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I am so glad I'm not alone in this. I am 40 years old and I have pingecula in both my eyes. I've lived with this for about 5 years. The doctor's I have seen have also told me that there really isn't anything they could do for my red spots. I can't believe this is 2006 and we can't minimize a few red spots in our eyes. My doctor recomened Naphcon drops. These OTC drops help to temporarily mask some of the redness. I've resorted to wearing sunglasses while grocery shopping to hide my hideous eyes. Help.

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Chris.

I can't tell you how much it's helped to hear your story. I have looked into the surgery myself, and I found that there is very little information about the risks/rewards. Please keep us posted. Your recovery sounds encouraging.


Best Wishes,
Sandra

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hey everyone! I am feeling awfully depressed lately. I have pinguecula or ptygerium on both of my eyes. By the way does anyone know the real difference between both. I am a little confussed. On one of my eyes there is withish/yellowish patch on the nasal side of my eye and on the other eye I have a patch that is always irriateted and inflamed. Laterly I feel like I can't look anyone in the eyes of fear than they will be grossed out when they see my eyes. :'( This condition sucks. I mean I am a 23 years old female that is scared to be seen in the light of day. I can't even go surfing anyone of fear that it may get worse. I have been looking at getting surgery but after reading that the reoccurence rate is 40% of higher what is the point? Somebody please help. Talk to me...tell me how I can live with this!!

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Chris11 -
I am very eager to hear how your recovery is going. Please keep us posted as often as you can. My thoughts & prayers are with you during your recovery. I can't tell you how helpful it is to read everyone's thoughts & experiences with this surgery.

Has anyone else had the surgery by Harvard Eye Assoc. in California? I'm curious to hear about their success & recurrence rates.

Also, I have heard of another surgeon in Nashville, TN by the Name of Dr. Wang (Wang Vision Institute)...it sounds like he is also performing the same surgical technique (using a graft & a type of fibrin adhesive instead of stitches).

Any information is helpful...
Thank you.

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I am 33 years old female, living in Norway, and have small Pingueculas, on the nasal side on both my eyes.

I am frustrated because the eyespecialist that I go to say the same: there is no cure for this. My eyes are red almost all the time, I am nearsighted, and wear glasses at home and contacs at work. I guess I should get lasersurgery, so that I won't have to wear contacs anymore, they irritate the eyes.

It is a shame that noone can remove it in a way so it doesn't show. I mean, the medics can do lasersurgery for nearsightedness, but not use the same laser to remove Pingueculas with no scars? Unbelieveable.

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Wow, it is so comforting to hear there are other young people out there with this condition. Please continue to post. Not that being older and having this would be any better, but I was feeling very alone the fact that i am only 26 years old. The thought of having to deal with this for the rest of my life leaves me very depressed. I don't know anyone who has this, so I feel I can't talk to anyone about it. I just had another appointment with my family doctor on Monday begging for some sort of relief. My doctor said she couldn't prescribe any sort of topical steriod unless prescribed by an opthamologist. She told me steroids in the eye could cause glaucoma. Has anyone heard of this? She put me on a wait list to see an opthamologist but she said it could be a year to get in to see one. A year! I don't think the medical industry realizes how serious this condition can be for someone. All I read on the internet is how minor it is. This is not minor for me, my eyes are always inflamed (I used eye gel, naphcon, and take eye vitamins and flax seed oil). I don't know which is woarse the physical side effects or the emotions. Anyways, after my appointment, I broke down. I just feel like there is nothing I can do. I really want the surgery but I can't afford the $3000 that I've heard the Harvard eye institute charges. Has anyone heard of anywhere else that is does the surgery and is recommended?

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Sorry I haven't updated sooner...been busy and wanted to post when I was in a positive place.

