the cutting happened.
      As far as your question, glue w/ stiches can be a sign of care and preemptive assist to keep the pterygium from coming back. I was also induced w/ mytomicin to prevent the tissue from returning. It’s been 2 weeks now and I’m able to use a computer for long hours but I’m sure that you’ll have a few minutes of break so that can ease it out as well. Expect to have a slight blurriness on the vision due to maybe “trauma” to the eye? But nothing significant just a slight issue while you’re on meds I would assume and from the procedure. Nonetheless, 4-6 weeks and your eye should be back to normal.

    • shonofear

      hey, thanks for the reply.
      well i can’t really choose to have them done on separate days as im getting them done for free thanks to the public health system, been on the wait list for some time. i will ask the doc before the actual surgery about any potential problems but i do recall him being confident about doing both. well i’ll be starting work (50hr weeks) staring at the computer screen on July 1st so hope the 2.5 weeks is enough.
      well todays the day of the operation, my last meal will be soon, and actually the thought of not eating for 6hrs prior to the op is more daunting than the op itself (still got a hungry metabolism)
      thanks, will take photos prior and after op.

    • shonofear

      well, im here typing with my eyes starting to tear up. i cant beleive how much im now affected to liht sensitivity. wearing my glasses as i type with 1 eye slightly open. i had a sneak peak at them this morning and was very frightened by what i saw, bad idea to look at them so soon.
      got a checkup in 2 days and hope the Doc says everything looks perfectly in order.
      well, back for some more eye drops followed by a cool ice pack to the eyes, makes a BIG difference in relaxing my eyes as i rest on the couch. make sure you get some good audio books prior to Op peoples. will keep all posted in coming days. sorry if theres heaps of spelling mistakes in this, too tired to re-read it

    • Hi Shonofear, how are you doing now. Your experience sounds very similar to mine. If it’s still not comfortable, don’t let it get you down. Your experience is normal. Don’t push yourself πŸ™‚

    • shonofear

      Hey Francis, im still here. can now see 60% but very light sensitive still. had my checkup 2 days ago and Doc says everything looks in order even though i voiced my concern that they looked all hacked up. he says it normal, give it 4 weeks and should be back to normal, so i guess i have to take his word for it, and i think he has a good reputation and he mentioned hes good friend with the P.E.R.F.E.C.T eye surgeon in Brisbane that does top quality pterygium surgeries.
      computer screens/tv are still the enemy at this stage, it will be 1 week tonight so i should really not push myself like you say, but its hard when my lif was all around a computer all the time.
      ah well, good time to rest, play some music (getting better playing eyes closed now on guitar) and listen to tunes/books, cant complain really. but hoping my start at WETA studios on the 1st July will give me enough time to rest up. praying for a speedy recovery.
      cheers 4 checkin up on me.

    • The redness etc may not have gone by 1st July but you should be able to handle the light. And congrats on the job if it’s a new one! The eye will look pretty mangled for a little while, but it will heal. Don’t forget what has happened – you’ve had something cut out of it, then another part of your eye has been cut out and secured into the place where that first bit was cut out. When you stop and think about it, that’s gross, painful, and really inconvenient ,but also blimmin amazing, and the fact that the eye can then heal itself is phenomenal! πŸ™‚

  • Ardee

    It is just 8 days post surgery. I’ve been fine and thought it was healing very well. However, last night I noticed that instead of the redness I have a bright scary looking red spot now where pyterigium was removed as opposed to all round redness which I had before now. Can anyone tell me if this is normal part of the healing? I fear that the graft has moved and the something is wrong.


    • shonofear

      hey, was yours a glue or stitches procedure? im guessing the stitches maybe able to hold the graph in better? just an uneducated guess, sorry im no Doc. hope your eyes come good without needing more surgery

    • ardee

      Hi All,

      The doc just used glue and I only really had one night of discomfort. The eye was healing well although pink and I was out and about in no pain by three days after op. Unfort, I went back running around in sport day 7 feeling great and I burst a blood vessel. This really scared me and made me think the graft moved. However, it was just a blood vessel. The eye is healing v well but because of the blood vessels looks awful – takes 2 weeks to dye down. I think if that hadn’t happened if be already back on track. I’d no problem a few days in looking at computer. I would warn all not to go back to reg activities too fast – as I would not have realized blood vessel can go and it adds to making everything look worse.

      No regrets – still second eye to do.

    • Hi Ardee. I’m glad you found out what it was. I had a burst blood vessel during my recovery as well. It didn’t present any issues.

    • Ardee

      Hi Francis,
      Just out of interest did it take long for the bloodvessel to heal?
      Im on day 14 and eye has healed well but the burst blood vessel after 7 days is still very red and covering like a patch where the pytergium was. I am glad the graft didnt move but ready for the redness of the blood vessel to clear up and to finally see how the surgery went.I hate meeting people and explaining the redness these past two weeks.
      Im sure it will be worth it in the end πŸ™‚

    • shonofear

      only a few more red eye days then pure white eye forever, hang in there.
      how intense were you on your exercising? was it just running that did the blood vessel?

    • Ardee

      Good luck today ! It is a lot to get two eyes done so take it easy for a while after. I went out playing tennis on day 7 – id been fine all week after procedure but now stuck with the broken blood vessel – a big red spot on eye that is taking along time to clear. Yes , avoid cardio after op until fully healed.i feel lost now as not sure how long this redness will stay.

    • Ardee, how is your eye now. The redness lingers for a while, but trust in the ability of the body to heal itself. Are you using eye drops regularly during the healing phase?

    • Ardee

      Hi Francis,

      Thanks for your message. I’m doing well but the redness from the burst blood vessel is still there. I went back to the doc and I was told that the procedure went v well and all looks good underneath redness but that I was unfortunate that the blood vessel went. The doc told me that it looks like the blood maybe trapped under the graph ! It seems to be taking a very long time to fade away. If it doesn’t go itself the doctor mentioned that we may need to release it but hoping it won’t come to that. Outside of the red spot the eye area looks white and well healed. I have put off getting the second one done until this clears. I have found it depressing at times dealing with the redness but hope it will clear soon and all will be well. I’m going into this week with trying to be as positive as possible.

      Thank you

    • ardee

      and still using creamy texture drops

    • shonofear

      shesh… thats not good to hear about bursting blood vessels post op. what do you think encourages them to happen? will avoid upside down pushups for a while.

  • ardee

    Thank you for all the messages here. I had the glue graft surgery on one eye 2 days ago. I went under the GA and I was terrified having the surgery. It has gone well so far. I had little discomfort after and surprised how little pain. I did have a restless night sleep and had pain later that first night but by the second morning that was the end of any pain. I spent the first day in bed but by the evening was happy to be up. Today is my second day I am feeling good. I am out of bed and have my shades on while pottering around the house. I am seeing my surgeon tomorrow for the first check.

    Is it ok to have eye open after surgery or should I try keep it closed ?

    • I would imagine that’s entirely up to you, Ardee, and is mostly about your sense of comfort. I had stitches that needed to soften and that took a few days so I worked to keep my eye closed for a while πŸ™‚

    • Ardee

      Thanks Francis , the glue graft worked well in terms of less pain. I have had very limited pain overall and now day 6 it doesn’t feel like a foreign object is in my eye however it is very red around the eye and bright red underneath the eye socket. This is the scariest part as I just hope it heals well. My doctor has told me 4 weeks on average to fully heal. I have the second eye scheduled for the end of the month but may postpone for a while – it is hard to go through it all again so soon. Many thanks for support.

  • Ardee
    Has anyone heard about this new potentially groundbreaking non-surgical cure? I emailed them and they say that they are in the process of securing funding to clinically test but that the drops can be got as they are already in the exisitence.
    I have emailed it to my doctor. The report is also quite interesting to read.
    I’d be interested to hear if anyone has heard of this before.

    • T Bird

      Please let us know what your Dr says. I would much prefer this method.

    • T Bird

      I did contact them about getting the drops. They said in the meantime to accommodate those who want the drop outside the clinical trial they are arranging a compounding pharmacy to prepare the solution. They will let people know when those become available. Who knows how long that will be? This is a very interesting breakthrough.

    • Shyster

      Thanks for the info. Very interesting to read, look promising. I am with T Bird here, I would much prefer this method also.

    • Shalako

      Hi, I am wondering whether the procedure that is mentioned is done by Dr Brian Boxter Wachler. He is based in Los Angeles.
      I contacted him regarding my own pterygium . He uses a method called I-brite which removes the sclera, taking the pterygium with it.
      After a lot of thought I decided against it, only because of the cost and I would also have to travel from the UK.
      I went back to see my eye specialist and I went ahead and had it done here in the uk three weeks ago and I am recovering well.
      I read Francis Ritchie’s blog before I had my surgery and his comments spurred me on to have it done. I was apprehensive but was amazed. I felt nothing during the surgery, it took less than 25 mins and I was home in time for dinner. I have taken a picture a day and its looking ok. After reading Francis’ blog I was expecting pain but I had none, bearing in mind mine was a lot smaller than Francis’.
      I hope this helps anyone considering surgery.

  • Ardee

    Thanks Francis, I will let you know how it goes. I am booked in for Tuesday week and the following one a month later. I hope it is worth it. They are not interfering with my vision which is making me question whether it is worth going through with the procedure purely to get rid of the bumps and redness problem ( which i am recently keeping at bay). Anyway, it is coming closer so hopefully it will all work out for the best and ill stay positive. I am only just starting to tell people about the surgery to avoid the shock factor after. I will keep in touch. At least it does seem that they are more and more common and that better method of removal are coming down the line all the time.

  • Ardee

    Hi Francis,
    The time is coming close for the first eye. I will be under GA for it. The surgeon is using glue only no stitches. Do you know if it is very embarrassing to meet up with people after the surgery and how long before you can get out and about doing your regular things – runs in the park etc. I fear that i will look like a monster after it and I am wondering how people felt going out and about after the surgery.

    • Hi Ardee – being under general will make the experience a bit more pleasant πŸ™‚ Also, from what I’m aware the procedure that just uses glue has a quicker recovery time than the glue and stitches procedure that was used for me. Your surgeon will be able to inform you about that. I would give yourself a few days before you trying getting out and about, you’ll want to stay rested and in a darkened space for the first few days.

      Your eye will be red etc for quite a while afterwards but will heal over time. The embarrassment factor is purely subjective. If people know you’ve had surgery it shouldn’t be embarrassing and if they don’t then it’s a good talking point – people love great stories and describing the nature of the surgery always gets a captive audience πŸ˜‰

      Let us know how it goes.

