Surgery To Remove The Pinguecula | Eye Disorders and Diseases discussions | Body & Health Conditions center (2023)

By Jenny3481 | 76 posts, last post over 7 months ago


This post is an extension of the

Pinguecula Removal Surgery thread.

Please continue posting within this thread.



Hi everyone!
I have been trying to fond out how much it will cost to have my pings removed with graph surgery but I couldn't find a price anywhere.
Anybody can give me an approximate price?Just an estimate of how much ti will cost me to get them removed?
Thanks a lot!



Hi Aliluna,

There are several posts on the previous blog about cost of surgery and they are all in the $3000 range-maybe more, maybe less. It depends on your doctor and size of your pings. Some places offer payment plans as well or maybe you can put it on a credit card or take out a loan. I know some people were able to get their insurance to cover it so check with them. If your pings cause you serious irritation maybe your doctor can recommend that it is a medically necessary procedure. My surgery was about $3100 and a $400 plane ticket to fly there. They make you stay nearby so you can have a one week check-up after surgery. I am fortunate that my grandparents live about an hour away from the place. Make sure you do your research on the procedure and doctor you choose and that you have the graft procedure done. There is only a 1-2% recurrence rate with the graft procedure compared with a 50-60% recurrence rate with the old technique of literally scraping the ping off your eye and they both cost about the same amount of money. If you are in California or plan on having your surgery at Harvard Eye Clinic, which I did and is highly recommended by a lot of people, doctors are only allowed to charge you full price for one eye and half price for the second eye if you have them both operated on the same day-some Cali. law. Anyway, it has been over a month since my surgery at Harvard Eye Clinic and my eyes feel and look wonderful. They are not completely healed yet but they look better all the time. They are almost completely white again with no pings. The area where the graft was placed is a very pale, pale yellow and has some very light blood vessels present but they are not noticeable to other people. About three more weeks until the clinic said they will be completely healed and they seem right on with that estimate. I am so pleased with the results and highly recommend having the graft procedure done for anyone whose pings irritate them, not just for aesthetic reasons, at Harvard Eye Clinic. I will keep anyone posted who is interested about my recovery. It has been such a worthwhile experience having the surgery and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Let me know if you have any other questions. Good luck, Meaghan


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~ $2K/eye at Harvard Medical but they do have financing available. My surgery is scheduled for 3/19; both eyes.



Meaghan, Chris, Kayti. How are you ALL doing now? Will you provide a new update? Thanks so much. ps Only 2 weeks to go until my surgery date... yeah!



Thanks so much for your info, it's very helpful. I'll be sure to check with the insurance and the doctors.

Glad your eyes are looking better and better!



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Hey Kymberly,

Sorry I haven't replied for some time-I've been ill and had midterms. Anyway, my recovery is pretty much over except for a couple light red veins where the grafts were, but sometimes they are more noticeable than other times. I'm sure on one notices but me. People who know I've had the surgery say my eyes look great and I know they aren't just being nice because I feel the same way. I think my recovery has taken longer than it should have because I have been sick two different times now during the past month or so, which is taking a toll on my immune system. My eyes feel wonderful too. I still use my Thera Tears occasionally but not nearly as much as I had to before, even when on the computer or watching a movie. I'm so excited for you to have this surgery and can't wait to hear how your eyes feel so great! Do not get discouraged by how they look for about three weeks to a month after the surgery because after that they will look and feel wonderful. I was insecure about how my eyes looked during that time after the surgery but most people thought I had pink eye or a burst blood vessel, but I just told them that I had surgery for dry eyes, if I did not know them that well. Well, hope everything goes perfectly for your surgery and I'm sure you won't regret it. Good luck! Keep us posted. Sorry if this is slightly incoherent as I am still sick. Meaghan



Hi, I am a 21 yr old male and noticed a ping in one eye about 9 months ago. Now I can see 3 pingueculas, maybe 4. One on each side of my eye in both eyes. I worked outside everyday for a year and a half and played golf 5 days a week for about 2 years. I did not wear sunglasses when i played golf because it bothered me. So I think this is how i acquired my pingueculas. My eyes always have some kind of veins going through them and they always seem to be itchy and irritated. My lifestlye has changed dramatically sinced i noticed them. It's hard to go out with friends and go to social events cause I dont want people looking at my eyes. I wore contacts for 6 years and now I cant wear them without my eyes going bloodshot or getting irritated.

