Pterygium Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if I am a candidate for pterygium removal surgery?
This is determined with a simple examination with Dr. Klein or Dr. Scannapiego.
- For patients who are traveling from outside the NY/NJ area, photos of your eyes can be emailed to the doctors to help assess eligibility (see instructions below).
- If you are pregnant or breast-feeding, it is best to hold off on your pterygium surgery until after.
- If you have active lupus, rheumatoid arthritis or other auto-immune disease, you should not undergo the procedure.
- If you are on blood thinners for stroke or atrial fibrillation you should not have the procedure.
How long have Drs. Klein & Scannapiego been performing IsoWhite™ pterygium removal surgery?
They have performed pterygium surgery for more than 15 years, and have developed their distinct IsoWhiteTM procedure over this time.
Are there other doctors that perform IsoWhite™ pterygium removal surgery?
Only our group has pioneered this special treatment and its post-operative care. Very few surgeons are able to achieve such outstanding medical and cosmetic results with such a low recurrence rate.
Does insurance cover IsoWhite™ pterygium removal surgery?
Yes. And our office participates with most insurances.
What if I have no insurance?
We can perform IsoWhiteTM pterygium surgery in our Elizabeth office which will save you up to 50-70% off the price of having surgery in a hospital or surgical center.
If I am traveling, can both eyes have pterygium removal surgery on the same day?
What are the risks of IsoWhite™ pterygium removal surgery?
The surgery is very safe. There is a very small risk of infection after surgery, which is minimized with antibiotic eye drops. There is small chance (less than 1%) that a pterygium can partially or fully grow back. There is a small chance (about 1%) of having scarring from the surgery.
In some patients, ocular pressure can increase from medications used after surgery. Eye pressures should be checked during the healing period so that this can be treated if necessary.
It is normal to experience 3-4 weeks of redness and mild irritation or light sensitivity following the procedure. Your vision, however, will not be affected and work can often be resumed the next day.
What kind of anesthesia is used?
The procedure is done under topical and local anesthesia. There is some mild stinging when the anesthesia is given, but the procedure itself is painless.
If I have had previous surgery for a pterygium and it grew back, will IsoWhite™ pterygium surgery work for me?
Yes, surgery usually can be re-done and the risk of recurrence will still only be about 1%.
What if I am using Visine or other over-the-counter “get-the-red-out” drops?
It is best to stop these medicines at least 2-3 days before you are evaluated for surgery so that the natural state of your eyes can be seen. Long term use of these medicines is not beneficial and they should be stopped anyway. For more information visit The Review of Opthamology website.
What do I need to avoid during the healing period?
Most importantly, do not to rub your eyes. Rubbing your eyes could cause separation of the surgical tissues. Artificial tear lubricants should be used instead to relieve itchy eyes during healing. Contact lens use, swimming and eye make-up should also be avoided for 2 weeks following surgery. Mild exercise can be started 2-3 days after surgery, though excessive sweating around the eyes should be avoided for the first week.
Do I have to use eye drops after the surgery?
In most cases, eye drops including antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medication will be required for 4-6 weeks following surgery. You will receive instructions from our office following your surgery.
How do I send photos of my eyes?
Email Dr. Klein at email@example.com:
- Take photos of one eye at a time. The camera should be only a few inches from your eye (i.e., your whole face should not be visible in the photo).
- Use a real camera if possible – not a cell phone – to get a clear, sharp image.
- Make sure that blood vessels on the surface of the eye are in sharp focus.
- Take the photos outside, preferably when it is sunny, without using a flash.
- You may do best if someone takes the photos for you.