Now accepting Telehealth appointments. Schedule a virtual visit.

Pterygium Surgery Specialist

Cohen Eye Institute

Cataract, Refractive & LASIK Surgeons and Cornea Specialists located in Midtown East of Manhattan, Ridgewood of Queens, & Elmhurst, NY and Old Bridge, NJ

Dr. Cohen uses a novel technique that he developed for pterygium surgery. This new technique allows for faster recovery with lower risk of regrowth, enabling patients in and around New York City to eliminate these benign lesions so they can enjoy clearer vision and improved cosmetic results.

Pterygium Surgery Q&A

What is pterygium?

Pterygium is a condition that causes tissue growths on the sclera, or white portion of the eye, usually in the area that's nearest the nose. Although the tissue itself is benign (non-cancerous), if growth continues, it may eventually interfere with the ability to see.

What causes pterygium?

Also called surfer's eye, pterygium can be caused by UV exposure and exposure to dust and other airborne irritants, as well as dry eye. People who spend considerable time outdoors and tend not to wear sunglasses are most at risk for developing pterygium. Some mild cases of pterygium can be treated with ointments or eye drops, but when the growth becomes large enough to interfere with vision or to cause discomfort, it can be removed surgically.

What happens during pterygium surgery?

Surgery is performed on an outpatient basis and involves gently removing the growth, then filling in the area with tissue taken from the eye surface (the conjunctiva). Most procedures take about 15 to 20 minutes to perform. Following surgery, eye drops may be prescribed for several weeks to help reduce the risk of recurrence, and you'll need to have follow-up appointments for several months to ensure your eye is healing properly and to look for signs of recurrence.

Is pterygium surgery risky?

Every surgery carries some risk. The primary risk associated with pterygium surgery is a recurrence of the growth, but Dr. Cohen's novel techniques have considerably reduced that risk. Still, surgery is usually reserved for patients for whom conservative treatments have failed and whose vision has become compromised or who are bothered by the cosmetic effects of the growth.