Every doctor i talk to tells me they arent serious and to just live life. It seems like they dont know a lot about it either. I tried a lot of drops and techniques but nothing really works. I am now putting a drop in my eye called Lotemax, this has worked the best. It doesnt work magic but it help prevent the ping from getting inflammated and reduces the redness and itchiness.

I am considering surgery at The Harvard Eye Center and would like to hear from people who have gone through it or have any other suggestions. I know i've only had my pings for a short time compared to some people but having a ping is not fun at all. It really is a handicap both physically and asthetically.
God Bless,



I am a 28 year old female and I have a ping in both of my eyes. My left eye is worse than my right. I am considering having them removed at Harvard Eye as well. I have also tried every eye drop on the market and can't seem to find one that works. My left eye is irritated more than it's not and my eyes are extremely dry. My doctor (Kaiser), like many I've read on here, tells me to just "watch" it and to use eye drops.

I have an appointment at Harvard Eye this Friday with Dr. Kim. If you read other posts earlier in this blog it seems to be the best place to go for the autograft procedure. I also would like to hear more about other people's experiences with it, but this blog really convinced me to explore my options with Harvard Eye. I know my insurance will not cover it, but if paying that much means my eyes will feel better and there is a very low chance of the pings coming back, I think it's worth a shot!

This blog has really helped me feel better knowing I'm not alone. I'm so tired of people making comments about my eye being red or asking me what's wrong with my eye. If only the insurance companies could spend a day in our shoes I think they'd realize that this really is a "health" issue and should be covered.


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Hi Jenny and Dale and anyone else considering surgery,
I had surgery at Harvard Eye this January and highly recommend the surgery to everyone with pings. I had one on each eye nasal side for about ten years or more. Like you I went to many doctors and received little feedback about what to do besides eye drops which are only very temporary. The doctors were very inconsiderate of my discomfort and made me feel as though I were crazy. And the pings only get worse, never better. I even had LASIK in 2001 because I thought that would help with the dryness and irritation- it didn't. I love being able to see but it did not help with the pings. I suggest to the both of you to search this blog site for all of the pinguecula related posts and read them all. I have made many submissions on why to go through with the surgery and my progress to date and do not have time to keep repeating it. It has now been almost three months since my surgery and my eyes look and feel wonderful. I still experience some dryness but nothing like it was before the surgery. Also, go to Harvard Eye's website and learn about them and the procedure. Depending on your geographic location, there is also a very good doctor in Florida but I don't remember his name-just google conjuntival autograft Florida. I am very pleased with the results of my eyes and they are almost healed completely I would venture to say. So, to help with comfort and appearance until the time you have the surgery, a few suggestions- STOP using any redness relief drops, allergy relief drops etc. because this will only make the pings more irritated and your eyes feel drier. The first few days after you stop the drops your eyes will feel and probably look worse but trust me, it pays off after that time. Only use preservative-free natural tears- I prefer Thera Tears for nighttime, which I use all the time and I recap them and use them for several days because the cost adds up. DO NOT use steroid drops either because they are only temporary as well and actually degrade muscle tissue and can promote glaucoma. Also, always wear sunglasses- UV 400 if possible. If you have health insurance, I highly recommend, for those with dry eyes, to have your tear ducts permanently cauterized to help relieve dryness. This was the best thing I did for my eyes prior to my surgery at Harvard Eye. I DO NOT recommend tear duct plugs for people with nasal-side pings because every time you move your eye the pings rub against them and become inflamed and irritated. This also improves the appearance and helps them feel so much better. Also, take supplements prior to and after surgery to help with faster healing- Vitamins A, B, C, Coenzyme Q10, Evening primrose, Flax oil capsules, Lutein, Amino acids-arginine and guanine. Feel free to ask me anything you want and I hope this info. helps. Cheers, Meaghan



Hey Kymberly,
How did your surgery go and how are you doing? I hope everything went smoothly and your eyes are healing wonderfully. I'm sure they will get better every day. Well, look forward to hearing from you, Meaghan



I have been thinking of cauterizing my tear ducts to treat my dry eyes. Tried punctal plugs but had to remove the one on my left eye because of irritation to my pings. Now my left eye is giving me a bit of a problem because it's getting drier. My doctor recommended FML drops on my "bad eye days" but I'm not sure about that.
I know some of you have had it done, I think Meaghan had, so before I get my pings removed I would like to try something elselike cauterization.
Anything that you can tell me about your experience would be very welcome.


