Pterygium Surgery: Risks, Benefits, and Alternatives

If you suffer from a pterygium, then itching, irritation, burning, redness, and pain are your constant companion. If a pterygium gets serious enough, it can cause vision loss and scarring. Because of this, ophthalmologists recommend pterygium removal surgery to provide relief and get rid of the growth. Here is a closer look at what a pterygium is, the risk associated with the surgery, the benefits, and alternatives that may be a better option.

Pterygium Surgery: Cost, Recovery, Complications and More

If your eye doctor has recommended surgery for pterygium, it is important to understand the risks, benefits, cost, recovery, and possible complications. Here is a basic overview of what to expect after pterygium surgery:

Pterygium Surgery: Cost, Recovery, Complications and More

If your eye doctor has recommended surgery for pterygium, it is important to understand the risks, benefits, cost, recovery, and possible complications. Here is a basic overview of what to expect after pterygium surgery:

What is pterygium surgery?
How much does pterygium surgery cost?
What is pterygium surgery?

Pterygium surgery cost

Pterygium Eye Surgery Cost

It is difficult to pinpoint the cost of pterygium eye surgery because it differs around the world. A pterygium surgery cost in Australia will differ from the cost in the United States or in Europe. Additionally, whether or not you have eye insurance, and what they cover has a big impact on the cost. It can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand. If you want to know the final cost, call your insurance provider and the surgeon providing the surgery.

Eye pterygium surgery

Pterygium Surgery Procedure

Pterygium eye surgery is a very fast procedure. In most cases, it will last less than half an hour. You will be sedated slightly to numb the pain but will remain awake. The pterygium itself will be cut out of your eye, and a tissue graft will replace it. There are a few different types of surgery – it is important that you discuss each procedure with your eye doctor to determine the best option for you.


Pterygium Surgery Video & Before and After Photos:

Here is pterygium removal surgery video to watch so you are fully informed about the surgery itself. It is helpful to know what the surgery looks like, so that you know what to expect regarding recovery after, a well as the recovery pain. It's also helpful to see before and after surgery photos, to see exactly what recovery looks like for each person.

Pterygium Surgery Recovery

Pterygium surgery recovery is fairly quick, but there are a few things you’ll need to know:

  • You won’t be able to have your face in the water (including the shower) for at least a month to allow the tissue to graft fully to your eye.
  • You’ll need to wear an eye patch.
  • You will experience unusual eye symptoms while you recover (including fluid discharge, your eye will be a strange yellow color, you may have a scar, and your eye may be sensitive, even after the surgery).

The most important thing to understand about your recovery after pterygium surgery, is that the recurrence percentage is extremely high. This means that the surgery may not be successful – the pterygium may grow back. There is a 60% failure rate, so even with surgery, you may not get relief from your symptoms.


Pterygium Surgery Post-Operative Care

There are steps you need to take following your surgery to help your eye heal. The two most important things to keep in mind are: Minimizing inflammation, and helping the tissue to graft to your eye successfully. Here’s a few basics of pterygium surgery post-operative care:


  • Use steroid eye drops for up to three months to minimize inflammation
  • Wear an eye patch to avoid damaging the graft tissue
  • Avoid the water for at least a month (including shower water) to keep the tissue in place, allowing it to graft successfully to your eye
  • Mitomycin drops may be prescribed to prevent scarring


Pterygium Surgery Complications

There is some pterygium surgery risk you need to consider. While complications are considered rare, it is important to understand the possible side-effects and risks, which require additional surgery:

risks after eye surgery pterygium

or cysts

pterygium surgery recovery pain

Persistent double vision

post pterygium surgery


pterygium surgery complications

Graft tissue not settling in

pterygium surgery risks

Losing all useful vision

after pterygium surgery

recurrence rate

How to Get Rid of Pterygium without Surgery

As with any surgery, there are risks and the possibility of complications. While the risks are minimal, the failure rate for the surgery is troubling. With 60% of the surgeries resulting in the recurrence of the pterygium, it is difficult to justify the cost, recovery, and the possibility of additional eye issues arising as a result of the surgery itself. Thankfully, there is a much less invasive option available for those looking to get relief from the pain and irritation from a pterygium – dipyridamole eye drops. Dipyridamole is a cardiovascular drug – but when diluted to 1/50,000 of the oral dose, and used as an eye drop, it has a dramatic impact on reducing pterygium. The data shows that the daily use of the drops is a much safer and more natural alternative to surgery.  Some people have seen a marked improvement in their symptoms and the pterygium itself. Research has found that the drops offer a very distinct advantage over existing options, including surgery. These drops are a much more natural and cost-effective option for those looking at the cost, complications, and risks associated with pterygium excision surgery.

Dipyridamole drops are a much safer and more natural alternative to surgery.

Dipyridamole drops offer a very distinct advantage to other options, including surgery

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