• After my surgery for pterygium, is it conceivable that it will grow back for the third time?


    Question:

    After my surgery for pterygium, is it conceivable that it will grow back for the third time?


    Answer:

    Since pterygia are thought to occur from UV light (sun) damage to tissue underneath the white of the eye, it is common for them to return after surgery. Some studies have reported pterygia returning at rates of 15 percent to 25 percent when a graft is used to replace the removed tissue (when tissue underneath the pterygium is also removed and replaced with eyelid skin) and up to 76 percent when no graft is used. Even after the pterygium is removed a second time, pterygia can keep coming back. Certain strategies are used by ophthalmologists to keep them from coming back including using grafts during surgery and drugs such as Mitomycin C and 5-Fluorouracil.


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