A pterygium is a fleshy growth which starts on the white part of the eye and slowly grows across onto the cornea (the clear lens that covers the coloured part of the eye). A pterygium may cause a foreign body sensation, dryness or redness of the eye. People who have spent a lot of time in the sun have a greater chance of developing a pterygium, and so they are quite common in Queensland.
Surgery involves excision of the pterygium and covering the exposed area with conjunctiva taken from under the top eyelid of the same eye. This helps create a whiter eye post operatively while dramatically reducing recurrence. The cornea is carefully preserved so that induced astigmatism does not occur, and drugs are applied to the surface of the eye to prevent scar formation.