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Wow. I just read through this whooole blog, from the first thread to this one. This has really given me hope. I recently visited the famous Dr. H at Harvard Eye and my eye was RED. Like really red, but my pinguecula is small. Dr. H said he was not comfortable recommending surgery because though I had extreme redness, the Ping was small. So he gave me some Xibrom to relieve the inflammation (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory eye drop or NSAID). It is not dangerous to eye health I guess, like the steroids. So far it has really relieved the extreme inflammation, but my eye is still unsightly. Though it is manageable now, it is still very noticeable and sometimes gets redder than other times. I am wondering if he will end up recommending surgery even though my ping is so small. I am 23 yr old female and can't imagine living with these prominent veins forever. I am thinking of getting Transition lenses since I have really bad eye sight and can't live without my glasses (formerly wore contacts for 12 years, but stopped because of ping and inflammation, I miss my contacts so bad).

I was very worried about the long healing process because I will be starting a new job soon in a new city and really need to be social and make friends, but will have hideous eyes and be anti-social during recovery most likely. However, this site has given me hope because I just remind myself that after a month, I will not have to deal with these darn red eyes again! That is such a dream. It is weird how others who have white eyes can not even imagine how much red eyes take a toll on one's well-beng and self esteem. I've been going in and out of depression and have been avoiding friends due to my eyes. I am getting better now that my eyes are not as bad, but still self-conscious.

I am also wondering if getting Pings removed WILL remove the redness. I know everyone has said they did for them, but someone mentioned that the redness might remain? That would be devastating because that is why I would get the surgery at all



Hi everyone

I had pinguecula on both side of my eyes for about 10 years now but it started bothered me the most in the past 5years. So I know exactly what all of you are going through. I have three small children and it's difficult for me to make a trip to Southern California. I I will try to ask my eye doctor if he know's any specialist that does autograft technique in the BayArea California? I desperately wanted my ping removed. But I am gland that there is hope.



I have suffered from pinguecula's since April '04 and just over a week ago had surgery at Harvard Eye. I AM SO HAPPY WITH THE RESULTS! I cannot stress that enough. I have hid behind sunglasses, preferred dark lighting & been self conscious for a few years now. Now a week, my eye looks perfect, doesn't even look like I had surgery a little over a week ago.
So, I had 2 pinguecula, both nasally on each eye, only one of them needed to be removed. It was a good size, raised, iritated often, a few blood vessels. The other one I can live with, surprisingly, its not bad at all, but I protect my eyes constantly now from sun & wind so it never grows.
Anyways, the procedure went amazing! I was nervous but really wasn't a big deal. I was somewhat sore/dizzy the day after the surgery, but took some motrin and felt better. My eye was red & swollen initially, but everyday it got better. When it was time to go back to Dr. H, 6 days after my surgery, it looked like I never even had a procedure done. I had one tiny red spot. He said I did heal very fast, a lot faster than most, took some pics bc he was really impressed.
I was ready to have a red eye for a few months after some posts that I had read but not at all! I didn't even tell a lot of ppl I had surgery and no one could tell. I am young so I feel like I had that on my side, I never used "red eyes" "visine" or any of those get the red out products while I had the pinguecula and I also believed that helped with my recovery, that's just my theory, I could be completely off but I would stay away from those products. I would definitely recommend Dr. H to anyone suffering.
These boards helped me a lot and I hope my experience can help others too. Any questions just ask.


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Can pinguecula be surgically removed? ›

Surgery for pinguecula is uncommon, but may be required if there is suspicion for a precancerous lesion that needs removal. Pinguecula surgery involves removing the growth then replacing the affected area with healthy conjunctiva or other eye tissue.

Should pinguecula be removed? ›

Pinguecula is a harmless growth that's not dangerous. It's not cancer. In most cases, it usually doesn't cause pain or discomfort. In most people, a pinguecula usually doesn't need to be removed or treated.