  • David Windus

    Hi Francis

    I’m 54 and I am about to have the Pterygium removal surgery, I have never been to any hospital for any type of procedure and I am a bit apprehensive about it, just the thought of anyone trying to touch my eyes makes me nervous, I flinch even when my wife tries to put drops in for me now let alone someone trying to stick a needle in it.
    My Pterygium is also on my left eye and is also from the sclera beginning at the corner of my eye, over the cornea, covering one side of the iris of my left eye and is beginning to grow over the edge of the pupil its was beginning to affect my vision as well. I have to take my pre opp paper work in tomorrow 13/ 05/ 14 so I don’t know weather they will do it tomorrow or next week?
    I am glad that I have read your post and the other comments on the procedure and recovery process and the time it takes ( I too thought it would only be a week and I’d be back to work ), it has relieved a bit of the tension I am feeling I’m not a very calm person I am a bit of a tense and twitchy person, they might need a (straight jacket ) to keep me still. ha ha !!!!

    • Imee

      Hi David

      Let us know when its done. You can do it and just pray to God for a fast recovery after the operation. Your pterygium started with a bump also in the sclera? How many years do you have it?

    • David

      Hi Imee
      Hopefully it will get done on the 19/06, I have picked up a cold 3 weeks out , I hope I will be right or it will have to be put back till I am ? , I am getting it done in a public hospital so if I have to put it back it’s anyone’s guess when they can fit me back in.
      I’ve had it for a few years but I haven’t had the time or the money to have it done privately and it hasn’t bothered me till late.

    • I completely understand the apprehension, David. I acted tough about it but was very nervous πŸ˜‰ Just roll with it and feel free to talk to the nurses and doctor about how you’re feeling – it will help even if they can’t do much to change the actual procedure. They’re looking out for you and are there to help.

    • David

      Sorry I have taken so long to reply, have been a bit busy with work.
      I am booked in for the 19/06, I am still bit apprehensive about it.
      I now have a cold 3weeks out so I hope I can get over it , or I will have to put it back till I am right ?

    • Hi David, it’s best for your doctor/surgeon to advise on that. 3 weeks to get rid a cold should be pretty safe though.

    • David Windus

      Hi Francis
      and all on this site!!! A Big Thanks to u all for your encouragement, insight and experiences with this type of surgery.
      Got over my cold and I had it done on the 19/06/2014, the surgery went well and I was sought of aware of the doctors and some of the shadows of the instruments at play.
      Dr Diana Conrad and the staff of the Royal Brisbane Hospital were really Great, Professional and Caring they looked after us very well and I THANK THEM VERY MUCH WELL DONE TEAM.
      I was in at 6.00am for prep, surgery at 8.30am,into the recovery room that I was aware at 9.40am,home by 2.00pm a couple of pain killers and the eye drops and into bed, slept for a couple of hrs. but not with any comfort. That didn’t happen till the next night and I had a solid 4 hrs. The only thing that is really annoying is the stiches and having to sleep on my right side as there was less stress on the eye and the stiches or it felt more comfortable that way.
      1 week out and the eye was less red but the stiches are a pain in the eye ha ha !!!
      13 days out still slightly scratchy but better still a little red, watery a bit especially out side even with my shades on, I will keep u all posted on the progress as it goes, I have before and after photos and I will try and upload them to add to the content of this site that helped me to get through this procedure.
      Thank u all talk soon
      Best Regards
      David Windus

  • Imee

    Hi guys! Thank you Francis it is really a great blog for us pterygium sufferers. I got pterygium also both eyes nasal side. It is still small but uncomfortable. It causes my eyes to become dry and sometimes red or pink. Actually, few months back I had anxiety because of this and I could’nt sleep thinking about it. I want to have it removed but maybe I should keep it for a moment.

    • Hi Imee, yes, mine started with a bump and grew. Some people live with it for years with no growth. If it’s causing you issues and making you anxious it’s best to see a professional so they can give you more information and help you decide whether it needs to be removed or not. If not, their perspective might help relieve some of your anxiety πŸ™‚

  • Farhanaz Joulay

    I had the removal about 14 months ago and my eye does not look like yours at all. It’s still pink in the corner of my eye where the graft was removed and most days its red and I have to keep using drops. I went for a check up when it was 1 year since my op and the doc said that the pink in the corner of my eye would never go away since I took so long to get it removed. I really am disheartened by this and wish I had it lasered out πŸ™ I always have to carry my drops with me as I have developed a complex about my eye. I feel that its red all the time and people are always staring at it when they talking to me. Please do your research on which op would be better, having it cut out or having it lasered out. Good Luck on your recovery guys!!

    • I’m sorry to hear that Farhanaz. That’s really unfortunate. I feel for you πŸ™

  • Rachel

    hello again!
    its been a month and 1 week after my pterygium sugery and so far ive had two post opt appointments where my doctor has said eveything is looking good. It is still a bit red where the pterygium was…how long until all the redness went away? its not as red as it was but it still has blotches and people still notice so i am a bit worried this is as good as its going to get. btw i had the stich graft done.
    now just a few questions do you wear sunglasses all the time outside now and are they just regular 100% uv protected? I wear expensive ray bans and feel like they protect but now I am afaid to even have my eye in the sun. haha i know it sounds stupid but i dont want this to come back.
    thank you so much for all your help and this blog, its been a great reasource!

    • Nita


    • Rachel

      Thank you so much for the information on the sunglasses. I will be looking into them and seeing if i am able to buy them. I wouldn’t worry too much with your pterygium because I was the same way and so far the healing prosess is going just fine. I am a bit concered because there is still blotches of red/pink in my eye but when my doctor went in for the surgery, he said it was much thicker than he thought. So he had to be a lot tougher on my eye so thats why i believe it is still a bit red. the last two appointents i had after the surgery he said everything was looking good and i got back in 2 weeks. i am just doing everything i can not to make sure it heals well and that i don’t have a reaccurence of the pterygium.

    • Nita

      Hello everyone, I am Indonesian and live in Berlin, Germany. One big thank you to Francis for the blog, and also to everybody who already posted your experiences of pre/during/post operation. It lifts my spirit by reading so many good wishes and words of encouragement in this blog.

      I am diagnosed with pterygium last week. It still small (I suppose, my condition is like Shyster’s). My doctor is really a great guy. Nothing much I can do at the moment but to keep tabs on the growth, put the eyedrops (Optive Fusion that contains more lipid) 2-3 times a day and always wear a pair very good sunglasses when I am outside during the day even during cloudy days. Rachel, I just bought a pair of sunglasses of Maui Jim. My optician said they make the best sunglasses that filter the maximum UVA-UVB thus this product is very pricey.IIts design is mostly ‘wraparound’ which also gives the maximum protection to the eyes, above and the side. According to my optician there was no 100% UV protected sunglasses, and 80% is the maximum.

      I have to come back to my doctor for a check-up in six months. I am very nervous and afraid. This blog gave me many useful information and gave me more courage knowing that I am not alone in this condition. Thank you for sharing!

  • Jennie

    I was just told by the optometrist that I need to remove the pterygium in my right eye, it’s being done on May 5 . Then I need to get the left one done as well when I heal from this one,I was very nervous about the surgury but reading the stories on here make me feel a little better, I just scared because its my eye never had anything this scary done before, but looking at the photo I cannot wait to look at my eye and not see that ugly thing in there no more

    • Ardee

      Hi Jeannie,

      I am the same. I have my first eye scheduled for May 23 and the second one a month later. I am going under a general anesthetic as I am so nervous. I’ve had red eyes for years with them but they do not interfere with my vision and the redness can vary. I hope it is worth it. Does anyone know how long before you feel comfortable meeting people after operation ? Good look Jeannie – keep me posted. I will be shortly after you. Thanks to all who post on this site. I will post after each surgery my experience.

    • ardee

      Hi Jeannie, how did it go? I have mine in two weeks and still very nervous. I was wondering if i will be comfortable meeting friends after it and going out to do my usual sports etc. Would love to hear how it went.


    • Hi Jennie, how did your operation on May 5th go?

  • Shyster

    Just an update. Well I went to see my consultant today, he was brilliant and understanding guy. My pterygium in my right eye is a grade 1 (small), he want me to tried out these new eye drops for a few months.

    I have made another appointment to see the eye consultant in 4 months time, to discuss surgery. My consultant respect my wishes and actually agreed to have it remove, once I tried out these eye drops first. I was surprised considering it is small at the moment. In my left eye, I have got dry eye. πŸ™ deep down I do think I am developing another pterygium in that eye, but the doctor couldn’t see no pterygium.

    The consultant seem confidence and had operated on many of his patients with pterygium.

    • Shyster

      We did had a conversation, the pterygium could come back after the surgery, that is my main concern! It is so nice to read everyone stories on here, I don’t feel alone with this Pterygium!

  • Rachel

    Hello. I just recently had my pterygium surgery about 3 days ago. I am feeling great other than I feel the stiches every once in a whole and the red eye is freaking me out. When my doctors saw me the day after he told me the pterygium was much thicker than he thought. But the recovery pain has not been as bad as I thought. Just a few questions: how long did it take for your redness to go away or look like it started to heal up? Was your eye a bright red? Also how long did it take for the stiches to dissolve? And did the graft settle in after awhile? I feel like you can really tell there is something in place of where the pterygium was at.

    Maybe I’m just over thinking all of this but I’m just freaked out the red in my eye will not go away.

    • Hi Rachel, if you look at my first photo (5 days after surgery) you’ll notice that it’s bright red and raised. You’re going to be fine. That redness and feeling of something being there is perfectly normal just after surgery… you’re only 3 days on from having something cut out of your eye and replaced with another part of your eye πŸ˜‰

      My stitches took weeks to dissolve and the redness took some time to completely dissipate. You’re only 3 days in so I wouldn’t be worrying about it if I were you. Let us know how the healing continues.

    • Rachel

      Thank you, that helps a lot! I will definitely keep you updated in my process of healing:)

    • Rachel

      Hi again- so later today I will be going for my check up a a week after my surgery. It’s feeling good, still red but I feel like a see spots of white-ish/yellow-ish color… Is that the process of healing?? everything else I feel great, a few headaches here and there but not bad

    • Your recovery sounds really good, Rachel. I would imagine the spots are part of the healing process. I’m not a health professional so I won’t speculate. Your doctor or whoever is doing the check-up will be able to clarify that for you πŸ™‚ Let us know what they tell you.

