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Pterygium Surgery

A pterygium is a fleshy wedge-shaped growth on the surface of the eye (conjunctiva) that extends onto the cornea (the clear window at the front of the eye). Most commonly, it is due to extensive sun exposure and UV light, but is also known to have a genetic link.

Symptoms of pterygium include redness, irritation, foreign body sensation and dryness. The appearance of a pterygium can also motivate people to seek treatment. In advanced cases, vision can be blurred if the pterygium extends over the pupil or distorts the corneal shape (inducing astigmatism).
An early pterygium

An early pterygium

An advanced pterygium

An advanced pterygium

Limiting sun exposure with sunglasses and a hat can help prevent the growth and development of a pterygium, and is good practice in minimising the harmful effects of UV light on the eyes. Lubricating eye drops and ointments can help reduce the symptoms of pterygium, although the only definitive treatment is surgery.

This procedure involves gently removing the pterygium under local anaesthetic and placing a small conjunctival graft in its place. Dr Robaei usually take the conjunctival graft from underneath the upper eyelid, from an area that is pristine and unaffected by sun exposure. This graft prevent recurrence of the pterygium, and improves the cosmetic appearance post-operatively.

The latest development in Pterygium surgery is the use of fibrin glue to secure the graft to the surrounding conjunctiva, rather than using suture. The glue not only shortens the recovery time, but dramatically improves patient comfort after surgery, and is Dr Robaei’s treatment of choice.

Make An Enquiry

All surgical procedures carry some risk. The information provided here is for general educational purposes only. Please contact Forest Eye Surgery to find out if pterygium surgery is appropriate for your individual situation.
Dr Dana Robaei - Sydney Ophthalmologist

Dr Dana Robaei

Ophthalmic Surgeon MBBS(Hons) BSc(med) MPH PhD FRANZCO

Dr Dana Robaei is a consultant ophthalmic surgeon, with fellowship training in Cataract Surgery and Corneal Transplantation from Moorfields Eye Hospital, and Medical Retina from Sydney Eye Hospital.

She has extensively published in the national and international ophthalmic literature, and presented at international ophthalmology conferences.

She specialises in Cataract Surgery, Pterygium Surgery, Macular Degeneration and all aspects of comprehensive ophthalmology.

Dr Robaei is committed to clinical and surgical excellence, with the aim of providing the highest possible standard of care based on the latest available evidence, in combination with effective communication to patients and their referrers.

Professional Qualifications

  • Graduated from UNSW with Honours, Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery
  • Master of Public Health, UNSW
  • PhD in medicine (Visual impairment in Australian School Children)
  • Advances specialty training in ophthalmology and ophthalmic surgery at Sydney Eye Hospital
  • Subspecialty fellowship training in cataract surgery and corneal transplantation at Moorfields Eye Hospital, London UK
  • Clinical Senior Lecturer in ophthalmology, University of Sydney
  • Consultant Ophthalmologist, Westmead Hospital
  • Director of Forest Eye Surgery, Frenchs Forest