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Lately I have noticed something strange in my eyes. Those made me visit my doctor who diagnosed me with pingueculae. Those pingueculas are seen as small, raised, thickenings of the conjunctiva. They are gray and white, on one side of the iris. I would like to know which way those pingueculae could be removed.

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Pingueculas are non-malignant, slow-growing proliferations of conjunctival connective tissue in the eye. The causes of these disorders are unknown, but they are more frequent in people who live in sunny and windy climates. Also they are more frequent in people whose jobs expose them to ultraviolet light. Pingueculaes also occur in older people, and it is thought these growths are the result of UV or infrared light and irritation. Usually, no treatment is needed, but sometimes artificial tears can be used to relieve the sensation of a foreign body in the eye and to protect against dryness. Surgery to remove the pinguecula is advisable when the effect on the cornea causes visual defects or when the thickening is causing excessive and recurrent discomfort or inflammation. Sometimes surgical removal is performed because of cosmetically reasons. However, healing from this type of surgery, although usually painless, takes many weeks. Also there is a high rate of recurrence so accordingly, surgery is avoided unless problems due to the pinguecula are significant.

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My pinguecula developed gradually. I've been wearing contacts for 14 years and as a result, I 've developed conjunctivitis. My opthalmologist explained that I had a calcium deposit on my eyelids which is causing my sclera(white part of eye) to become yellowish in color. He had prescribed a steroid eyedrop called tobradex for me to use for approximately 10 days and somehow it went away, but from time to time, I would suffer with conjunctivitis.

I've had lasiks done two years ago because I could no longer wear contacts due to the excess calcium deposit which it was leaving on my eyes.

A month ago, I laid out in the beach once a week for three weeks (with my sunglasses on), and after three weeks, I notice some inflammation in one of my eye. I went to two opthalmologists and my inflammation was diagosed as a pinguecula. My Dr. prescribed Vigamox and Fluorometholone. I was also using preservative free Refresh drops along with Refresh PM Liquid ointment. When I wake up in the morning, the redness seems to have disappeared, but as the day progresses, I would suffer from inflammation and redness.

Two weeks into my treatment, my eye flared up and it became itchy, swollen and very very RED. My pinguecula enlarged as a result of it and it caused much discomfort. I could no longer go through one day or one night of sleep without scratching my eyes.

It was red everyday! Finally I've scheduled to have it removed just yesterday. There is some hemmorage (looks alot like red eye), and I do see the stitches, but my dr said that it will fall off on it's own. If anyone wants to know my healing process, I will be sure to keep you posted. There is still alot of irritation and itchiness post op.

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Dear "Guest",
I read your post regarding your pinguecula and I would love to have an update on how your surgery went. I am considering having mine removed too. Also, you mentioned that the first time your doctor gave you Tobradex... did you have a pinguecula at that time and did that medication make your pinguecula dissapear altogether?
I hope all is well with you.
Thanks in advance for your reply.

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I read your information and was just wondering if the steroid helped the pinguecula that began in the first place. I have one on both eyes and would like to have them removed, but if the steroid helps, I will use this method first. Please let me know.

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I was diagnosed with pinguecula in Japan 4 months ago. I am now in Canada. I have seen 4 doctors, 3 in Japan, 1 in Canada, they all avoid leading me to remove the pinguecula. It is a small elevated red spot on the ear side, and though there is no visible blood vessels, the white becomes (without elevation) more and more pink on both sides. It is both itchy and annyoing, so I would feel better having it removed, wether it's healthy for my eye or not. However, I cannot get the information on where such surgeries are held (ideally in Canada or Japan). Would anyone know? And, would the pink part ever become white again?