    • Rachel

      Hi there! Yesterday i went for my follow up after surgery and the doctor says everything looks good!. My eye is slowly getting better but still red.. I asked him about the redness and he said it will take some time even though i just keep wanting it to get better in a day but I have to keep reminding myself that my eye has been through alot and it will take time. I worry since its been 9 days it should be less red but its taking its sweet time so i have to be pactient. He checked my eye pressure and said that it was okay. He told me to continue doing my drops and cream and he will see me in 3 weeks for another follow up. Till then I hope I continue to see progress and that my eye will be as good as new in no time:) I will keep you updated!

  • AdrianaR

    Thank you for sharing your experience. I’m in my second day post op and although I looked for a lot of info before going to surgery, seeing my eye so red after the surgery made me freak out a bit. Now looking at your pictures gives me hope again. I’ve been resting a lot and trying to do the same as you in terms of keeping my eyes closed to avoid the feeling of the stitches scratching my eye. I would describe the whole experience as really uncomfortable rather than painful. I haven’t had any if the painkillers the doctor suggested as it’s not a constant pain. I find it that when my eyes are close or focusing on a fixed point, they don’t bother me as much. So watching tv has been useful, except my eyes get tired really quickly so I have to make sure I rest them by closing them every now and then.

    • It sounds like your experience is very similar to mine, Adriana. Keep us up to date with how your recovery progresses.

  • Terri Carlson

    I had a pterygium removed 3 days ago. The surgery was extremely painful. I don’t feel that I was given enough anesthesia or pain meds. I wasn’t anxious about the surgery and was surprised that it hurt so much. Recovery has been ok thus far. I have another one on the other eye, but it hasn’t grown to interfere with my vision yet.

    • Shyster

      Gosh, sorry to hear this. Wasn’t a good experience for you. I would have ask for more anaesthesia, if I felt any pain. Did you complain? Hope you are recovering well.

  • Riot50000

    Has anyone’s pterygium growth been preceded by any kind of trauma at the area of the growth?
    I know some cases like that.

  • Glen

    Hello my name Is Glen and I am 26 year old male from Perth Western Australia, I have had ptyergium surgery in my right eye 17 months ago and the procedure I had done was conjunctival auto graph with removal of the ptyergium the operation went really well and everything was fine until about 8months after the procedure and then all of a sudden I had this sharp pain in my right eye where the Ptyergium was removed and it felt like the ptyergiums was growing back, so I went to see the surgeon who done the operation an he said nothing was wrong. I could feel in my gut and my right eye that there is something wrong so I went and saw another three ophamologist and they said that there was not a recurrence in the right eye. So I decide to see the best of the best of corneal surgeons Professor Laurie Hirst he is located in Brisbane Queensland Australia so I flew from Perth to Brisbane to see this man.So we had a consultation and he said there that there was a small recurrent Ptyergium and he could operate but it wasn’t advised. My right is sore every day I’m not really sure what to do next If anyone is looking to get there Ptyergium removed have a look at this website it will amaze

    • That sounds like a sad situation, Glen, I hope it works out for you. That link doesn’t work for me. Also, if posting a link please explain the purpose of it and why people should have a look, otherwise it can look like it’s just spam.

  • Robert Morrison

    Thanks Francis. My son is going through this in a few weeks and you have helped ease the pain of not knowing what is going to happen. Thanks for the effort you have made to let us understand the problem. Regards Robert and Mary Morrison

    • Hi Robert and Mary, I’m glad you found the post helpful. Let us know how the surgery goes for your son.

  • Leon Morrison

    Hi Francis, I am 36 years old living in London and am booked in for surgery on my right eye on Feb 20th. I first noticed two Pterygium’s per eye back in year 2000, the year I arrived in the UK from Wellington, New Zealand. A few years later the two Pterygium’s on my left eye totally disappeared (no one believes me!) but the 2 on my right eye kept growing and I’ve spent the last 5 years going into Moorfields for check ups. Despite the largest Pterygium growing 1mm per year for the last 4 years, they have been very reluctant to operate (NHS) and it was only a few months ago when it all came to a head. The Doctor said what’s the problem then and I said “Well, everyone asks me why my eye is red all the time!, the moon has 2 big bites out of it when I look up at night and it’s blurry at night! So he finally agreed and now I’m quite nervous about it all to be honest. Nervous about the pain an really nervous it will grow back more aggressively..they give that a 10% chance, that’s why it’s so good to read yours and everyone’s comments. Your recovery looks awesome. Funny how when you have an eye problem you look at other peoples eyes at times and think, oh they have a very healthy looking eye :)Thank you

    • Thanks for your comment, leon. Let us know how it goes. I can understand the nervousness. I was very nervous too πŸ™‚

    • Shyster

      Good luck with the Surgery, Leon.


    I had my right eye done 5 days ago. I don’t remember much about the surgery except the doctor asking me to look up/down/left/right. When the local wore off about an hour later it felt like I had barbed wire under my eye lids. It was the most annoying pain I have ever felt. This was the norm for the first 2 days. The pain killers did help but I found laying down flat on my back with both my eyes closed was the best out come and after the first day I started using my 12 week old babys frozen chew toy as a cold pack on it. SOUNDS STUPID …. yes it does BUT IT WORKED A TREAT.
    At the moment I can’t feel the stitches anymore but my eye is really bloodshot and vision is a little blurred but feeling pretty positive. I still get slight head aches but just take normal panadol and lay down for a little while.
    Good luck to anyone who is getting this procedure done.

  • Grahame

    Thanks to everyone for sharing their experiences. I am post op five days and was starting to think I was going insane. It appears my post op issues are similar to what everyone else has gone through. Great blog Frank. Cheers from NSW, Australia

    • Thanks for the comment, Grahame. Lack of awareness of the post-op recovery seems to be a persistent theme so I would recommend to any surgeons who may read this to look at how this could be improved so patients are more aware of what may be involved in the recovery process.

  • Karl spencer

    Hi. I had my pterygium removed on Wednesday evening. I have to say I was extremely nervous and wasn’t a particularly present experience. My surgeon and the nurses were brilliant. I had the removal and a graft. I have struggled with the pain for the first few days and then the constant watering in my eye. I keep telling myself it will be worth it!
    I had mine done because it was encroaching onto my pupil and was affecting my vision which could not be corrected by glasses, plus I struggled with lights at night especially driving when lights come towards you. My optician suggested I had it removed, I discussed it with several GP friends and other opticians who all suggested I had it done. My optician directed me to Mr Mathew Edwards in Sheffield, he comes highly recommended, he actually has operated on my opticians eyes so I was confident he knew his stuff.
    It’s now Saturday and I am starting to be able to use me left eye again, it is sore and bruised but it is improving I hope to be back at work on Monday, just going to see how it goes and try not to stare at my screen for too long, I bit difficult as an IS Systems manager
    If I have any regret or would change anything up to now it would be, I would have like to have been given something to calm me down or relax me before the procedure. It was pain free but I don’t do eyes and I don’t mind admitting I got stressed out whilst undergoing the operation simply at the thought of what was happening to me

    • Shyster

      Thank you for sharing and info Karl. Finally someone from the UK, who had the Pterygium Surgery. Give me some hope! Thanks.

  • Virginia

    I would like to start saying that I put my pterygiums a name. Having a pterygium won’t kill you but it really makes your life difficult.

    In my case I noticed some years ago that my eyes were changing their appearance… But the last two years I have being suffering for a pterygium that was growing on my left eye, Ernesto.

    Ernesto was really hurting me and was always red and felt irritated. I started drinking lots of watter, taking Omega 3… Those things for sure were making something for my health but Ernesto was still feeling like a God in my eye.

    The Problem with this degenerative disease is that the most of the doctors have a Problem to understand how serious this is for the patient. You don’t only have pain,
    having red eyes every day at everytime changes you. I couldn’t really talk to
    people looking them in their eyes, I was feeling really ashamed and was so frustrated there was nothing I could do against it.

    I visited many doctors and almost all of them told me that surgery wasn’t a good idea because in many cases after some time the pterygium re-appears. I started looking for some information on the internet and wow, that was scary. IΒ΄ve found so many forums where people tell terrible stories about complications after the surgery and so on.

    But I wanted to stay positive. So I did a google search with these words β€œhappy after pterygium surgery”… in this way I wanted to be sure to find at least something positive! And finally I found this forum!

    Every patient is different, so you will find cases in which the people regret the
    surgery and others that are happy about it. In my case it turned out to be
    pretty obvious that at least I had to try it. I couldnΒ΄t think about living my
    whole life like that. I am a very optimistic happy person and didnΒ΄t want
    Ernesto to change that.

    I got the surgery one month ago. I had the same surgery process as Francis. It was painful the first week but it got better with time. My eye still looks pretty
    red but I hope it is just a matter of time that my eye finally recovers. I will
    let you know in some months how I am doing. I am taking pictures almost every
    day… so I hope that will also help other people.

    I hope that my other pterygium, Gonzales, will feel terrified about what happened to Ernesto and will stay quiet and silent in my right eye.

    Thank all of you for sharing your experiences that really help me going through this in a positive way.

    Thank you Francis for sharing your story with the world!



  • annie h

    Thank you for this very honest post, I had exactly the same procedure done five days ago, and was getting a little anxious today about my recovery, but reading this has reassured me. I see my excellent surgeon for a review on Friday and if he says it seems OK then I don’t mind the discomfort. Hope you are well.

    • Thanks for commenting, Annie. I’m really glad the post eased some of your anxiety. I was exactly the same. Let us know how the recover goes.

  • eleonora

    Hi Francis
    i’m a 25 year old italian girl and I found out that I had a pterygium almost 1 year ago.
    I went to an ophthalmologist some time ago and she gave me some eye drops to keep it moist and fixed me another visit within 6 months.
    As soon as I got home I tried to achieve some information on the net but it didn’t help me at all, because in Italy this disease is not very common and lots of people were disappointed with the surgery’s results.
    Luckily I found out this page and it gave me so much hope and comfort you can’t even imagine. I really want to thank you for writing your experience.
    At the moment I’m trying to look for the best specialists for this disease.
    Where did you have your surgery? Do you know if there is some italian surgeon famous for this kind of surgery?I don’t really know how to choose the surgeon! I may be in the wrong, but I think that this disease may be more developed in countries such as USA, New Zealand or Australia, where there are so much more outdoor activities than here and the rays of sunshine are stronger.. and consequently the doctors have more experience because the deal with this disease so much more than the doctors in italy!
    What’s more, surfing the net you can only find people who underwent surgery and had a bigger pterygium regrowth after 1 month, or people who remained with red eyes forever!!

