Pterygium Surgery Recovery in Los Angeles & Monterey Park
This Post was Updated on December 12th, 2018
Pterygium is an elevated growth that first forms on the white part of the eye (conjunctiva). If left untreated, it can spread to the cornea (the clear front portion of the eye). Although pterygium is a benign condition, advanced cases can result in serious visual discomfort and physical deformity.
Dr. Linda Vu is a board-certified ophthalmologist in Los Angeles with years of experience providing pterygium treatment via non-surgical and surgical means. Mild cases of pterygium can be treated with prescription lubricants or steroid eye drops, which help reduce swelling and redness. Severe cases require pterygium surgery, which can be completed in approximately 30 minutes in Dr. Vu’s office.
Although pterygium can be removed via surgery, there is a chance of recurrence. To minimize the chance of regrowth, Dr. Vu utilizes an advanced surgical method that involves removing a healthy portion of the conjunctiva and suturing it to the treatment area. Aside from this, the best way to ensure a successful recovery and minimize the chance of regrowth is by following Dr. Vu’s post-operative instructions.
What to Expect after Pterygium Surgery
Healing after pterygium surgery typically takes several weeks, during which patients must get plenty of rest. Dr. Vu will prescribe topical eye drops or ointments for you to use several times a day. During the first few days after surgery, patients may experience light sensitivity, which can be managed by wearing dark glasses. Patients may also notice swelling and bloodshot eyes. These side effects should improve over time. The exact length of your recovery will depend on the size and severity of the pterygium and on your personal healing progress.
Do’s and Don’ts After Pterygium Surgery
- Don’t drive until Dr. Vu clears you to do so
- Do not watch TV or read for the remainder of the day of surgery
- Wait 24 hours after surgery to shower or bathe
- Wash eyes gently and keep them closed when in water
- Cover eye(s) when sleeping using eye shields
- Do not apply eye makeup for one week after surgery
- Wait at least one week to exercise after surgery
- Do not swim or play contact sports for one month
- Avoid rubbing your eye(s) for at least three months after surgery
Keep in mind that these are general guidelines. Dr. Vu may tweak these guidelines based on your personal healing progress.
Pterygium Recovery and Follow-up Care
One of the common causes of regrowth is sun exposure. Wearing sunglasses regularly following your procedure can minimize exposure to UV radiation and greatly reduce your risk for regrowth.
It is also imperative that you keep all scheduled follow-up appointments. To ensure your recovery is successful, Dr. Vu offers comprehensive eye care, including follow-up appointments for 12 months after surgery. During these appointments, Dr. Vu will conduct a full eye exam and evaluate your eye health and symptoms. If regrowth occurs, Dr. Vu can address it promptly.