About OJO | Search | Ahead of print | Current Issue | Archives | Author Instructions | Reviewer Guidelines | Online submissionLogin 
Oman Journal of Ophthalmology Oman Journal of Ophthalmology
  Editorial Board | Subscribe | Advertise | Contact
https://www.omanophthalmicsociety.org/ Users Online: 319  Wide layoutNarrow layoutFull screen layout Home Print this page  Email this page Small font size Default font size Increase font size

 Table of Contents    
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 166-170  

Long-term analysis of an unconventional way of doing double-head pterygium excision

1 Cornea and Refractive Services, The Eye Foundation, Post Graduate Institute of Ophthalmology, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Cornea and Refractive Services, The Eye Foundation, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India
3 The Eye Foundation, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Web Publication11-Oct-2019

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Shreesha Kumar Kodavoor
Department of Cornea and Refractive Services, The Eye Foundation, 582 A, D. B. Road, R. S. Puram, Coimbatore - 641 002, Tamil Nadu
Login to access the Email id

Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ojo.OJO_69_2017

Rights and Permissions

AIM: The aim of the study is to describe an unconventional technique of vertically split conjunctival autograft (CAG) for primary double-head pterygium and its long-term outcome.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: This was a retrospective, noncomparative, interventional case series of 95 eyes of 95 patients, who underwent vertical, split CAG surgery without maintaining limbus–limbus orientation for primary double-head pterygium from January 2013 to January 2017. All patients were reviewed for recurrence in their follow-up period.
RESULTS: The mean follow-up was 14.12 ± 9.42 months. The baseline characteristics included 44 males and 51 females, with a mean age of 56.24 ± 10.03 years. The only significant complication was recurrence rate of 2.10% (2 eyes out of 95). The most common secondary outcome was graft edema (36.84%, 35 eyes out of 95), which resolved without any intervention. The other outcomes such as graft retraction (12.63%), Tenon's granuloma (1.05%), and subconjunctival hemorrhage (34.73%) were also recorded.
CONCLUSION: Unconventional vertical split CAG without maintaining limbus–limbus orientation has convincing results in treating double-head pterygium with lower recurrence rate.

Keywords: Double-head pterygium, fibrin glue, without limbus–limbus, pterygium recurrence

How to cite this article:
Kodavoor SK, Tiwari NN, Ramamurthy D. Long-term analysis of an unconventional way of doing double-head pterygium excision. Oman J Ophthalmol 2019;12:166-70

How to cite this URL:
Kodavoor SK, Tiwari NN, Ramamurthy D. Long-term analysis of an unconventional way of doing double-head pterygium excision. Oman J Ophthalmol [serial online] 2019 [cited 2023 Feb 2];12:166-70. Available from: https://www.ojoonline.org/text.asp?2019/12/3/166/268922

   Introduction Top

Pterygium is a pinkish fibrovascular growth on the cornea of the eye.[1] The exact cause is unknown but partly related to long-term exposure of ultraviolet light and dust.[2] The frequency ranges from 1% to 33% in various parts of the world, but commonly seen in India and African continent which is closer to the equator.[3] Dolezalová reported an incidence of double-head pterygium in the same eye to be 2.5%.[4] It is an already established fact that conjunctival autograft (CAG) is the gold standard in the management of primary pterygium;[5] however, it may be inadequate to cover the bare scleral defect in a double-head pterygium.

We herein report a unique way of excising double-head pterygium using vertically split CAG without maintaining limbus–limbus orientation.

   Materials and Methods Top

A total of 95 eyes of 95 patients which underwent primary double-head pterygium excision with vertical split CAG without limbus–limbus orientation from January 2013 to January 2017 were reviewed retrospectively at a tertiary eye care hospital in South India. Preoperative data included patient's age, sex, and visual acuity before and after surgery, ocular medical and surgical history, surgical technique, and complications. All the surgeries were performed by one surgeon. Pterygium was graded according to the corneal involvement (Grade 1: crossing limbus; Grade 2: midway between limbus and pupil; Grade 3: reaching up to pupillary margin; and Grade 4: crossing pupillary margin). Only up to Grade 3 pterygium was included in the study with exclusion of Grade 4 and recurrent pterygium. The study was approved by the institutional ethics committee and adhered to the tenets of the Declaration of Helsinki.