    • Shyster

      Hi Elenora

      I wish I could help you, as I am in the same situation as you at the moment. I am from the UK, I have been searching for the best eye specialists on the internet, whom deal with Pterygium. Majority I have read that they had good outcome with the surgery, with modern procedures these days.

      I have got appointment with ophthalmologist in March, I am praying that they will allow me to have the surgery.

      Wish you all the best. Keep faith!

    • eleonora

      Hi Shyster
      thank you for your reply! It’s nice to share feelings and worries with others which are in the same situation, it makes you feel like you’re not alone.

      How long have you had your pterygium? I’ve had it for a while but it was teeny-weeny before, now it’s getting bigger and it creates me pain and irritation but my opthalmologist told me to keep it for the moment.

      I wish you all the best for your appointment, and hope your doctor will allow you to remove it.
      Let’s keep in touch and upgrade us with your news!
      Good luck and keep faith!

    • Shyster

      Thanks, your welcome, Eleonora. When I look back now, I think I first noticed my Pterygium in the summer, but I didn’t think much of it.

      As it was very tiny indeed. After Christmas I did noticed the Pterygium came out of nowhere, it is like a yellow small jelly blister, just on the edge of my cornea and my vision is fine though. Some days my eyes are fine, other days it can cause me irritations, like sand trap in my eyes. Few days ago, I have been taking Omega 7 vitamins (in the uk) as they are good for dry eyes, I shall see.

      My main concern is that they will not remove it, as it is not affecting my vision. I will have my say in March, with the eye specialist.

      I will keep in touch.

    • Karl spencer

      Hi. See my recent post. I have just had mine done by a Mr Mathew Edwards in Sheffield. He does do nhs work, I have private medical insurance and saw him privately at the Thornbury hospital. He came highly recommended by my optician after he has operated on both of his eyes If you want someone who knows his stuff and comes highly recommended then look him up

    • Shyster

      Thank you so much for the info, much appreciate. Unfortunately I do not have private insurance, luckily I do live over a hour away from Sheffield. I will definitely look him up.

      With the surgery, general or local anaesthetic? How long was the surgery? The thought having a eye surgery, make me feel sick and scared to be honest with you. But I would like my pterygium to remove, as it’s just on the edge on my cornea. But it is not affecting my vision, will they remove it?


    • Karl spencer

      All done under local anaesthetic. I would have preferred a general but they want you awake so they can tell you where to look. Surgery is about 20 minutes and not pleasant to be honest especially if you have an eye phobia like me. I can’t stand even watching people put contacts in, just writing this is making my eyes water but that’s just me. If I had to go through it again I would ask if I could have some sedative to calm my nerves. I am unsure if he would operate if your vision isn’t affected but I will him what the criteria is, I am due to see him again a week tomorrow. mine was encroaching onto my pupil and also changing the geometry of my eye so my vision could not be corrected with glasses, whilst it wasn’t too serious it was never going to get better on its own so for me I decided to have it done whilst I had access to a surgeon who is reported to be one of the best in his field . Ask me in a few days time but unless it is causing discomfort or affecting your vision I would wait. If you can afford it, then pay for a consultation and see what he says

    • Shyster

      Thanks once again, that would be great If you could ask him. I will take it on board, what you have said about the surgery.

      I have got appointment to see ophthalmologist in March, I will see what they have to say first. But I will consider paying a consultation to see Dr Matthew Edwards, if I don’t have any joy in March. Hope your eye improve soon.

    • Karl spencer

      HI. My eye is improving by the day and vision is improving although still blurred.
      Popped in to see my optician over the weekend, he is impressed with the progress and the work Mr Edwards has done, also been talking to some other friends of mine, a couple of GP’s and another one is an optician, all had a good look and all commented the same, seems to be healing very well. So I am very pleased and encouraged

      Been for my follow up appointment tonight and Mr Edwards is pleased with my progress and believes everything is progressing exactly as he expected. Got to go back and see him again in a couple of months when the eye settles down.
      I asked about if he had used glue and stiches, apparently I have had just stiches, he said he didn’t like using glue because it has it’s own complications preparing the glue.
      I also asked his opinion about doing a removal if it isn’t causing someone pain of affecting vision. He said he would consider doing it providing that the patient agreed to the risks of any surgery and reoccurrence as well as the effects & recovery process. see how you get on with your appointment.

    • Shyster

      Hi there. Pleased to hear your eye is improving, progressing well and hoping your vision will be back to normal soon.
      Thanks for the info Karl, that’s the main concern I do have is the reoccurrence. As I read online on reoccurrence and recommended to search to find a experience eye specialist know his stuff on Pterygium basically.
      I have got a Pterygium in right eye, causing me some gritting feeling recently. So I have been using eyes drops, did you had any symptoms? My GP think I am developing another Pterygium in my left eye too, which It’s upsetting obviously. If only I had a Private Medical Insurance. Good luck with your recovery process.

    • Shyster

      How’s the eye? Did the surgeon use auto-graft surgery with no stitches, just the glue. Both glue and stitches? Thanks

    • Karl spencer

      Hi getting better by the day thanks, still cant see clearly through it yet but it is improving. gets very tired if I work for too long.
      I had the auto-graft with stiches, don’t believe he used any glue.

    • Shyster

      Thanks. As I’ve been searching on the internet, few NHS hospitals are using glue without the stitches to attach the graft. Newer procedure, I think. Some use both stitches and glue.

      Good to read that your eye is getting better each day.

    • Shyster

      Hi Karl,

      How’s the eye?

    • Karl spencer

      Getting better thanks
      Still a bit red and vision still a bit blurred but been told this can take a few months to come right
      Just got a stitch which is rubbing on my eyelid a times which is agrivating at times Drops do appear soften the stitch and reduce the irritation but in the scheme of things this is nothing in comparison to what it was like shortly after the surgery
      Will be four weeks on Wednesday so hopefully all on track


    • Shyster

      I’m glad it’s getting better, I read that it’s can take a few months or so to heal. Everyone is different I suppose.

      My Pterygium is not aggravating at the moment, seem to be ok. But I’m more concerned in my other eye, I have got a gut feeling a Pterygium is developing. I can see red vein is developing, feel like I had have an eyelash eternally in the corner of my eye! Heartbreaking for me, but I have got an appointment in 3 weeks.

    • Karl spencer

      Fingers crossed for your appointment

    • Shyster

      Hi Karl,

      How is your eye doing? I did an update, see my recent post!

      My consultant was lovely, he specialist in Pterygium department and does the surgery too. His name is Dr Andrew. A. Castillo.

      I was speaking to a nurse, who had a Pterygium Surgery done 10 years ago, no recurrence.

    • Karl spencer

      Glad the appointment went well. Drops sounds interesting.
      Whilst reoccurrence is obviously a problem, when I spoke to my surgeon he said he had actually never had anyone actually have a reoccurrence if they had the graft procedure as I did. So you really wouldn’t want to go through the surgery unless you have too but I was encouraged to understand the risk of reoccurrence is hopefully low.
      My eye is recovering well, still a little red but I think at last the stiches have gone, just hoping that the vision returns to normal again. Or need to wait another 3 or 4 months before I go and have another eye test and my glasses changed. I got to the point where glasses couldn’t correct my vision in that eye anymore

    • Shyster

      Is your eye blurred? I do hope your vision returns normal. I wanted to ask you, how long you had the Pterygium? What was the first symptoms?

      My consultant said that I need to take eyedrops (I have three different kinds to ride out first), as the eye drops I was given from my GP wasn’t the right eye drops basically, he just threw them in the bin. Which I was a bit surprised.

    • Shyster

      For some reason, I cannot seem to edit my post. Sorry for being an nuisance, Karl. Can I ask you, If you got a Telephone number for Dr Matthew Edward?

      I am considering going private for a second opinion, to see If I can another pterygium growing my left eye, my gut feelings is yes. But my consultant said it is just dry eye. I am seeing my consultant in 4 months time, in the meanwhile I might go and see your consultant.

    • I’m glad the post has been some hope for you Eleonora. It is a very common procedure in New Zealand due to our high level of outdoor activity and also the harsher UV rays we deal with from the sun, so we have plenty of surgeons who do the procedure all the time. I’m afraid I’m not familiar with surgeons in Italy. Hopefully someone else who reads this from the same part of the world may be able to help.

      Keep us up to date with how it goes for you.

      Since you asked, this is who did mine:

      There is a lot of good information at the Eye Institute’s website.

    • eleonora

      Thank you for the link Francis, the more information I can get the better it is!

      How is your eye today, away 6 months from the surgery?
      I mean, I saw your update picture and it looks so recovered, but do you still have to deal with redness or pain? Are there days in which you wake up and find it swollen or it is just like it was before the pterygium arrival?

      Sorry for this interrogation, but my mind is still not clear about what to expect after the surgery because of all the different experiences I read about on the net!

  • Gabby

    Hello again!

    I am writing with my first after-surgery update. And I do this because I found sooo helpful to find several stories from others suffering the same as me. So now I do it for the rest of you out there…

    I had a pterygium for about 2 years and it was growing onto my Iris, about 1.5mm.
    It was very painful and irritated all the time. Since I work outside it was getting worse and worse…

    Today is day 4 after surgery.

    I had the auto-graft surgery with No stitches, just the glue. And it seems to be working perfectly.

    Day 1 after surgery, still had patch on and pretty much just slept all day. Try to be calm and stay positive! Trust me, You will be miserable!!! but, this too shall pass…right?

    Day 2.. after surgery. Patch goes off and i see my eye for the first time.
    I didn’t really have that much pain, It was more discomfort than anything, eye felt swollen and I was very anxious and scared. Try to rest as much as possible. Eat food that makes you happy and put on some audio-books…

    I was on the computer very shortly but my eyes got very tired so I stopped…

    Day 3. I felt like Rocky after a boxing fight gone bad..It looks bad and feels bad.
    Stay on your eye drops and pills as directed!! it’ll make you feel so much better.
    And if possible, have someone take care of you to keep track of your meds and feed you.

    Day 4… I have been on the computer for a while, resting eyes occasionally. My eye is very red maybe a bit more than yesterday bit it feel less swollen, so I think its getting more even-less bumpy from the graft. I finally feel better enough to walk around and do stuff in the house with the blinds down. I might even actually make a dessert!

    Stay positive! It matters a lot on how fast you recover! and always think we all have survived this horrible surgery. Trust your Doctor… they know what they are doing.

