The procedure is performed as an outpatient procedure with the use of anaesthetic eye drops and a small anaesthetic injection around the eye. A gentle eyelid clip is placed to keep the eye open for the procedure. A clean plastic drape which sticks around the eye will be used to keep the surgical field clean. There will be oxygen and air coming through underneath the drape. You can breathe and talk freely, and let us know if you are uncomfortable. If you are very nervous, the anaesthetist will give you medicine to keep you calm and relaxed. The procedure takes approximately 45 minutes.
The pterygium is removed from the cornea. The cornea underneath the pterygium is made as smooth as possible. Sometimes the pterygium has caused permanent scarring of the cornea. Usually this does not affect vision as it is so far away from the centre of the vision, but if it is extensive scarring, it may affect vision. All scar tissue is removed, at the edges of the opening left behind after the pterygium is excised. Then a small graft of conjunctiva is obtained from the upper part of the eyeball, exactly the same size as the defect, and sewn in place with a fine dissolving suture. The suture does not cause much discomfort and dissolves, usually after approximately 4 weeks.
Sometimes Miss Saw uses a biological glue derived from donor blood product to secure the graft to the eye. When glue is used, a bandage contact lens will be placed in the eye at the end of the procedure. This contact lens will be removed 3-7 days after the procedure.