Surgical procedure

Preoperative image of double-head pterygium in the left eye is shown in [Figure 1]. After preoperative sterile painting and draping, 0.5% proparacaine HCl (Aurocaine, Aurolab, Tamil Nadu, India) was used as a topical anesthesia. The head of nasal pterygium was avulsed using a toothed forceps and an iris spatula. The underlying fibrovascular tissue was then excised using conjunctival forceps followed by scraping of bed for any residual tissue using crescent blade. Adequate wet-field cautery was used to achieve hemostasis. Similar step was performed for the temporal pterygium. The superior bulbar conjunctiva was selected as donor site. Balanced salt solution was injected subconjunctivally with a 26G needle, which helped in good dissection of conjunctiva from Tenon's capsule. After giving a small nick incision at the forniceal end, a thin conjunctival graft of adequate size was fashioned. Starting from forniceal end, the graft was split vertically into two halves till the limbus was reached [Figure 2]a. Tenon's capsule was separated meticulously for each graft. For successful graft take-up, thin graft with meticulous dissection of Tenon's capsule is required.[6] The nasal graft was then excised from its base using Vannas scissor, and without changing the orientation, the graft was placed on bare scleral defect of the nasal side [Figure 2]b. With epithelium side up, split conjunctival nasal autograft was secured with fibrin glue Tisseel VH (Baxter AG, Vienna, Austria). Similar procedure was followed for temporal half CAG [Figure 2]c. Here, limbus–limbus orientation was not maintained and complete covering of bare area was ensured [Figure 2]d. The eye was patched overnight. Postoperatively, topical 0.5% moxifloxacin HCl, topical 0.5% loteprednol etabonate, and tear substitute 0.5% carboxymethylcellulose were started 6 times daily for the first week and then tapered gradually. Patients were examined on the postoperative day 1 and later asked for follow-up after 1 week [Figure 3]a, 6 weeks [Figure 3]b, 6 months, and 1 year [Figure 4] thereafter. Patients with a follow-up of less than 6 months were not included in the study. Recurrence was defined as fibrovascular tissue in the growth of 1.5 mm or more beyond the limbus onto the clear cornea with conjunctival dragging as described by Singh et al.[7]
Figure 1: Double-head pterygium preoperatively

Click here to view
Figure 2: (a) Vertical split conjunctival graft technique, (b) nasal split graft secured with glue without limbus–limbus orientation, (c) temporal split graft secured with glue without limbus–limbus orientation, (d) both grafts in situ without limbus–limbus orientation

Click here to view
Figure 3: (a) One-week postoperative, (b) 6 weeks postoperative

Click here to view
Figure 4: One-year follow-up

Click here to view

Statistical analysis

Recurrence of pterygium was the primary outcome, whereas other complications such as Tenon's granuloma, graft retraction, graft edema, and subconjunctival hemorrhage were considered as other outcome variables. Descriptive analysis for quantitative variables was done using mean and standard deviation.

   Results Top

On retrospective analysis of 95 eyes with primary double-head pterygium operated by this technique without maintaining limbus–limbus orientation, the following results were obtained. The total number of males was 44 and females was 51, with a mean age of 56.24 ± 10.03 (years). The mean follow-up was 14.12 ± 9.42 (months). Patients with a follow-up of less than 6 months were not included in the study. A total of 2.10% (2 eyes out of 95) had recurrence and both were temporal site recurrence. 36.84% (35 eyes out of 95) had postoperative edema. Similarly, 34.73% (33 eyes out of 95) had subconjunctival hemorrhage. 12.63% (12 eyes out of 95) had graft retraction in the postoperative period, and 1.05% (1 eye out of 95) developed Tenon's granuloma. [Table 1] shows the percentage of various outcome of this study.
Table 1: Outcomes of this study

