Atypical Presentation of Recurrent Pterygium Leading to Blindness and its Successful Management: A Series of Three Cases
Dr. Babi Das,
Qtr. No. 11, Block C Lakhimpur Medical College, North Lakhimpur-787051, Assam, India.
Recurrence of pterygium is one of the main concerns in pterygium management. Recurrent pterygium is defined as the regrowth of fibrovascular tissue over the previously excised primary pterygium area, extending beyond the limbus and advancing towards the cornea. In most cases, it is characterised by increased conjunctival inflammation, fibroblast proliferation, and a faster progression towards corneal involvement compared to primary pterygium. This rapid regrowth can lead to irregular astigmatism, symblepharon, corneal fibrosis, severe vision impairment, and rarely, blindness. Incomplete removal of the primary pterygium, excessive suturing, the bare sclera technique, smaller conjunctival grafts, thicker conjunctival grafts with Tenon’s capsule, and poor control of postoperative inflammation are some of the most common surgical factors contributing to recurrence. Among all surgical procedures, the bare sclera technique has the highest recurrence rate. In the present case series, the author presented three cases of atypical recurrent pterygium and their successful management. The first case involved recurrent double-headed pterygium with severe symblepharon, resulting in lower fornix obliteration, shortening, diplopia, and corneal neovascularisation. The second case featured Grade-IV pterygium covering the pupillary area, and the third case involved a kissing type of double-headed pterygium. These cases were complications of the bare sclera technique, leading to blindness. Successful treatment of recurrent pterygium can improve visual and cosmetic outcomes. This case series aimed to highlight the burden and consequences of recurrent pterygium as a cause of avoidable blindness.