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I also have pinguecula I am 30 years old. I have been looking into getting mine removed in summer 07 at Harvard Eye Clinic. In CA. Cost is about 3,500 per eye. Email me my name is Nicholas *****. I am a law student in MI and due to excessive reading mine have gotten worse. Also to Guest I would like to know how your healing has been going! Take Care. Nicholas





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Hi All,
I stumbled upon this web page doing research about having my pingueculum removed from my right eye-nasal side (I also have a smaller one on my left eye-nasal side). I have had this growth on my eye for about 10 years (I am now 38 yrs. old) and finally decided to do something about it, so I embarked on some intensive research with the goal of finding an experienced eye surgeon within the confines of my HMO.

I put alot of time and effort finding the right eye surgeon; I did research on the doctors on my own (calling them up-asking who had experience and so on) and then took my list to my primary care physician and asked them to write me 4 referrals to the eye surgeons I selected within my cigna HMO network. I talked to 1 over the phone and saw 4 in person when all was said and done - and frustratingly, I received almost a different answer from everyone of them, some advise to do nothing, and that the surgery is uncomfortable (esp. the stitches)-and that I could be trading a white spot for a red spot, while another 2 docs advised me they would cut it out with NO stiches being used at all. ( ONE DOC EVEN TOLD ME IF IT WERE HIS EYE, THAT'S WHAT HE WOULD PREFER- NO STITCHES!). However, the risk of recurrence remained high (30 to 50% depending on what you read) which was one of my MANY main concerns with all procedures.

Finally, I came across the Harvard Eye Associates web site out of Laguna Hills/San Clemente CA harvardeye.com and under "OTHER TOPICS" on the main page - scroll down to the subject of PTERYGIUM. and watch the 4 min. PBS television segment about the new pterygium technique, which can also be used for pingueculum excisions.

Well just as I resigned myself to go off to California to have Harvard Eye Associates do my surgery out of my own pocket-Needless to say I found a surgeon in my area -(Dr. Holly Kent -Denver, CO.) the very last eye surgeon on my list, who just happened to have been doing this procedure (pingueculum excision & conjunctival autograft -using human protein glue instead of stitches) and scheduled the surgery on 10/31/06, which was covered by my Cigna HMO.

On my one week eval, Dr. Kent said everything went well, my eye is still very swollen and red, but that this is expected for 3 to 4 weeks on average, and my eye should look normal in approximatley 2 months, (however healing is different individual to individual, which is the one thing virtually all doctors stressed upon). I can see the edges of the graft, but this too will smooth out and look normal in time. I am taking extra nutritional supplements. (esp. Vit. A, C, E & B complex as well as CoQ10, Alpha Lipoic Acid and EFA's) and will post my progress at my 1 month and 2 month intervals.

I am posting this because as I was doing reseach on the web there was very little out there (most eye sites suggest doing nothing about it at all) so I wanted to pass along my experiece and knowledge, because I know how much I agonized about the deterioration of my own eyes, as it seems most of you do too.

I hope by passing this along it will help people empower themselves with more information in making the difficult desicion on whether to have this surgery, and seeking out a eye surgeon who knows the latest techniques and what options are available.

Peace,
Chris

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OK I HAVE PINGUECULA ON BOTH OF MY EYES

WHAT IS GOING ON... NO DOCTORS OUT THERE AND NO CURE THIS IS 2006 I CANT BELIEVE IT

ANYONE CAN HELP I AM FROM NY AND LOOKING FORWARD TO HAVE THEM REMOVED

PLEASES EMAIL ME AT ******

BY THE WAY THE SITE IS GREAT!!1


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I also suffer from pinguecula in both eyes. Although I do not really suffer, it is more an esthetic problem. I would also like to get it removed in time, specially if it is going to get worse over the years. I would really appreciate an update regarding the outcome of your operation, because a doctor told me in Germany that it can do more damage than good and I am really frightened to have the operation. I now live in Spain where I actually grew up and I think the sun has been the main cause of my condition. Another doubt I have is if I can find a surgeon here in Europe just as easily as in the US. I would be very thankful for any information.

