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Bulgarian Review of Ophthalmology

Surgical treatment of pterygium with conjunctival autograft

Anna Ilieva, Zornitsa Zlatarova


Introduction: Pterygium is a benign degenerative condition of the conjunctiva, which could cause serious visual disturbance.

Aim: The aim of this article is to evaluate the results of pterygium surgical treatment with superior conjunctival autograft, and to analyze the postoperative complications and recurrence rate.

Methods: The study encompassed a 5-year period, during which 51 eyes of 51 patients with primary (45) or recurrent (6) pterygium have undergone surgical excision. The autograft was taken from the superior bulbar conjunctiva and it was sutured episclerally to the recessed ends of the pterygium with interrupted 10-0 nylon sutures.The donor site healed with spontaneous epithelialization. Postoperative evaluation was done on the 1st, 7th , and 30th day and on the 3rd and 6th month. Complications and recurrence rate of the cases have been analyzed.

Results: Twenty-seven males and 24 females have been operated on. Their mean age was 58 (20-85) years. The follow-up period was between 10 and 60 months (mean - 35 months). Complications without significant lasting consequences were observed in six cases: three eyes with graft edema, two eyes with a Dellen ulcer and one eye with retraction of conjunctiva and suture loss. The donor site healed without any complication in all patients. Recurrence after primary excision was detected in four cases (7.84%) of all. The average recurrence time was 6 months.

Conclusion: Autogenous conjunctival grafting is a safe and effective technique in pterygium surgery with low complication and recurrence rate, providing stable postoperative result.


pterygium, conjunctival autograft, recurrence, safety

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About The Authors

Anna Ilieva
Medical University of Varna

Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Faculty of Medicine

Specialized Eye Hospital, Varna, Bulgaria

Zornitsa Zlatarova
Medical University of Varna

Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Science, Faculty of Medicine

Specialized Eye Hospital, Varna, Bulgaria