The pterygium is excised. There is a bare area of sclera (white of eye) left after removal which needs to be replaced with conjunctiva to prevent recurrence of the lesion. This is usually replaced by a graft of conjunctiva taken from underneath the upper eyelid. We commonly use a 'no stitch technique'. The technique is similar to previous where the conjunctival autograft was pinned out to fill in the defect. We instead use a tissue adhesive. This is made from clotting proteins found in human blood. This method is considered to be safe and no blood borne infections have been reported. This technique means the procedure is far less painful with a rapid recovery.
Recurrence risks with this technique are less than 1%. Dehiscence or dislodgement of the graft requiring re-grafting is particularly uncommon. You can expect the eye to be bloodshot for up to 1-2 months. Rarely a drooping of the upper lid can occur with any surgery that requires a speculum. Infection and visual decline are extremely rare.
Your eye will be padded until the next day. Using a tissue adhesive means there is only a day or two of mild discomfort. The graft with be red and gelatinous for a week or so. As the graft develops a blood supply it will appear bloodshot which usually lasts a month or two. You will need to use drops for 1 month.