Click here to view

   Discussion Top

One of the major complications postpterygium surgery is recurrence, which usually occurs within 6 months.[8] The main aim is to minimize the recurrence rate along with better cosmetic outcomes. In this technique, we had used vertically split CAG from superior quadrant and secured the graft using fibrin glue without maintaining limbus–limbus orientation on bare scleral defects. There is no dearth of literature as far as the way of treating double-head pterygium ranging from vertical split CAG with limbus–limbus orientation, split CAG with horizontal graft, superior and inferior bulbar CAG, and amniotic membrane transplantation (AMT), but none of them has overall acceptance. Conventional bare sclera technique is not done routinely because of high recurrence rate.[9] Use of various adjuncts such as beta-irradiation or thiotepa eye drops, anti-mitotic drugs (mitomycin C and 5-fluorouracil), fibrin glue, and AMT has been described to prevent recurrence.[10] Amniotic membrane is costly and requires preservation and availability is an issue sometimes. Previous studies have reported higher recurrence rate with the use of AMT compared to conjunctival autografting.[11] Various complications of mitomycin-C have been noted such as punctuate keratopathy, scleral melt, and corneal melting.[12] Use of fibrin glue for securing graft gives advantages of easy fixation and better postoperative comfort.[13] The author has already published this similar technique where sutures were used instead of glue for securing the two grafts and had excellent results.[14] In this technique, we have used glue instead of sutures and had very comparable postoperative recurrence rate of 2.01% (2 eyes out of 95) with much better cosmetic outcomes. Furthermore, various suture-related complications published in the literature was also avoided.[15],[16] In this study, two eyes with temporal site recurrence had excessive graft retraction in the early postoperative period, which could be due to inclusion of Tenon's in the graft and can be reduced by meticulous dissection.[16] The remaining 12 eyes with retraction resolved at 6 weeks without any intervention. Very recently, a new Pterygium Extended Removal Followed by Extended Conjunctival Transplant technique for double-head pterygium was published by Hirst and Smallcombe with no recurrence rate at 1-year follow-up in 20 eyes.[17] Using other procedures, previously published studies for primary double-head pterygium have shown varying degrees of recurrence that ranged from 0% to 35%.[14],[17],[18],[19],[20] Graft edema was the most common outcome of our study, as reported earlier by Mutla et al.[21] Graft edema subsided without any intervention at the end of 1–2 weeks and can be prevented by avoiding excessive handling of the graft. We had 1.05% of Tenon's granuloma (1 eye out of 95), which may be due to friction of the exposed Tenon's tissue with upper lid during blinking eventually, leading to granuloma formation.[22] The role of limbal stem cells in acting as a barrier between the conjunctiva and corneal epithelium and its destruction, leading to growth of conjunctival tissue on to the cornea,[23] has been reported in the past. However, in our technique, adequate size graft and enough to cover the bare sclera defect without maintaining limbus–limbus orientation and along with usage of fibrin glue have better cosmetic outcome and lower recurrence rate.

[Table 2] shows the results of different techniques of double head pterygium surgery and their postoperative outcomes.
Table 2: Comparison of outcomes with published literature

Click here to view

   Conclusion Top

Our study had certain limitations of being nonrandomized and retrospective in nature. This technique using glue has near similar results compared to use of sutures, as already published by us in previous literature Use of fibrin glue in this technique improves further comfort and outcome. Nevertheless, the probability success of this technique remains to be tested in cases of recurrent pterygium.

Declaration of patient consent

The authors certify that they have obtained all appropriate patient consent forms. In the form the patient(s) has/have given his/her/their consent for his/her/their images and other clinical information to be reported in the journal. The patients understand that their names and initials will not be published and due efforts will be made to conceal their identity, but anonymity cannot be guaranteed.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