Its now been 12 weeks since I had the Pinguecula excision & conjunctival implant surgery 10/31/06. For those of you not familiar with this procedure check out harvardeye.com>go to "other topics">go to Pterygium>click on PBS segment.
I've definitely had my good days and bad days.....but overall its been totally worth it.
I had the pinguecula in my right eye for about 10 yrs...(Im am 38 yrs old & live in Denver Co.) It had a yellowish tinge and was raised, but had not grown onto my cornea which is the difference between a Pinguecula & Pterygium. I also have a smaller ping on my left eye/nasal side, which my doctor did not want to excise due to it not being as sun damaged as my right eye was, being that it is white/raised near my cornea and not as noticeable. Also she wanted to see how I would recover from my surgery of the right eye. After going through this w/ one eye I think it would be extremely tough doing both eyes at the same time. I would advise against it.

As I write this my right eye looks to me @ 97% normal. I have only just a little pink in the far right near my eye socket which is pink anyway,,,and the new vessels that grew into the graft, which are normal size and you can only really see if your standing an inch or two from my eye. The graft has completely smoothed out and you can no longer see any edges...and most importantly there is no sign of recurrence!!!...as months go by My Doc says it will only get better. Well thats great because I am pretty satisfied with it at this point-noone can even tell I've had anything done in my eye that doesnt know I had the surgery.

I knew going into this it would be a long recovery like 6 weeks or so to be back to normal, But It took longer than I had even imagined. By the 7th week is when I finally felt like I turned the corner-but still had my up and downs, my eye would get blurry & sometimes pinkish, I was doing my steroid drops (pred forte) 2x a day and when I tapered off to 1x a day by week 8 I felt my eye was slightly more pink w/ less steroid. Saw my Doctor on week 9 and she told me to taper off the steroid and stop in a week, so reluctantly I did...fearful the drops were what was keeping my eye white.....but I'm happy to say I stopped a week ago and my eye looks great and since being off the steroids the blurriness I was experiencing has gone away.

A note of caution to those that have mentioned managing their pinguecula w/ Steroid drops- long term use can cause glaucoma, and the drops do not make the pinguecula go away, just temorarily reduce irritation and inflamation.

Some other positives about having my ping removed is that my eye feels so much more comfortable, my tear film lubricates my eye due to the smooth surface.

I think my advice for people contemplating the decision to have this surgery would be:
#1- Make sure you find a eye surgeon who has alot of experience doing this surgery w/ the implant-no stiches -it's slowly becoming more common. and it's the only pinguecula/pterygium surgery with a no recurrence rate of @ 99%. You do need to take common sense precautions to prevent recurrence on your own due to nature and the sun, such as always wear good quality sun glasses, moisten your eyes w/ drops if they feel dry, shield your eyes from dusty windy environments.
#2- Prepare yourself that it's not going to be 100% perfect....I've learned that nothing in nature is perfect....expect a few new little veins where your graft is growing in.
#3- Mentally prepare yourself for a long recovery with some ups and downs. Take some time off if your able to.
#4- Eat a healthy diet w/ extra protein. Take extra vitamin A C, B-complex, and some healing amino acids such as L-glutamine and L-Arginine before and after surgery. Vitamin K is also good for healing broken vessels in your eye.
In case of Dry Eyes I recommend: 1000 mg of Vitamin C along w/ 50mg of B6 and 1000 mg of evening primrose oil daily over a few weeks you should begin to notice more tear film.

I hope this update answers some more of people's questions....I have to say I am very happy with my results....It looks 100% better than what I had before and It feels great. To all those doctors that say this doesn't affect your eyesight-I say Bull****!! The bump interrupts your tear film, which in turn irritates your eye and its comfortableness. Eye drops only barely momentarily provide relief. taking extra omega 3's helps sometimes but its not enough. Ultimately the Eye Medical researchers & providers need to find better ways to get the word out to prevent these growths, and advanced non-invasive surgery techniques to remove them. I'm w/ those that think it's unbelievable in 2007 they can't remove these w/ a laser or that there isn't some other cure!......this is a terrible condition to live with, I suppose if it were more life-threatning or threatened your eyesight more directly, they would take it more seriously and spend more research money on it...By and large the eye medical community takes Pteryguims much more seriously than pingueculas....cause they encroach onto your cornea affecting your eyesight some. So perhaps as research increases in that arena we will get the benefit as well.

