Pinguecula versus Pterygium: And Surgery Details

A patient recently asked what the difference is between Pinguecula versus Pterygium 

A Pinguecula is a very common, abnormal growth of tissue containing blood vessels on the conjunctiva over the eye’s white part (sclera). It does not grow onto the  cornea (window of the eye) which is a pterygium.

Thus when a Pinguecula grows onto the cornea it is called a Pterygium.

Both are made up of the same type of tissue and have the same pathological findings: elastoid degeneration.

The surgery for both is very similar but since a Pterygium has grown onto the most sensitive part of the body (aka the cornea), it can have a more painful post operative period (which we diminish significantly with placing a contact lens, pain meds, etc).

Surgery for both usually takes 15-30min (usually shorter for a Pinguecula depending on size). A conjunctival autograft & sometime an amniotic membrane is used to prevent recurrence. Pain is minimal for 3-5d depening on extent. Complications are very rare for both.

I will post a pterygium and pingucula surgery asap!.

I hope this helps.
Sandra Lora Cremers, MD, FACS

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