    Stay tuned to this amazing blog from Francis to hear more about pterygium recovery!

    • Shyster

      Thank you for sharing, Gabby. I hate my Pterygium already, it’s developed over two weeks ago and making me feel depressed.

      I am considering surgery, hope you will continue to get better!

    • Ardee


      I have had an Pterygium in both eyes for 8 years now. It is always a source of embarrassment some days and night due to constant degrees of ‘red eye’ I have tried everything and have kept it somewhat maintained but i would love to get them removed. I do alot of outdoor sport and live in my sunglasses or hats with constant eye drops. I am terrified of the removal procedure and afraid afterwards that they will come back or that i will have to stop doing outdoor watersports etc.

      I went to the eye doctor today and scheduled a date for removal.

      Any advice on what to ask re the procedure? I will get both eyes done one a month apart time wise. I am very scared. I will be under a general anesthetic due to my nerves. Any advice on whether it is worth doing it or on what key questions i should ask doctor?

      Also i have the fear of not knowing how good this eye doctor is over others out there and always lived in the hope that there would be better methods for removal in the future.

      Any advice appreciated.


    • Hi Ardee,

      Though it’s daunting and scary, for the surgeons it’s a pretty basic procedure. What you want to be clear on is what’s being used to attach the graft (glue, stitches or both), expected recovery time and pain medication following the operation. Make sure your pain alleviation following the procedure is well covered. Others here have had little pain following the surgery but it’s good to have that base covered if needed. The surgery is well worth it and with modern procedures, the chances of them growing back are very slim. Let us know how it goes for you.

    • Ardee

      Hi Francis,

      Thank you so much for setting up this blog. I live in the Cayman Islands. I’ll ask my surgeon whether it is glue or/& stitches she will use . I am nervous about the procedure and want the best person for it but my doctor seems good and it is convenient having it where I live. Do you know what type of procedure I should be looking for ? Also , how long after procedure before you were able to go swimming or back to normal activities ( even with constant glasses). I really hope it is worth it. I’m getting a general anesthetic I’m so nervous.

    • Hi Ardee. It was only a matter of a few weeks before I was fully functional again. Let us know how your surgery goes.

  • Gabby

    Hello All!
    Thank you for writing about your experiences. It is very helpful!!
    I have surgery tomorrow. I am 27 years old and I have never been in a hospital so I am a bit scared…
    My pterygium is not very developed, but its about 1.5mm into the iris. IΒ΄ve only had it for a year and a half, but since I work outdoors ItΒ΄s very painful and it has been growing.

    IΒ΄ll try to write after my surgery too. Wish me luck!

    • Shyster

      Good Luck, Gabby! Hope everything goes alright.

    • Shyster

      Hi Everyone,

      I am from the UK, last week I was diagnosed with Pterygium and I was quite upset over this news. My Doctor didn’t seem to be concerned, or give me any treatments or much information. So I have been searching on the internet, I realised only way to remove it is surgery, which I dread mainly having a operation on the eye.

      My Pterygium is small, like a jelly yellowish blister on the board line with the cornea and reddish. I think it’s developed last summer, but I didn’t thought of it. It did went away, but came back few weeks ago. I thought I was using too much make up removal wipes, making my eyes sore and redshot. Maybe the irritation made the Pterygium worse or grow. I don’t know much about it.

      Anyone give me more information on the surgery? Put to sleep throughout the surgery? I do worry the Pterygium will come back again. I am seeing another doctor tomorrow for second opinion. I have been quite worried about this. Anyone from the UK had the surgery to remove Pterygium?


    • Shyster

      Great blog, Francis. How is your eye?

    • Hi Shyster. My eye is fine now and though the surgery was recovery was uncomfortable for me, I’m really glad I did it. It doesn’t sound like your Pterygium needs surgery urgently, if it’s only small, but if it’s causing irritation and/or growing it could be worthwhile having it removed. Getting a second opinion like you are is a good idea. Your first doctor wouldn’t have been concerned because there isn’t any immediate problem and because if surgery is needed eventually it also isn’t a major problem. As you can see from others who have written here, some have good experiences with the surgery.

      Let us know how you get on with the second opinion πŸ™‚

    • Shyster

      Hi Francis, with the second opinion. They wasn’t concerned and recommend to have a eye test. Booked in for Friday. But I’m still worried and scared over this Pterygium. It’s on the cornea, just a bit. I have been quite upset this, I really want the surgery as there is no other way to remove this ugly thing. I am concern that they do not surgery, as I am 30.

    • Hi Shyster, I understand your fear and concern. With two health professionals now giving an opinion, I think you can take some peace from that. Pterygiums can be concerning for us but they really aren’t a big issue unless they are affecting our vision. Clearly they consider the surgery unnecessary for you at this time. The eye test will hopefully deal with some of your concerns as well. I have a couple of people in my office who have small Pterygiums and have chosen not to do anything about them as, just like you, their doctors have not expressed concern. Their vision is not affected and one of them uses eye drops to reduce the redness and irritation when the eye is dry. Mine was also left for a long time until it started to affect my vision. If you truly desire the surgery even though the doctors clearly consider it unnecessary, make that very clear. Keep us up to date.

    • Shyster

      Hi Francis, I had my eyes test this morning. My vision is good, healthy and no problem. I was told today, they will not operate until it’s affecting my vision. I am gutted, but going back to see another doctor at my practice next week. My optician did say, that once you have the surgery, it’s might grow back again. What your opinion on this? That’s what worry me, the most.

      Hopefully they will refer me to see a eye consultant at my nearest hospital. Which eye drops would recommend for my eyes? It’s has been like gritting feeling in my eyes, maybe I have been rubbing it to much etc.

      Sorry for rambling on here to much. Thanks.

    • I didn’t use eye drops prior to the surgery and used the recommended ones during recovery – sorry, I can’t remember what they are off the top of my head. The chances of it growing back with modern methods of surgery are slim but not impossible πŸ™‚

    • Shyster

      Thanks for the reply, much appreciate. Your blog give me some hope and comfort too.

      I went to see another doctor, he thinks I have got Pterygium in the other eye too. Which it was quite upsetting. I have been refer to see a eye specialist at the local hospital, appointment is in March. We shall see, I want the surgery. As my eyes have been feeling a bit gritty feeling type. I have been using eye drops.

    • That’s great to hear. Keep us informed with how it goes. I’m really sorry to hear that you have been told you also have it in the other eye πŸ™

    • Nurse Nancy

      I had a pterygium removed approx 4 months ago in my right eye after it being there for approx 10 years. I am 46. I consulted with an opthalmologist 8 years ago who recommended that i left it until it got slightly larger to have it removed. I hadmy operation under GA in Taunton, Somerset UK in Dec 2013. My recovery period was approx 2 weeks in total, my eye very painful for the first week, it felt like I had a spider in my eye and was very red. I had a conjunctival autograft, and had a follow up appointment at 1 month and by that stage my eye was nearly fully recovered. I must say although my pterygium had grown very slowly during this time I am so pleased with the result.

    • Shyster

      Thank you replying and sharing your experience of Pterygium surgery. Much appreciated. Sound like your operation was a good result. I had mine a year in July roughly, I first noticed it. My Pterygium has grown since then, it’s on the Iris and getting a bit thicker now. But I’m in two mind having it remove, considering it is small at the moment. My consultant said he would remove it, maybe I should wait until it got slightly bigger. Seeing the consultant soon, will discuss there.

    • Hi Gabby, I pray the surgery goes well. Keep us up to date πŸ™‚

  • Ben

    Hi guys,
    Thanks for the write-up Francis – this sort of first-hand information is invaluable for people who are considering a medical procedure such as this.
    I’m 26, living in Australia, and have pterygiums in both eyes (nasal side), and experience quite consistent eye pain. The closest thing I can relate it to is feeling like I have shampoo in the corners of my eyes – it’s a constant burning. Was this an issue for you – did you experience pain as a result of your pterygium? If so, did the surgery help with this?
    Based on my reading, and speaking to my ophthalmologist, only some sufferers of pterygium experience pain. Anyone else that has had this procedure done, can you attest to its potential for chronic pain relief? It seems logical to assume that, as the pterygium is no longer present, all resultant symptoms will disappear, right?

    • Hi Ben, thanks for stopping by. I didn’t experience that sort of pain with my Pterygium so I’m afraid I can’t help you with that, but hopefully others can. Your logic sounds good to me though.

    • Chatonda

      My experience started with chronic dry eye, which I could easily treat with eye drops, and graduated to feeling like I had an eyelash or a grain of sand trapped in my eye. I actually believed that that was the case for a long time and was baffled at why artificial tears couldn’t flash it out, until one day I noticed that something was awry with my eye. I am now three weeks post surgery and I am much better. The feeling briefly returned the day the bandage contact lens was removed (two weeks after the surgery) but quickly went away after I put an eye drop in the eye. I go for my next check up next week. But so far all signs indicate that my eye will be better than it was before the surgery. At the very least, I appears I won’t have that constant pain and reddening or the eye anymore.

    • Patty

      Hi Chatonda!

      any news on your eye? I’m thinking about reaching out to your doctor. InNY now but don’t mind going to MD

    • Chatonda

      Hi Patty,

      So far so good, except two weeks ago on a Friday, I woke up feeling like I had an eyelash in my eye. When repeated application of artificial tears wouldn’t solve the problem, I emailed the doctor late Friday afternoon. He responded around 9 pm from somewhere in Central America where he had gone to do charity work. He recommended I resume applying the steriod at bed time – I had stopped applying anything except for artificial tears two weeks prior based on a schedule that the doctor had put together for me. He also asked that I go in on Monday to see the other doctor. During that visit the other doctor didn’t notice anything awry [scarring, etc] with my eye and attributed the problem to exposure to dry heat. Apparently people that sleep with their eyes partially open may have this problem. He also recommended I use the more expensive brand of artificial tears that doesn’t have preservatives. Other recommendations were to use a humidifier and/or ensure that I don’t sleep directly under a vent (which I do at the moment). I opted to use sleep shades like the ones you get on long-haul flights. They seem to work fine. My follow-up visit is this coming Monday.

    • Shyster

      Hi Chatonda, hope your eye will continue to improve and finger crossed for you.

      I read that you experience dry eye with your Pterygium, which I am experiencing also dry eye due to the Pterygium. Is this normal? Now you had your surgery, are you still having dry eye?