Anyway....sorry this is such a long post..I wanted to make it as informative as I could...hope this helps some of you...I know what a difficult descion it was/is to confront this head on....all the information you can gather helps-along w/ hearing someone's story.....you are not alone in this!
I will probably post again around my 6 months post op.
Peace,
Chris

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Well said! Thank-you for you sharing your experience and knowledge you've gained. Knowledge and hearing others experiences has empowered me throughout my ordeal. Countless doctors haven't given me any hope but experiences like yours have. Today I went to see my opthamologist and he said he would give me steriods for my eyes, he didn't mention the potential of glaucoma or the fact that it's a tempory fix. Since, I've been able to research the topic, I asked him about it. He sort up stumbled around his response, I felt he just wanted to get me out of the office. He also said surgery would leave a major scar. This guy went to school for 12 years and doesn't know jack about new technologies and procedures....I don't get it. He also accused me of only wanting to get rid of it for cosmetic reasons.....Sure cosmetically it sucks, but the irritation is much worst. I was so upset when I left there, but now that I have read your post Chris I am more motivated then ever to save the money to get the surgery. How much did it cost? Sorry I can't remember if you answered that yet.

Thanks Again

Teresa

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Hi Teresa,

As I wrote in my 1st post back on page 1, This is a medical condition and it was covered by my Cigna HMO, I just had a co-pay for the surgery of $100.00. and the rest was covered including post -op visits. I suppose it depends on your insurance policy what they will cover.

I know that Harvard Eye & Assoc, in Laguna Ca. charge @ 3K per eye...which is pretty steep, I called them and considered traveling to CA, but It would have been out of my pocket cause they dont accept HMO's esp out of state. I was very persistent and saw up to 5 ophthalmologists in my Cigna network in Denver (also calling many more, sometimes just asking the receptionist or surgical coordinator of the office about the ophthalmologist's qualifications & experience with pinguecula surgeries.) Some just dont take this condition seriously (cosmetic or otherwise), which is why you must do some digging and calling to find a qualified surgeon who takes you & this condition seriously! & MORE IMPORTANLY has plenty of experience with the graft & no stitch method. I did not end up scarred...far from it...I am extremely happy w/ my outcome....Yes it was difficult, and I had ups and downs...as I explained in my previous post, I was so stressed about even going through with the surgery-I even cancelled it once! But I learned alot about myself through this process and am so happy I did it now and not wait any longer...



Chris

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Chris 11,

I'm glad your surgery went well. I'm just curious if you've ever had the surgery using the graft & stitch method? You seem to be very against the stitch method. Through my research and talking to several corneal surgeons, it seems as though the only advantage of the non-stitch method (this method uses fibrin adhesive, "tissue glue") is that it speeds up recovery time and makes for a more 'comfortable' recovery. I've heard the end result - using stitch vs. no stitch - is virtually identical in terms of scaring & recurrence rates. I think many people should be aware that the use of the tissue glue is off label - meaning it's not FDA approved for opthamology & it is a relatively new surgical technique. However, it is used in some types of thoracic surgeries. Additionally, there is a very slight chance of viral infection (ie. HIV, Hep. C, etc) using the glue since it is made from biological components. I talked to one surgeon who uses the stitch method because he said there have been cases where the glue has come un-stuck. Personally, I would rather undergo the stitch method and deal with the itchy & uncomfortable eye for a couple weeks rather than have to go through additional surgeries in the future to repair a graft that has become un-stuck.

Chris, please don't mis-interpret what I'm saying...I'm really happy that you are satisfied with your results. I'm just trying to throw some ideas around and do my research. I wish you all the best.

This is tough situation to deal with because there are basically two surgical options - it's hard to know which one to pick. However, I guess there is one positive for people who are dealing with pinguecula or pterygium- there ARE options, it's just a matter of finding the best one for you.

