Eyelid Malformation Surgery in Las Vegas, NV, for Growth Removal
A pterygium is a painless, non-cancerous growth of the conjunctiva, the lining that covers the white part of the eye. This may grow on the cornea, which covers the iris, the colored part of the eye. It usually begins at the nasal side of the eye and can be red, pink, white, yellow, or gray. Patients first notice the condition because of the appearance of a lesion on their eye or dry, itchy irritation, tearing, or redness. If you notice these, let Siems LASIK & Eye Centers know; our eyelid malformation surgery in Las Vegas, NV, could be just what you need.
When confined only to the conjunctiva, a pterygium is called a pinguecula. The name changes as it extends to the cornea, and it can eventually lead to impaired vision. We diagnose the condition after a thorough medical examination of the eyes. A slit-lamp examination allows our physician to examine the cornea, iris, and lens to confirm diagnosis.
While the sources are not entirely known, the main culprit is believed to be exposure to UV light. Other suspected causes include living in a dry, dusty, and windy environment. People who live near the equator or play water sports like surfing and fishing are more likely to develop pterygium.
Prolonged exposure to these conditions causes the conjunctiva to thicken and the eye to become red and irritated. Collagen in the eye begins to deteriorate, and so it weakens. Studies show that there may also be a genetic predisposition, with a higher prevalence occurring in men.
The Symptoms of Pterygium
In severe cases, it may grow over the pupil and limit vision. Symptoms include:
- Tissue in the inner or outer corner of the eye
- Dry eyes
- Redness of the eye
- Burning of the eye
- Blurry vision
Surgical Pterygium Treatment
In most mild cases, artificial tears can reduce dryness and irritation. For those patients with severe cases and whose vision has been affected, different types of surgery are available. Surgery is the only way to remove a pterygium definitively, but it is not a perfect solution. Long-term follow-up is required, and the recurrence rate is between 30 to 40 percent.
About Autologous Conjunctival Auto-Grafting
A safe and effective technique for surgical removal is autologous conjunctival auto-grafting. The pterygium is removed as well as the tissue covering the conjunctiva. The tissue taken from the sclera is replaced by tissue that has been removed from the inside of the patient’s upper eyelid.
Amniotic Membrane Transplantation
Amniotic membrane transplantation is another safe and effective procedure to remove a pterygium. Donor tissue from an inner layer of the human placenta is used to reconstruct the eye’s surface. This type of graft encourages healing and reduces swelling.
Prevention of Pterygium
Even after surgery, we might recommend a radiation treatment with strontium to minimize the risk of reoccurrence. Strontium plaque therapy produces beta particles that penetrate the cornea and prevents the regrowth of blood vessels that occur when the pterygium returns.
Sunglasses that block UV rays, particularly those with side coverage, are a good means of protection. Wearing a hat with a brim is also helpful. In hot, dry climates, artificial tears should be used to lubricate the eyes.