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I recently had a large pterygium removed from my right eye. It was starting to affect my vision, and I didn't like how red and unsightly my eyes looked. I was so embarrassed to make eye contact with people, and I grew tired of answering questions about why my eyes were so red.

I had been researching pterygium on the internet for several years hoping to find new surgical techniques that prevented it from recurring and minimized trauma and healing time. The doctors I had seen in the past told me they either would not remove the pterygium, because it will come back more aggressively, or they would use a technique, such as taking tissue from the eye and using it to graft the area after the pterygium was removed. The graft would cover the scarring and help prevent the pterygium from returning. I was not comfortable with the idea of taking tissue from an already troubled eye, since in my opinion, this seemed like damaging a good area of the eye just to protect another part of the eye and could create more trauma and longer healing time. Also, my pterygium was so large and covered most of the eye, plus I had another smaller pterygium in the same eye, so there wasn't much good tissue left to use as graft.

My opthalmologist, who is a corneal specialist, wanted to remove the pterygium, but I got the sense that he was not too confident in his abilities and would tell me after each annual exam, "let's wait another year and see if it gets any bigger." Bigger! I don't want it to get bigger!! Wouldn't that make it more difficult to remove and cause more scarring, not to mention deteriorate my vision even further???

I continued my internet research hoping to find out more information about pterygium, and hopefully, locate a doctor who would give me the confidence I was looking for and who offered a better surgically option. My persistence paid off. The day I found Gulani Vision Institute and read all the information that was provided, I knew I wanted to make the trip to Jacksonville, FL to consult with Dr. Arun Gulani. Judging from what I read on his website, here was a surgeon who takes time to educate his patients about various eye disorders and surgical techniques he uses. (He also teaches other eye surgeons his techniques). In my opinion, Dr. Gulani stood out from among the rest. He described what he calls "the iceberg concept," in attacking pterygium. Basically, the iceberg concept is that the growth one sees on the surface of the cornea is only the tip of the iceberg. To greatly reduce the recurrence rate of pterygium, one must remove not only the surface tissue, but also its roots below the surface. Dr. Gulani has had much success with this surgical technique, with less than 1 percent recurrence rate when compared to about 39 percent recurrence rate with other surgical techniques. (He even designed his own surgical instrument for removing pterygium.)

Dr. Gulani uses amniotic membrane to graft the scarred area, which further minimizes recurrence and leaves a smooth white surface. (My eye doctor told me my eyes would be redder after the surgery and may take several weeks or months to clear up).

I made the trip to Jacksonville for an initial consultation with Dr. Gulani. He and his staff were very friendly and helpful. They make patients feel very welcome and at ease. I took my cousin along with me for moral support, and she was quite impressed with Dr. Gulani and staff as she has had over 18 years experience taking care of her husband who was sick with cancer, and had her share of dealing with medical professionals at all levels. My impression was that Dr. Gulani has great passion for helping patients improve their vision. He takes great pride in his work, and stops at nothing short of excellence to achieve patient outcomes.

Dr. Gulani diagnosed that I had very dry eyes, something I always suspected I had, but my eye doctor told me I didn't. Dr. Gulani said pterygium causes dry eyes and dry eyes in turn makes pterygium more irritating. So it was a vicious circle and could make surgery harder on the eyes, so he inserted tear duct plugs into both eyes to prevent loss of tears. Dr. Gulani told me he could remove my pterygium and explained the procedure and risks and benefits. His confidence and personality made me trust him totally. He did not pressure me to have the surgery but said I can take as long as I wanted to make a decision.

I contacted Dr. Gulani's office soon after, and my surgery was scheduled one month after my initial consultation. I again travelled to Jacksonville along with my cousin. (It is very important to have someone drive you back and forth after surgery to your appointments). The surgery was a success. I had extensive scarring, but Dr. Gulani did such skilled work that no one would know I had eye surgery if I didn't tell them. There was minimal redness, which cleared up after a few days. I could not believe my eyes when I looked in the mirror and saw how smooth my eyes looked where the pterygium had been. I was like, “Wow, this is amazing.” I am waiting for my eyes to heal completely before I return to Jacksonville to have my other pterygium removed.

This whole experience was great, and I am glad I had the patience to wait for the right doctor to come along. Dr. Gulani not only met my expectations but exceeded them. He and his staff are to be commended. I would highly recommend him to other people.

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My husband also suffered from a large pterygium in his only eye with sight for years. In the past year really increased in size, discomfort and affecting his vision till he voluntarily stopped driving. We felt like our whole future was at risk and our initial referrals for removal did not give us any confidence that they could really help us. So I started doing seaches on the internet specific to pterygium and ONE name came up repeatedly Dr. Gulani. Let me say by Profession I'm a Registered Nurse so I've judging from both a personal and Professional capacity the Physicians I'm interacting with. From the start I was impressed with the information on the Gulani Vision web site. My initally interaction with a very prestigious facility in the same town seemed more interested in our ability to pay then my husbands needs, total turn off. On Gulani Vision website the focus was about the needs of the patient, everyone deserves better vision and even a place to check out financing so you didn't need to wait. So I initally send a email quiry and received a response within 24 hours. Besides my husbands medical issue I also talked about his emotional need as he had a traumatic injury at 4 year old that caused the visual loss in other eye and was very fearful of Physician's in general. Trusting that I felt I had found the right Doctor who could help him, made an appt. Our first visit was wonderful!! Dr. Gulani has a gift, genius if you will, combined with wonderful people skills, caring and compassion. He is a Physician on a mission to bring better sight to everyone he can touch personally or by training other Physicians. My husband went from very reluctant "I know I have to get this done" to "I believe I will see better, lets get this done". He explained all the issues with his eye, talked about how precious the vison of this only sighted eye is and wanted detailed examinations of both his eyes by retinal and glaucoma specialist. He called himself to expedite these appointments after we made him aware I also has visual issues and my husband had been the family driver till now!! Saved us multiple trips and we finally learned 63 years after his accident that no metal was left in his damaged eye, that it had possibilites for improved sight if something ever happened to his "good"eye and so much more information. The evening after surgery I was surprised by an 8:30pm call just to check if all was going well, any questions from Dr. Gulani, even though we would be in his office in 12 more hours. We are now 3 weeks post surgery and the results are amazing. From the patch removal his eye looked better than it has the 32 years of our marriage! He had minimal pain, stopping medication by day 2 post surgery. His vison is much improved and the comfort in that eye is great. He still has a cataract to deal with in the future and we trust Dr. Gulani's attitude that this is a "precious eye" and we will wait till it affects his vision more. I don't know of any medical Professional that I have ever admired more in my 20 year Nursing career. And combining that with his passion for pushing the boundaries of vision surgery, we are Blessed to have a man of his vision and genius. If you've heard nothing can be done for whatever your eye condition is I recomend contacting this Physican to see if that really the case. I know he gave us our future back!
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That's great! I had the same surgery from Dr. Gulani. I'm having a hard time being patient during the healing process. Were the corners of your eyes irritated for a while? Mine are..
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