Selina

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I also have pinguecula in both eyes. I grew up in Spain and believe the problem as been caused by the sun. I would like to have them removed but I'm frightened since a doctor in Germany told me it could do more harm than good to have an operation. Therefore I would be very thankful for an update on Chris' operation or any infromation regarding the outcome of sich an intervention. We would also be interested to know my options living in Europe.

Thank you very much
Selina

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Hi Chris,



Just wondering how your eyes are doing. I had lasik done three years ago, with dry eye problems. The irritation from dry eye and conjunctiva is my only conclusion to the pinguecula I have on both eyes. It is not huge, but I do believe in the future I will have them removed for cosmetic reasons. I saw the video clip you explained and was intersested in the procedure you had done. Let me know how you are doing. Thanks.

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5 Week Post-Op update:
My Pingueculum excision/conjunctival autograft surgery on my right eye-nasal side- was on 10/31/06. So I figured I would post my progress thus far.
I wont lie, I've had my ups and downs, the first 2 weeks were the hardest, not so much because of pain-because there really isn't much of any, but just the awfulness of the appearance of my eye-I was very self- conscience and wore sunglasses everywhere during that time.

My eye was swollen for about a week with alot of hemorrhage from ruptured blood vessels esp. at the 12-o-clock-above my pupil, and the 3-o-clock-nasal side, where my graft was implanted, I also suffered blurry vision which went on and off for almost 3 weeks because of the swelling. (because of this I would strongly recommend doing one eye at a time if you have 2 pingueculas) The redness has dissipated alot slower that I anticipated.

In the 2nd to 3rd week new blood vessels began to start growing into the graft-which is normal and my Doctor assured me this was healthy and part of the process, but that everything still looked healthy, even though to me it looked even redder due to these new vessels.

Well needless to say on the 4th week I was starting to get a little anxious and impatient, because the redness had gone away some, but not near as much as I wanted or expected....but that was just me being completely unrealistic I guess...

So now here I am exactly 5 weeks after surgery, just saw my Doctor today for another post op. And the appearance of my eye has turned another corner -my eye is more pinkish then red on the nasal side, with alot more white showing through, the new vessels are starting to retreat and appear normal (and this too should continue to diminish according to my doc within the next few weeks). So overall I would estimate that 80% of the redness is gone while the hemorrhage around my pupil (at 12-o-clock) is 90% reabsorbed. The graft is smoothing out and you really have to look hard to see the lines (which also should diminish completely over time).

My Doctor assurred me everything looks healthy and as it should, She expects my eye will look normal in @ 4 weeks, which is my next post op visit. She told me I'm right in the middle as far as healing/recovery from this type of surgery. In her experience she has seen few faster healers, while some take as long as 3 months......So I'm optimistic to be back to normal in 2 months total.

So all and all this whole process has been an excercise in patience and perserverance. And so far I have no regrets. So please send prayers and positive thoughts and I will post my progress at my 2 month interval.

Peace,
Chris

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Wow, that sounded like a difficult recovery. I am so glad to hear that it is healing nicely though. I am sure all the pain will be worth it. I am really glad you posted your story. I have found it very difficult to find information on the subject. I have ping in both my eyes and I am only 26 years old. I have had it for about two years now, with it getting worse. I don't even know why I developed it, I have never really been exposed to the sun or dust. I have seen my doctor and eye doctor and they just tell me to keep using eye drops. It bothers me so much both cosmetically, physically and emotionally. I live in Canada and I don't know of any where around here that would even do the surgery. I can't believe there isn't an easier way to heal this. Anyways, I look forward to hearing your about your recovery. It's very encouraging.

Teresa

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yes yu are right we are in 2006 and there is no cure of the pinguecula..its abnormal... doctors assume that there is no problem if you are not suffer from the eyesight... eyesight is ok everything is ok but pinguecula patients are suffer from the cosmetic problem of their eyes..it seems bad..

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