    • Chatonda

      I’m not a medical person so I can’t definitively tell you whether dryness of the eye is normal or not for people with Pterygium. All I can tell you is that I do suffer from dry eye in both eyes. I should be able to tell if the dry eye is due to Pterygium once the fixed eye fully heals. As I have mentioned before, I have Pterygium in my left eye as well but it is not as bad as my right eye was, and so I elected not to treat it – yet.

    • Shyster

      Thanks for the reply. I have been experience mild dry eye lately, I just searching for some info. I am seeing the eye consultant soon, hopefully I will get some answers. I am sure I am developing Pterygium in my left eye now, which has knock my confident wise.

    • Renee

      Hello Chatonda,
      we have spoken previously and just wanted to check in to update you….my husband had his pinguecula removed in both eyes.
      First surgery eye was end of April 2015 and Dr. used the graph procedure with glue and second was beginning of June 2015 and he had two removed in this eye so Dr used the graph for nasal and amniotic tissue for temporal side. Just wondering how long after your surgery did the top of the eye where the graph was taken from felt like it was healing or felt tender? How long did it take to fully heal? I understand each person is different…just trying to get an idea……hope all is well, thank you.

    • Chatonda

      Hi Renee,

      The graft healed very quickly – I was way ahead of schedule. Unfortunately, I had a per-existing condition that got worse after the surgery: chronic dry eye due to my eye’s inability to produce tears. So what this meant was that each time I fell asleep, I would wake up with severe pain in the eye that had been operated on. The pain was at the bottom of the eye, not where the grafting was done. I would get very frustrated because all the pictures the doctors would take of the eye showed the eye had fully healed. I would say after about 3 months, this is the only issue I have been dealing with.

      The situation is worse when the air is very dry. Apparently having a humidifier helps. For my part, what appears to be working is massaging my eye with castor oil morning and evenings. It actually works better than the very expensive Restasis [Restasis is supposed to help my eye produce it’s own natural tears but a 30 day supply costs over $300! But you can make the supply last longer because there are about 8 doses in each vial, so just keep the opened vial refrigerated]. Massaging my eye with castor oil is still part of my routine almost two years post surgery … a colleague only told me about it 5 months ago.


    • Gabby

      Ben! I did feel like i had shampoo! and sand and glass and eyelashes eternally in the corner of my eye!
      My pterygium was not super developed but was inside my Iris (the colored part) and it was very very uncomfortable.
      I can only recommend using lubricant drops as much as you can. But in the end you will need the surgery! Be brave!!

  • Serge

    Hi Frank! Thanks for sharing your experience of pterygium removal. Your eye looks great. Can you advise on the surgeon who performed this procedure? Thanks again.

    • Hi Serge, Dr Peter Ring at the Auckland Eye Institute was my surgeon. I have medical insurance so was able to get it done privately. Peter was excellent. Our public system in New Zealand is also good and will just involve a longer wait.

    • Serge

      Thanks Frank! I’m next door in Australia (Perth) and was thinking about having it done in Brisbane. Looks like Dr. Ring did a great job on your eye… you can’t even tell that you had a Pterygium! Do you have a before picture by any chance? Thanks again! Cheers -Serge

    • Sadly, no, I hadn’t thought about doing this post until after the surgery so I didn’t bother getting a before photo. The closest I’ve got is that photo near the top a few days after the surgery. I’ll have a hunt around though and see if I can find any images of myself where the Pterygium is visible. Keep us up to date with your decisions and progress. I’d be keen to hear how it goes for you!

  • Hi all, as requested I have added an updated picture of my eye now that it is 6 months on from the surgery. Please see above. It has also been great hearing the different questions and people sharing their experiences without all the fear that usually comes with such things on the internet. Chatonda, it’s great to hear your surgery went so well and recovery is happening quickly!

    • freeborn

      Does the area of your eye where you had the pterygium removed, still get red at times? I.e. late at night, or just when irritated?

    • No. It has no issues now. I suffer from hayfever so tend to get slightly red eyes from time to time but that area is not any worse than the rest now πŸ™‚

    • Edmund Asare

      i Just had one about two weeks ago and i doing fine so far and i must say i didnt experience much pains
      after the surgery..i will be going back to work next week, my issue now is that i cant use my pc for more than 1hour
      hope it improves soon.

  • Chatonda

    This is an update on my surgery. I had the surgery on Tuesday around 11:30 am. The whole procedure took no more than 10 minutes. I had been given a Valium about an hour earlier but it didn’t do anything. I was fully aware of everything that was going on. I could see object approaching my eye but couldn’t feel anything because it was numbed. Before the surgery my surgeon explained that he was going to use glue, and not stitches, to hold the graft in place.

    I felt fine after the surgery. My vision was somewhat compromised because I couldn’t put my glasses on with the eye patch, so my “good eye” gave me blurry vision. The next day the eye patch was removed.

    This is day four and I haven’t even taken a single Tylenol. The only annoyance is the contact lens that has to be in place until December 26 (2 weeks from the day of the surgery). The eye is still bloody but is clearing some. So far so good.

    • Patty

      Wow ! Nice to hear your surgery went well Chatonda! You give me hope. Keep us posted as it gets better. 10 minutes is pretty quick.

    • Chatonda

      Ooops, I meant 20 minutes, not 10! Obviously you can tell my vision hasn’t been fully restored yet πŸ˜‰

    • Catty

      I am having surgery using glue and a general anae after Xmas. I will be off work for four weeks as I work with some (not all) violent kids. When will I feel ok and be able to function 100% I have to wear a lens on top of eye afterwards! how did you all get on with one of those? Thanks, am feeling nervous as I am not good with pain!!

    • Chatonda

      I don’t know how long it will take to be 100% since I’m not even one week post surgery. But I can see the eye clearing a bit. My problem appears to be that the surgery corrected the astigmatism that developed in my right eye as a result of the Pterygium, meaning that I can’t see very well with my current prescription. Unfortunately I can’t get a new prescription until I fully heal. A minor irritant is the constant presence of the contact lens in my eye. The positive side of this is that it reminds me to check if it’s time for the eye drops and/or ointment. But I only need to have the contact lens on for one more week, so I guess it’s not so bad.

    • Gatorgirl

      Hi Chatonda, I just got pterygium surgery by Dr. Martinez as well. My only concern is that it’s been two weeks and my vision is still blurry. The surgical coordinator said no has complained of blurry vision. I’m getting my second eye done Thursday and am worried that I’ll have two blurry eye :-/ The doctor said I should continue my surgery as scheduled. Has anyone’s vision gotten worse after surgery? If so, how long did it take to get back to 20/20 and did it ever get back to 20/20?

    • Chatonda

      I did experience some blurriness over the first few weeks. In fact, I would sometimes close the eye that had been operated on just to get better vision. My emails in those early days used to be full of typos. But by the fourth week my vision was decidedly better. Are you having any pain? If you are really concerned email either Dr Martinez or Dr Hosseini. They’re both very good with emails. They will respond even on weekends.
      Best of luck.

    • gatorgirl

      Thanks so much for responding! I have no pain, just increased pressure in my left eye that was operated on, so they gave me drops to decrease the pressure. I saw Dr. Martinez last Friday, and he wasn’t worried about my vision, but I am since its 20/40 (pretty bad). I may postpone the other eye cause I’m having doubts about how quickly my vision will get better. I emailed them as well this wknd but they haven’t gotten back to me yet. I’m concerned I’ll have two blurry eyes when I go back to work, and I may choose to hold off on the other eye.

    • Chatonda

      Holding off on the second eye until the the first one heals sounds like a good idea. That’s essentially what I’ve done. I’ll need to get my left eye done at some point but I had the luxury of delaying the surgery because this eye doesn’t hurt – just frequent dry eye. I’m sure by week 6 you’ll feel much better about the procedure. I’m almost 2 months post surgery and my vision is back to normal. I have since stopped applying any meds except for artificial tears on advice from the doctors. So far so good.

    • Renee

      Hello gatorgirl…..Hope all is going well… has your recovery been? I am considering surgery to have pinguecula removed with Dr. Martinez..(I am not local, so I will need to travel to do this…)..would you do it again? any advice/comments? Thank you…..

    • Berhanu

      Hi everyone,

      I appreciate all of you for sharing your pterygiectomy experiences. It is really helpful to read your stories inorder to be brave and be ready for what is to come after going through pterygium surgery.

      Chatonda, can you please update me about how your eyes are doing at the moment as a long time has passed since you had your pterygium surgery with Dr. Martinez?

      I am going to have a pterygium surgery on my right eye with Dr. Alberto J. Martinez (Visionary eye doctors in maryland, U.S.A). I will try to post before and after photos of my right eye after the surgery.

      I can’t wait to remove this thing and have my normal looking eye back!

      Wish me luck!!!

    • Chatonda Mtika

      Hi Berhanu,

      My surgery was very painless. Outside of the Tylenol that I took a few hours after the surgery, I did not need any pain medication. And I healed pretty quickly. Unfortunately, something appears to have happened that we haven’t been able to put a finger on. Whenever I sleep on my right side – I had the surgery in my right eye, I wake up with severe pain in my eye. The the doctors were perplexed and thought it was due to dry eye because an examination of the eye does not show any scarring or anything. So they plugged my tear ducks. But that has not helped. I have just become more teary-eyed. I have a followup visit with Dr Martinez in September, postponed from July 6 because he was traveling.

      It feels as if a part of my eye is tender. And it is not the part where the tissue for the grafting was taken from. So I’m really baffled by the whole thing. The dry eye theory doesn’t seem to hold because prior to the surgery both eyes used to suffer from dry eye equally, and it was a different sensation. Post surgery, my right eye throbs, sometimes throughout the day. In fact it is throbbing as I write this because I made the sleepy on my right side last night.

      I hesitated writing this because I wanted to wait until the followup visit with Dr Martinez, whom I wholeheartedly recommend. I don’t know whether the contact lens did something that resulted in what I’m experiencing. It has been 4 years and I’ve been feeling like this since 6 months post the surgery. My eye looks really great and my experience during and post surgery was very good. It’s just that I have this condition that cannot (yet) be explained.

      Best of luck with your surgery.


    • Renee

      Hello Chatonda, thank you for all of the information you are providing…this is so helpful….I have read through soo many posts…and they are so helpful! I am just wondering what the contact lens is? I have recently read about a Dr. in Nashville that uses a contact lens of amniotic tissue that is worn for about 10 days after the surgery to speed in recovery…is this what you had…or was it something different…? I am considering surgery with Dr. Martinez to remove a pinguecula that is always bothering me….do you have any advice? Did you feel or notice any problems with the part of your eye that the graph came from? Were you happy with the procedure and the care you received? Did you research other Drs before choosing Dr Martinez? Thanks again…..I’m sure you have written about some of these questions…but I have spent hours reading posts and in the end…they seem to run together…I’m sure you understand and went through the same thing… I apologize if I’m asking repeated questions….but I would like to know what the contact lens is for, was it for vision reasons or ?