   References Top

Kwok LS, Coroneo MT. A model for pterygium formation. Cornea 1994;13:219-24.  Back to cited text no. 1
Dushku N, Reid TW. Immunohistochemical evidence that human pterygia originate from an invasion of vimentin-expressing altered limbal epithelial basal cells. Curr Eye Res 1994;13:473-81.  Back to cited text no. 2
Maloof AJ, Ho A, Coroneo MT. Influence of corneal shape on limbal light focusing. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 1994;35:2592-8.  Back to cited text no. 3
Dolezalová V. Is the occurrence of a temporal pterygium really so rare? Ophthalmologica 1977;174:88-91.  Back to cited text no. 4
Kenyon KR, Wagoner MD, Hettinger ME. Conjunctival autograft transplantation for advanced and recurrent pterygium. Ophthalmology 1985;92:1461-70.  Back to cited text no. 5
de Wit D, Athanasiadis I, Sharma A, Moore J. Sutureless and glue-free conjunctival autograft in pterygium surgery: A case series. Eye (Lond) 2010;24:1474-7.  Back to cited text no. 6
Singh G, Wilson MR, Foster CS. Long-term follow-up study of mitomycin eye drops as adjunctive treatment of pterygia and its comparison with conjunctival autograft transplantation. Cornea 1990;9:331-4.  Back to cited text no. 7
Adamis AP, Starck T, Kenyon KR. The management of pterygium. Ophthalmol Clin North Am 1990;3:611-23.  Back to cited text no. 8
Fernandes M, Sangwan VS, Bansal AK, Gangopadhyay N, Sridhar MS, Garg P, et al. Outcome of pterygium surgery: Analysis over 14 years. Eye (Lond) 2005;19:1182-90.  Back to cited text no. 9
Kawasaki S, Uno T, Shimamura I, Ohashi Y. Outcome of surgery for recurrent pterygium using intraoperative application of mitomycin C and amniotic membrane transplantation. Nippon Ganka Gakkai Zasshi 2003;107:316-21.  Back to cited text no. 10
Luanratanakorn P, Ratanapakorn T, Suwan-Apichon O, Chuck RS. Randomised controlled study of conjunctival autograft versus amniotic membrane graft in pterygium excision. Br J Ophthalmol 2006;90:1476-80.  Back to cited text no. 11
Safianik B, Ben-Zion I, Garzozi HJ. Serious corneoscleral complications after pterygium excision with mitomycin C. Br J Ophthalmol 2002;86:357-8.  Back to cited text no. 12
Foroutan A, Beigzadeh F, Ghaempanah MJ, Eshghi P, Amirizadeh N, Sianati H, et al. Efficacy of autologous fibrin glue for primary pterygium surgery with conjunctival autograft. Iran J Ophthalmol 2011;23:39-47.  Back to cited text no. 13
Kodavoor SK, Ramamurthy D, Tiwari NN, Ramamurthy S. Double-head pterygium excision with modified vertically split-conjunctival autograft: Six-year long-term retrospective analysis. Indian J Ophthalmol 2017;65:700-4.  Back to cited text no. 14
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
Allan BD, Short P, Crawford GJ, Barrett GD, Constable IJ. Pterygium excision with conjunctival autografting: An effective and safe technique. Br J Ophthalmol 1993;77:698-701.  Back to cited text no. 15
Tan D. Conjunctival grafting for ocular surface disease. Curr Opin Ophthalmol 1999;10:277-81.  Back to cited text no. 16
Hirst LW, Smallcombe K. Double-headed pterygia treated with P.E.R.F.E.C.T for PTERYGIUM. Cornea 2017;36:98-100.  Back to cited text no. 17
Solomon A, Pires RT, Tseng SC. Amniotic membrane transplantation after extensive removal of primary and recurrent pterygia. Ophthalmology 2001;108:449-60.  Back to cited text no. 18
Wu WK, Wong VW, Chi SC, Lam DS. Surgical management of double-head pterygium by using a novel technique: Conjunctival rotational autograft combined with conjunctival autograft. Cornea 2007;26:1056-9.  Back to cited text no. 19
Maheshwari S. Split-conjunctival grafts for double-head pterygium. Indian J Ophthalmol 2005;53:53-5.  Back to cited text no. 20
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
Mutlu FM, Sobaci G, Tatar T, Yildirim E. A comparative study of recurrent pterygium surgery: Limbal conjunctival autograft transplantation versus mitomycin C with conjunctival flap. Ophthalmology 1999;106:817-21.  Back to cited text no. 21
Vrabec MP, Weisenthal RW, Elsing SH. Subconjunctival fibrosis after conjunctival autograft. Cornea 1993;12:181-3.  Back to cited text no. 22
Tseng SC, Chen JJ, Huan AJ, Kruse FE, Maskin SL, Tsai RJ. Classification of conjunctival surgeries for corneal diseases based on stem cell concept. Ophthalmol Clin North Am 1990;3:595-610.  Back to cited text no. 23


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4]

  [Table 1], [Table 2]

This article has been cited by
1 Comparison of horizontal versus vertical split conjunctival autograft in the management of double head pterygium: A retrospective analysis
ShreeshaKumar Kodavoor, B Soundarya, Ramamurthy Dandapani
Indian Journal of Ophthalmology. 2021; 69(1): 66
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
2 Profile of complications in pterygium surgery - A retrospective analysis
ShreeshaK Kodavoor, V Preethi, Ramamurthy Dandapani
Indian Journal of Ophthalmology. 2021; 69(7): 1697
[Pubmed] | [DOI]
3 Efficacy of second donor conjunctival graft from the same site for pterygium - A retrospective analysis
ShreeshaK Kodavoor, V Preethi, Ramamurthy Dandapani
Indian Journal of Ophthalmology. 2021; 69(3): 559
[Pubmed] | [DOI]


    Similar in PUBMED
   Search Pubmed for
   Search in Google Scholar for
 Related articles
    Access Statistics
    Email Alert *
    Add to My List *
* Registration required (free)  

  In this article
    Materials and Me...
    Article Figures
    Article Tables

 Article Access Statistics
    PDF Downloaded91    
    Comments [Add]    
    Cited by others 3    

Recommend this journal