How do they remove a pinguecula? ›

A pinguecula is rarely surgically removed, and is usually treated with steroid eye drop. However, the eye drops do not make the pinguecula go away. If it is a major cosmetic concern or if it causes discomfort or interferes with blinking the pinguecula may be surgically removed.

Does insurance cover pinguecula removal? ›

If pterygium is interfering in your field of vision, the procedure may be covered as a “medically necessary” surgery and some insurance plans will pay for all or part of the surgery. Pinguecula are generally not covered by insurance unless there is a medical reason.

How much does pinguecula surgery cost? ›

Medication (eye drops) are used for 2 - 4 weeks after the procedure, with frequent eye doctor visits to check the eye pressure and healing. The cost for pinguecula surgery is about $1200 per eye.

How long do you have to rest after pterygium surgery? ›

Full recovery can take several weeks to about a month. Patients are also instructed to use antibiotic and steroid drops for the first 1-2 months to prevent infection, reduce inflammation, and reduce the risk of occurrence.

What are the side effects of pterygium surgery? ›

The complications post pterygium excision and auto-grafting include subconjunctival hemorrhage, graft edema, graft loss, retraction, graft sliding, granuloma, and recurrence. Less commonly corneal melt, perforation.

What are the best eye drops for pinguecula? ›

You can treat the irritation and redness caused by a pterygium or pinguecula with simple eye drops, such as Systane Plus or Blink lubricants. If you suffer from inflammation, a course of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drops (e.g. Acular, Voltaren Ophtha) may help.

How much does pterygium surgery cost? ›

On MDsave, the cost of a Pterygium with or without Graft ranges from $3150 to $5663.

How long does it take to get rid of pinguecula? ›

How long does pinguecula last? Because it can't heal on its own, a pinguecula will last until it is treated. Eye drops or ointment will resolve a pinguecula in two to four weeks, depending on the severity of the growth. If surgery is needed, full recovery will take up to a month.

Are you awake during pterygium surgery? ›

Are you awake during pterygium surgery? Yes, patients are awake, but they receive light oral sedation and the eye is numbed with local anesthetic. There is not any pain or sensation during the procedure.

Can I go to work after pterygium surgery? ›

You'll be able to return to work in about two days. After the first week, the adhesive used to secure your graft is no longer necessary and it will dissolve. Over the next two to four weeks, your eye will gradually return to a normal appearance with little or no traces of redness or irritation.

How long is vision blurry after pterygium surgery? ›

The vision may be blurry for several weeks after surgery due to a change in the shape of the cornea after surgery and a change in the prescription of the eye. This may settle on its own, but may require a change in your glasses.

Is pinguecula a disability? ›

The diagnostic codes in the rating schedule corresponding to pinguecula/pterygium provide disability ratings on the basis of visual impairment. See 38 C.F.R. § 4.84a, Diagnostic Code 6034.

Is pinguecula serious? ›

A pinguecula is not dangerous and often does not require treatment. However, there are some noninvasive treatment options available that can help manage the growth of a pinguecula and alleviate any symptoms. Surgery is also an option for some people.

What are the do's and don ts after pterygium surgery? ›

PTERYGIUM SURGERY POST-OP INSTRUCTIONS CON'T DO NOT WEAR eye makeup or moisturizer around the eye area for 1 week after surgery. DO NOT swim; go into a hot tub, Jacuzzi, or sauna for 2 weeks following your surgery. You can take showers as normal, but avoid getting shampoo, soap, or water in your eye.

Should you sleep after eye surgery? ›

Cataract surgery should not affect how you sleep, aside from wearing the protective eye shield to avoid rubbing the eye. Rubbing your eye or even water splashing in your eye can aggravate the chances of infection. You may also want to avoid sleeping on the side of the operated eye for the first 24 hours.

How much rest do you need after eye surgery? ›

Plan on taking one to three days off of work to be sure you have enough time to rest, but it is normal to resume most normal activities within a couple of days. Simple diversions like reading, watching TV, writing, and walking are okay to resume as soon as you feel up for it after your eye surgery.

How do you clean your eyes after pterygium surgery? ›

Do not rub, press or bump the operative eye. Moisten a cotton ball with Saline solution to gently remove any crusting on your lashes. Do not wear eye makeup or mascara for 2 weeks after surgery. Do not irrigate your eye.