    • Chatonda

      Hi Renee,

      I’m not sure what type of contact lens Dr. Martinez used but it is supposed to help with the healing. I don’t think it;s for vision. You eye is practically useless at that point. In those 10 days that I had the lens in, my eye was so bloody and sore that I didn’t feel the presence of a foreign body. I think the type of contact lens should be the least of your worries at this point.

      The part where the graft came from sometimes appears as a red dot when I feel soreness. The photographs that the doctors have taken over the months indicate that the section has healed. Obviously it hasn’t healed completely. My advice is that you talk to a medical professional. How quickly and how well someone recovers, in my experience, depends of a lot of factors. I’ve read accounts here of people who couldn’t function without prescription pain killers for weeks yet I only needed two regular strength Tylenols. The other advice I can give you is that local or not, you’ll need someone to drive you after the surgery. You won’t be able to drive because your vision will be very lousy.

    • Shyster

      How did the surgery went? Hope everything went smoothly for you. X

    • Tom T

      Hello Your story sound like the best end result. Can you
      say which doctor did the surgery? There are a lot of variations in the stories but I think I would have no trouble going to your doctor. Thanks for sharing your story.

    • Chatonda

      The surgery was performed by Dr. J. Alberto Martinez of Visionary Ophthalmology ( Don’t forget the s when you type in the URL. I’ve made that mistake several times.

    • Renee

      Has anyone else had surgery preformed by Dr. J. Alberto Martinez? Can you tell me how your outcome was? Did he use stitches or glue? Would you do it again? Considering surgery for removal of a pinguecula…… any advise?

    • Chatonda


      He used glue. My surgery went well. The only thing I’m still dealing with more than a year after surgery is that I have to make sure I cover my eye before going to bed (or falling asleep) because I sleep with my eyes open (apparently) and the dry air makes my eye hurt real bad when I wake up. This exposure could as short as 30 minutes. I also experience increased sensitivity to light, needing to wear sunglasses outdoors almost all the time. That appears to be waning. My prescription, however, has been rendered completely useless. I was forced to get a new prescription about 6 months after the surgery but as the eye has continued healing, the neither the new nor the old prescription appear to be working. I’ve been advised to wait until I am completely healed before trying to do anything about this, which is just as well since I’m not too crazy about taking on the insurance company.

      Regarding advice, Dr Martinez has my unqualified support. However, I would recommend having your primary care physician having an input into your decision. My primary care physician recommended Dr. Martinez.

      Best of luck,

    • Renee

      Thanks for your quick response…. glad to hear your surgery went well….was it painful at all? how long has it been? what is causing the issue that you have with sensitivity to light? I’m assuming your prescription is for glasses…what do you mean that your prescription was rendered useless? (I don’t wear glasses…so I don’t know much about that) Did you have a pterygium or pinguecula removed? If it was a pterygium, how long did you have it before you decided to have it removed…and how long did it take to turn from a pinguecula into a pterygium? Do you know anyone else who has had this procedure done and how there outcome is? Did you sleep with your eyes open before the surgery? Did you have to travel far to have the surgery done with Dr. Martinez? Sorry for all the questions….but I’m sure you understand…..Thank you so much! Any other comments are very much appreciated!

    • Chatonda


      Where do I start! Mine was Pterygium. I probably had it for a couple of years before I had it diagnosed. Initially I thought it was an eyelash but was frustrated that it couldn’t be flushed out until one day I looked and saw a “growth” in my eye which my primary physician diagnosed as Pterygium. I have a similar condition developing in my left eye but it hasn’t reached that annoying stage yet.

      I believe I did not start sleeping with my eyes open as a result of the surgery, and I may not be the only one. However, it is an issue now because the eye has not fully healed. I never had issues before the surgery nor do I have issues in my other eye.

      As to your other questions, this thread has most of the answers. Just take some time and read through them. You will find that most of my answers are repetitions of what I’ve said before.

      How much pain you feel is really a function of your tolerance threshold. I only had two regular strength tylenols a few hours after the surgery. I never touched the prescription pain killers that I was supposed to be taking post surgery. But I’ve read accounts of people who had to have those to function.

  • Patty

    Update on my research : I think I like the Harvard Institute school ends in week so I plan on dedicating more time to findind the best route …

    • Bianca

      Hi patty, i am a 23 yr old female i just had a pytergyiun surgery at harvard eye, here is my email you can email me if u want i know exactly what you are going through.

    • Holly

      Hi Bianca, My name is Holly and while I know this thread is a couple years old now I was wondering if you’d be willing to share with me your Harvard eye experience. I too have Pterygium and am planning on having it removed. Any info would be greatly appreciated.:)

  • islander

    Hi Francis,

    Can you post a latest picture of your eye? I would like to
    see how it turned out. Does it look normal like your other eye? I had my
    pterygium removal surgery 4 weeks ago. My doctor did the conjunctival
    autografts using glue and few sutures. It was explained to me as like it was
    just an easy procedure that it would take 15- 45 minutes procedure, but it
    lasted longer than that. From the time I went in the preparation to the end of
    surgery, it took 4 hrs. That’s true! It wasn’t painful but very uncomfortable.
    On my post op, I told the doctor that my eye doesn’t look right. The area in my
    iris where the pterygium was excised, I can still see the white (my iris is
    still not perfectly circle).My eyes still looks like I have a pterygium, and
    part of the sclera (close to nasal) is not visible, instead it was still red.
    She told me that it is still healing, so I waited. After 4 weeks I had a post
    post yesterday. She told me that she needs to do another surgery because my
    body is healing actively, so my eye created a scar. That’s the reason why my
    eye still look like I have a pterygium and very uncomfortable, actually worse
    feeling than before the surgery. My left eye is my dominant eye, so it sucks
    big time! I asked her a lot of questions, and she cannot answer my entire
    question. So she told me, she will refer me to corneal specialist instead and
    the doctor can answer my question better. Before I chose her to perform
    surgery, I did research for the good doctor who can perform pterygium surgery
    closer to my area. She always came up and on her website and other sites I
    heard good reviews about her. I have the pterygium for 12+ years. It grew
    slowly, but lately it started to become irritating and always inflamed, so I
    decided to have it removed. Now my left eye looks and feels worse than ever.
    Aside from that, my left eye is smaller than my right eye now (lopsided). I
    still hope that it will go back to normal. My doctor did not do a good job!
    For now, I am waiting to have an appointment to see a corneal specialist.

    • Patty

      Wow , sorry to hear that.

    • yvonne henry

      hi islander, how is your eye now

    • claudia

      oh it is so bad I had my surgery six weeks ago and I saw my eye like you said if I had a pterigyum again do you have pictures of you eye . how is your eye now

    • Hope

      Hi islander, I to have the same exact out. 4 weeks out and I formed scar tissue in the very croner of my eye. My eye feels heavy. A bit lazy. Feels constricted. I too am not pleased. Can you tell me how you are now? Did you have another surgery? Please give me an update. Anticipating.

  • Lydia

    THANK YOU Frank for this blog! It’s priceless.

    I had my pterygium surgically removed only 4 days ago and already I can say – it was worth it! The white part of my eye where the surgeon has glued the graft looks blotchy (red/white) but I know that will clear in time, and already I can celebrate that my iris is a perfect circle for the first time in 5 years! I used quite heavy painkillers for the first 4 days (Tramadol & Ibuprofen). The Panadeine was completely useless, as mentioned in Frank’s blog.

    This operation was my first hospital experience so I was naturally quite nervous. I was crying right up until the operation began. But somehow I dealt with my nerves and got through it without panicking. And only 4 days later I am really happy I did it, and really proud that I went through with it! And I can’t wait for my eye to heal, and to no longer think of myself as a Pterygium Person!

    As a treat for having the surgery done I bought myself some polarised, dark-tinted sunglasses, which I will wear every day!

    So to those of you considering pterygium removal surgery – if I can do it, so can you!!! xx

    • Lydia, I’m really glad to hear it went well for you! I know how apprehensive you were about the surgery πŸ™‚ I’m also glad to hear that the advice on pain management was helpful!

    • Patty

      Hey Francis ,

      you didnt get your eyes glued after like Lydia correct?

      The sutures/stitiches is a different form? I think the glue is the newest / better way I’ve been reading about involves no stitches ..

    • The glue is the newest and the recovery time is quick. My surgeon did both – glued and then stitched to avoid any possibility of complications πŸ™‚

  • Patty


    Please do an update as I have this and is considering surgery. It’s affecting my confidence Im scared to look people in the eyes when speaking to them and sometimes have people coming up to me asking ” what is that on your eyes?” I’ve found a link to a doctor in Cali who seems like they modern way w/o stitches and lower chance of regrowth. I’d hate to have it grow back if I do the surgery. Our eyes tells a lot about our soul and I just hate people looking at me and seeing this ugly thing in my eyes.

    • Hi Patty, I’m not sure when I’ll be able to get to a full update but I can happily say the surgery was worth it. I was very self conscious about my eye as well. It would get very red when I was tired and under other circumstances and people would often ask if my eye was ok. Sadly my vision in that eye isn’t 20/20 as I had let it grow a little too far before getting it seen to, but it’s better than what it would have been if I hadn’t addressed it and now nobody points out my eye πŸ™‚ The weeks of healing were worth it. I don’t think it’s possible to guarantee that regrowth won’t occur as there is the chance no matter what is done to remove it but with modern surgery methods I believe the chances of such a thing are greatly reduced.

    • I should say that I’m a lot more protective of it than I used to be. In New Zealand the UV light coming from the sun is more present than it is in many countries and we have a lifestyle of high engagement in outdoor pursuits so we also have a high rate of Pterygium growth. Because of this I have become almost ‘religious’ about wearing sunglasses outside – especially when the sun is shining. I always weare sunglasses when riding my bike as well (I commute to and from work daily on a bicycle). My hope is that looking after my eyes a lot more will also reduce the chances of regrowth.

