• Does a conjunctiva (thin, transparent membrane covering the white of the eye) grow thick and red after the removal of a pterygium?


    Question:

    Does a conjunctiva (thin, transparent membrane covering the white of the eye) grow thick and red after the removal of a pterygium?


    Answer:

    After a pterygium (growth of fleshy tissue on the white of the eye) has been removed, the eye is monitored to confirm that it is healing well. Sometimes, the eye can mount a very strong healing response and form the thick fibrotic tissue filled with blood vessels that you are describing. Antibiotics and steroid drops are given after the operation to try to minimize this as much as possible. Pterygiums can also recur in the same way, sometimes worse than the initial problem!

    If you do have a lot of excessive tissue after surgery, you should discuss possible treatment options with your ophthalmologist. Over time, some of the blood vessels and thickened tissue may regress. However, sometimes a repeat excision (surgery) is necessary although the same response may happen again after a repeat surgery.


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