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Hi,

I'm intersted in Elley's post because excision is a possibility for me down the line. I have has one very noticeable yellow ping and 2 smaller ones for 2 and a half years now. My main concern is the red veins which are always apparent and appeared about 6 months after I noticed the ping. If I can get doxycycline and drops to help with the redness I have had then I want to consider excision but am terrified that this will make the redness even worse. Chris, did you have very visible red veins before?

My opthamologist in the UK has discussed excision but only the cut and stitch method. Has anyone had this done who could give some opinion on it - procedure, recovery time, scarring etc?

Thanks Chris for all your advice. I know that I, and others, have really appraciated it and waited for your posts.

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Hi Chris,



I had the same surgery on Dec 5, 2006 to remove a Pterygium from my left eye which allready had reach the Iris. My doctor use the autografting-anmionic membrane with intraoperative mitomycin-c for 2 minutes and stitches. My question is did you ever had like white spots that would retract after a while and come back in different places? I'm now on the end of the 7th week and using pred-forte 1 time per day for 3 more days.

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Hi sadndepressed0709,



If it reaches the Iris is call a Ptygerium. I had mine for 5 years before I decided to get it remove. If you decided to get it remove make sure you get it with Auto-grafting which reduces the reoccurance to about 4 to 10% depending on the surgen.

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Thanks to all who have shared their experiences. Now I know I'm not alone. I have four pings, two in each eye and I'm 25. I've had a similar experience with my Dr. not taking me or my discomfort seriously. After reading these posts, esp. Chris's, I'm seeking a second opinion. I'll keep everyone posted regarding my surgical experience.

-Jess

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Hello All,

I've done much research on the removal of pingueculas and would like to share some info. as well as ask a few questions...specifically of Chris but I also hope anyone who has experienced the surgery will reply. First, I found an Eye Surgeon that does the graft procedure without the stitches and he is supposedly a pioneer in this procedure...he's out of Jacksonville,Florida. Below is his website and it shows great before and after pictures that appear to be, amazing results. Just click 'Advanced Surgeries' and then 'Pterygium'. Here's the website:
gulani.com

For those of you who have had the surgery, are these before and after pictures true representation of the kind of results you can get?

I am a 28-year old actress, and sadly, I have pingueculas in both eyes, which have really gotten in the way of advancing my career. I know, there are many worse conditions one can have, it's just depressing for me because it's really holding me back from what I love. I used to have beautiful clear eyes but the past several years...I have felt scarred and really depressed. This site has really given me some hope and I suppose it's nice to know I'm not alone, but I don't wish this on anyone. For me, the pingueculas themselves are not all that noticeable... it's the veins that feed into them that make my eyes look red, blood shot and scarred. They also make contact wear very uncomfortable and have caused chronic dry eye and irritation. I have them on the outer side of both eyes...not nasal...which I guess is unusual. One eye isn't all that bad, it's a smaller one that has a large cluster of pink veins growing into it... but the veins don't get too red so it's not something you notice unless your standing up close. But my other eye is just terrible. I have a very large cluster of red veins which almost look like a big red scar on my eye and they never go away...they look a bit better after a shower...must be the moisture that helps? It's so depressing.

Chris...did you have these veins before the surgery and did the get better?? That's my real concern...the veins. My eye Dr. said they won't go away and he said that my pingueculas are not inflamed so he won't prescribe anything except natural tears. Can anyone please tell me if the veins get better or go away after the surgery??? Would anyone be willing to e-mail me before and after pics. of their surgery? Chris, although you had good results, I felt discouraged because you said you noticed new veins afterwards... You said nothing of any veins disappearing...

I must say...if anyone goes on the website I have inserted in this e-mail, they will probably have new found hope as I did when I viewed the before and after pics. I just hope these are true depictions of the type of results one can expect.

Thanks All...hope for some replys...
Christy.

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