    • Patty

      Hi Francis,

      yes I never leave my home w/o sunglasses. If I do I have to run upstairs and grab them or purchase new ones if traveling. I try my best to protect my eyes from the sun. I was born and raised in Jamaica and lived in Miami going to the beach everyday here almost for a whole year. Could possibly be why I got it. I think taking a lot of eye vitamins and good diet along with protecting your eyes from the powerful rays will definitely reduce the chances. Thanks a lot for your blog. Keep you guys posted on my journey


    • Lavonne Eden

      I am scheduled to have this surgery on 4-30-14.It has covered pupil on right eye and growing on left.I will be having it done on my right eye&the Surgeon wants to do the left one a few months later.I am nervous.I have been praying about this.I am glad I found this site.

    • Keep us up-to-date with how it goes Lavonne. As with any surgery, it’s not pleasant, but it’s worth it πŸ™‚

    • How did your surgery go, Lavonne?

  • Laura F.

    Hi All. I was diagnosed with a pterygium three days ago, and here I find myself turning to the internet for real-life information vs. the text book stuff like “wear better sunglasses.” And here I find a few folks on the planet that just may understand what I’m going through. Basically, my optometrist said that I need to take eyedrops (I have two different kinds), start taking fish oil supplements, and drink A LOT more water (defeat the dry eyes, I think). In January, I will see him again and we’ll see if we need to discuss surgery. Did your “journey” start out like this too… with the same list of things to do? I mean, to be completely honest, can anything really take this BUBBLE off my eye besides surgery. Doomed for surgery anyway, right?… :/ Laura F. (thanks for your stories, everyone)

    • Laura, I’m no expert but it sounds like that treatment is about stopping it from growing rather than removing it. I had the surgery because it was growing and starting to affect my vision. It looks like your optometrist may be trying to help you avoid the surgery, because as long as it doesn’t grow, they’re not a major problem.

    • Laura F.

      Thank you. Perfect explanation and makes sense. If you don’t mind, can I ask when you first noticed your pterygium?

    • I can’t remember exactly. It would have been a couple of years ago I think. I didn’t do anything to minimize the growth.

    • Joan P.

      Hello there:
      Today is December 10, 2015. I had my pterygium removed on December 4th. Instead of stitches I had the glue used to place the autograft. I am healing well. My roommate has conjunctivitis, so I’m very worried about that. I have been taking all the precautions. I called my doctor’s office and I was told only to visit them if I start showing any of the symptoms of conjunctivitis. So far, nothing. Any suggestions?
      Additionally, I read that conjunctivitis take some time to incubate. So I’m afraid to come back to work and then start spreading the infection. Without knowing, I have been exposed to conjunctivitis since the date of my surgery πŸ˜”
      On the other hand, I work in a mechanic shop as a service writer. My office is very dusty and I am constantly exposed to grease and dirt. The doctor told me that one week off would be enough and it was up to me if I want to take an additional week off. I’m inclined to take only one week but I open to recommendations.
      Thank you so much for reading my concerns and for having this blog.

    • Joan, I can understand your worry and concerns. The advice of your doctors is the best thing to follow. If you’re able to and it would put your mind at ease, taking another week off wouldn’t hurt. But if you feel that it is unnecessary and your doctor sees no need for it then don’t feel like it’s something you have to do. If you get conjunctivitis your doctor will know how to deal with it.

    • Joan P.

      Thank you for replaying. It is nice to know that you care. I feel that everything will be alright πŸ˜€. Thank you, once more.

    • Patty

      Hi Laura,
      I once had an holistic doctor said he would’ve helped me to remove it. I procrastinated going to him for a year because I was broke. He would do an eye test for only $60 and then recommend vitamins or a natural way how to fix. Went back a year or so later and his store was gone… ;/ But he was so confident he was going to make it go away. So maybe there is a natural way of curing it. It’s hard to find info on it for sure online.

    • Laura F.

      Patty, I’m going to take fish oil and drink LOTS of water. Healing from the inside out, huh? (Like Francis said in his reply to me earlier/the thing not growing anymore.) I’ll try anything. I’m also hydrating the right eye… eye drops (already seeing some more whiteness vs. bloodshot-look). I’m anxious to get back to the eye doc in a month to see if he notices any improvement. Yeah, I understand about the “being broke” thing without going into detail. Plus, there are going to be serious changes to healthcare costs here in my country (2014).

    • Patty

      Hi Laura!

      Ok yes all you have said sounds great and smart. I researched some holistic stuff and didn’t come up one much but ran into a couple articles that referred to castor oil and coconut oil as eye drops. I tried the jamaican black castor oil ( has lots of powerful benefits) and when I woke up each morning my eyes look a lot whiter ! I got lazy after a week, I still use it occasionally when my eyes start to look red or after long motorcycle trips. I think first I will hunt down a few holistic doctors and try to go the natural route. Im a strong believer in natural ways and healing the body inside out. Even if I do the surgery I think I’ll need to focus on a diet that will make my eyes strong. One of my GF’s also told me about Lutien and how it helped her after she got burned in the eyes by cigarette ash, she woke up the next morning and her eyes were fixed and white. So I’ve been taking that also. Pterygiums are so depressing to have. I’ll keep posting updates here since it’s hard to find info or others to share our pain.


    • Chatonda

      Be very careful with the holistic treatment. There appears to be a medical consensus that had Steve Jobs not delayed his operation because he was experimenting with holistic treatment, he would still be alive today.

      My own Pterygium surgery has been scheduled for Tuesday next week. Between now and then, I think I have several questions to ask my surgeon, thanks to the firsthand accounts that I have read in this thread. I was under the impression that I could drive myself home after the surgery but I don’t think so anymore. Oh well…

    • Patty

      Thanks Chotonda,

      yes definitely you will need a driver. Keep us posted on surgery . xo

    • Mike

      No do not. To Dangerous for you and those on the roadway.

    • Starster

      What eye drops are taking? How’s your eye doing?

  • Anelda de Bruin

    I only checked out videos on this operation after my own pterygium removal and it freaked me out! I’m now on day 5 post op and all of the above said is exactly as I experienced. My doctor booked me off from work for 10 days-I’m a teacher in South Africa in an underprivileged area and the air is very dirty so I can’t risk going to work! I do hope I have a full recovery in the next 2weeks for the bright sunny December holidays are here! Anyone going for this operation-be informed and prepared! And have someone to help-it’s impossible on your own! My fiancΓ© cares for me really we’ll!

    • Thanks for sharing your experience, Anelda. it has reminded me that I need to do an update now that I am 5 months on and was fully recovered quite some time ago.

    • Patty


      Please do an update as I have this and is considering surgery. It’s affecting my confidence Im scared to look people in the eyes when speaking to them and sometimes have people coming up to me asking ” what is that on your eyes?” I’ve found a link to a doctor in Cali who seems like they modern way w/o stitches and lower chance of regrowth. I’d hate to have it grow back if I do the surgery. Our eyes tells a lot about our soul and I just hate people looking at me and seeing this ugly thing in my eyes.

  • Jeanie Valentine

    I never needed heavy pain killers after my surgery. I did drive 120 miles home on the 2nd day after surgery. I felt uncomfortable and just wanted to stay home and close my eye to rest it often. The eye was red & irritated.

    • Leanne Saunders

      I also felt no pain after my operation . I consumed nil pain killers at all .

    • “el radar” benitez

      the eye redness is normal post-surgery.

  • Jeanie Valentine

    It is day 18 after my pterygium surgery. I had the graft/stitches type done. Today that eye is finally feeling totally normal! It was red and sore and as the days went on it would feel somewhat better and then I would get some irritation and slight headaches. Then two days before Today I had a very sharp pain; however, today is wonderful. Even the red is gone after 18 days. I was very nervous before surgery but I was given a sedative in my IV and all fear left. I was awake thru the procedure and could feel absolutely no pain and I had absolutely no fear. The surgery went fine. I put a bit of expensive ointment in my eye for 15 days after my surgery. I will definitely protect my eyes from the sun.

    • camile

      I’m here reading this and saying to myself…this is exactly how it was with me…NOTHING different….I had my surgery on November 4, 2014 and will e visiting my doctor tomorrow to have my stiches removed…(don’t know what to expect). but then can’t be any worst than what i experienced the first couple of days after surgery; when i had to trade up my panadol for advil.

    • Renee

      Who was your Dr., where located? would you do it again or do you know yet? Was yours a pinguecula or pterygium?

    • Dan

      I got a mild case of this and not really affecting my vision. I am only 36 so it sucks to have this at any age but especally at a young age. I am going to an apointment to get it checkrd out better soon and worried it could grow into making my vision bad. Sometimes it itches and is nad. I been wearing sun glasses that rap around and are 100% uv. Protection. I keep thinking if only i was wearing sun glasses more often even on a cloudy day i might have not gotten this. Wortied to put off surgery as it might get worse and i hate to wait. After hearing what people went through with pain i am scared.

  • David MacKay

    I agree the painkillers are helpful. I had my right eye done in June and had my left one done on Monday. The surgery is not painful but the few days afterwards their is some pain and irritation. My right eye was very sore and prickly after the contact bandage was removed four weeks later. I will wait and see what happens when the bandage is removed from my left one. The surgeon and his team were very good and put me at rest and explained the procedure well for the both operations.

    • Shyster

      How are your eyes, after 6 months? Hopefully no recurrence.

    • Michele Stafford

      Just had my 2nd eye done 4 weeks apart I had 2nd eye done yesterday (Pterygium removal and conj graft) my eye is bloodshot in one corner my sight is clear I was driving 2 days after my first eye getting done I got it done in St. Francis Private Hosp in Mullingar I was put to sleep for the procedure which was brilliant the staff in the Hosp is so patient they are amazing I can’t recommend this Hosp enough I was so nervous I put this off for years I am so glad I got it done I never needed any pain relief I hope this helps somebody to make their mind up and get it done

  • Melva Ritchie

    I totally agree to find out about painkillers and expectations. With only 10 Panadeine given and a Nurse asking if you’ve got the next day off, you kinda think ‘this won’t take long’…and you plan to go to that wedding 3 days after surgery and think doing a jigsaw might be fun while recovering. Ummm. No.
    It made me squeamish thinking about the surgery, but seeing a man in such pain (someone who probably has had as many pain killers in our married life as I’ve had some weeks) means someone didn’t prepare either of us very well at all. I took time off work to take Frank to surgery, but ended up having to take the next day off as there was no way I could see of Frank walking downstairs to prepare food for himself, or keep track of the multiple doses of painkillers (I phoned the pharmacy more than once to find out what else he could have). If I was having the surgery, I’d ask to be sedated and ask for a prescription of tramadol or morphine. Or both.