What is the success rate of pterygium surgery? ›

However, pterygium surgery is concerned by postoperative recurrence (whose rate can be up to 89% and its severity may vary according to the adopted approach and preoperative conditions) because fibrovascular growth may occur also with greater extension than its primary presentation.

What should be avoided in pterygium excision surgery? ›

Possible complications include inflammation and/or infection. The pterygium can impact vision if it grows very close to the pupil. Avoid irritants as much as possible and be sure to lubricate the affected eye well for at least six weeks after the procedure.

How do you keep pinguecula from getting bigger? ›

Prevention. The best methods to prevent a pinguecula is protect the eye from ultraviolet radiation by wearing certified wrap-around sunglasses and brimmed hats while outdoors. Some prescription glasses also have lenses capable of protecting the eyes from ultraviolet rays.

Why do you get pinguecula? ›

A pinguecula is caused by changes in your conjunctiva tissue. These changes have been linked to irritation caused by sun exposure, dust, and wind, and are more common as we age. These bumps or growths may contain a combination of protein, fat, or calcium, or a combination of the three.

Do sunglasses help pinguecula? ›

Ultraviolet rays are harmful to the eye, and protection from these rays with sunglasses, hats and other coverings will enable you to prevent more Pinguecula from developing. More UV light continues their growth, and shielding your eyes from the sun as much as possible will help.

Which is the best surgery for pterygium? ›

Pterygium Excision

Retrobulbar anesthesia is typically most comfortable for the patient because it provides good levels of pain control during the procedure. Take care not to damage the underlying corneal tissue or remove stroma when prying the pterygium off the surface of the eye.

Can pterygium surgery cause blindness? ›

Sometimes pterygium can scar your cornea, but this is rare. The scarring can be treated if it's minor. If the scarring is major, damage to your corneal can cause blindness.

When is the best time to remove a pterygium? ›

Removal is typically recommended if the pterygium grows far enough onto the cornea to impair vision, if it causes chronic inflammation and irritation, or if it interferes with contact lens wear.

Do they sleep you during eye surgery? ›

Typically, patients are awake during cataract surgery. This eliminates risks associated with general anesthesia (where you are “put to sleep”) and enables Our Doctors to communicate with you during your procedure. You will be given an oral medication prior to the procedure to help you relax during your surgery.

How do you sleep after eye surgery? ›

Sleep on your back or on the opposite side of the eye that was operated on to decrease your risk of infection and irritation after surgery. If you turn over in your sleep, your eye shield should help protect your eye from significant damage.

What helps pain from pterygium surgery? ›

You will need to take regular pain relief such as paracetamol. There will be some swelling in the area where the pterygium was removed and the conjunctival graft placed. It may take several days for the focus of your eye to settle and there may be some fluctuation in your vision for several weeks.

What drugs are used during pterygium surgery? ›

Medical treatment of pterygium consists of over-the-counter (OTC) artificial tears/topical lubricating drops (eg, Refresh Tears, GenTeal drops) and/or bland, nonpreserved ointments (eg, Refresh P.M., Hypo Tears), as well as occasional short-term use of topical corticosteroid anti-inflammatory drops (eg, Pred Forte 1%) ...

Can your vision get worse after eye surgery? ›

Your vision may change after surgery, but if it does, LASIK will still be beneficial. Changes in vision after LASIK are typically minor, and most people report improved eyesight for a lifetime after their procedures.

How long does it take to get your vision back after eye surgery? ›

Most people see better 1 to 3 days after surgery. But it could take 3 to 10 weeks to get the full benefits of surgery and to see as clearly as possible. Your doctor may send you home with a bandage, patch, or clear shield on your eye. This will keep you from rubbing your eye.

What are the risks of pinguecula surgery? ›

The main complication is the possibility of recurrence which should not be high for a pinguecula. Persistent redness or irritation and foreign body sensation can last several weeks or even months after this surgery. Rarely, an unsightly scar or color change in the area of the excision can occur.

Can you get Lasik If you have pinguecula? ›

Fortunately, pinguecula does not cause permanent damage to the eye and does not disqualify you from being a candidate for corrective eye surgery such as LASIK.

How many people have pinguecula? ›

Pinguecula was seen in at least one eye of 27.1% of men and 17.7% of women.

What is the average age for pinguecula? ›

Mean age (SD) of the sample studied was 63.4 (14.5) years (range: 40–96 years).


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