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Pterygium Excision and Graft Treatment Abroad
terygium (ter-gee-um) is a medical term that defines a noncancerous growth that presents in the clear tissues (sclera) of the eye. Known as conjunctiva, this area covers the whitish part of the eye. Pterygium is more commonly known as Surfers Eye, and most commonly grows on the side of the eye closest to the nose.
The conjunctiva is the part of the eye that defines a thin, mucus-like membrane that covers the white portions of the eye as well as lines the inside of the eyelids. The pterygium often appears as a triangular, whitish and elevated thickening caused by excessive growth of conjunctiva that often extends onto the surface of the eye. If it grows large enough, can not only cause redness, tearing, and irritation, but interfere with vision.
In most cases, the pterygium or growth extends from the tear duct side of the eye all the way through the square or white portion of the eye to the iris, and may even venture into the cornea. The appearance of the growth is raised and may contain easily visible blood vessels. Pterygium can appear in one or both eyes.
It's not exactly known what causes pterygium, but it is more prevalent in individuals exposed to outdoor conditions such as wind and sunlight, especially in dusty, windblown, or sandy areas. Diagnosis of pterygium is achieved through a physical examination of the eyelids and the eyes.
Treatment for most cases of pterygium is unnecessary. Eye drops or artificial tears may help to keep the eyes moistened and prevent the pterygium from growing inflamed. In some cases, a doctor may prescribe mild steroid eye drops to reduce inflammation. In more severe cases, surgery such as excision of the pterygium, and even grafting, may be required if the pterygium interferes or blocks vision, as well as for cosmetic reasons. Pterygium treatment and procedures are among the most common performed by general ophthalmologists.
Pterygium excision is a type of laser or LASIK-like procedure that can be combined with conjunctival auto grafting. Because the pterygium is an actual growth of fleshy tissue, and can grow large enough to block or otherwise interfere with a person's vision, surgical procedures may be required for its removal. Individuals may benefit from pterygium excision in the reduction of inflammation, irritation, and to improve decreased vision, as well as obtain a smooth, normal ocular surface.
Conjunctival transplantation or grafting may also be used in conjunction with the excision process to minimize re-occurrence, and involves transferring a piece of a person's own conjunctiva to the area where the pterygium and has been excised. Another technique is called amniotic membrane graft. In this procedure, a small piece of freeze-dried amniotic membrane is cut and then literally glued onto the clear area of sclera surrounding the area where pterygium has been excised.
A block or regional anesthetic is given prior to the procedure, and the pterygium is excised and the bare sclera exposed. The sclera is prepared for the autograph. Freeze dried human amniotic membrane is cut into a C-shaped graft and placed in the subcontinent scleral space surrounding the excision site.
How much does to Pterygium Surgery Cost?
In the United States, pterygium and excision with grafting costs approximately $3,000, but additional costs may be required for anesthesiology or anesthesiologist, as well as post surgery medications such as eye drops or ointments. Average cost however, ranges between $1,500 and $1,800, depending on approach and type of grafting and whether or not stitches are needed. However, travelers to locations such as India may experience substantial savings on the same procedure.
Who Performs Pterygium and Excision, with or without Grafting?
An ophthalmologist trained in pterygium excision or at LASIK type procedures most commonly performs pterygium excision, accompanied by grafting or not. Consumers should opt for an ophthalmologist who specializes in cataract type surgeries or LASIK surgeries, as well as other eye services and surgical procedures.
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Laser Eye Surgery, LASIK Eye Surgery Abroad