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My friend is having a laser eye surgery next week and

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because he speaks Spanish only...
my friend is having a laser eye surgery next week and because he speaks Spanish only and gives me some common non-medical name of his problem i can't find any information about it.
it looks like some reddish overgrowth on the cornea of both eyes, it is rather vascular looking, slightly elevated, film like lesion. it seems worse in the corners of the eyes and does spread a little to the iris, but does not , so far at least, affect his vision at all. he told me that most of the time the symptom is only various degree of burning sensation, at times so much that it is debilitating. (that is aside from significant cosmetic defect.)
most importantly he said that 90% of the sufferers are sailors and all sort of folks that work on the water, at least the salt water. he is a marine captain in Costa Rica, his friend, also a sailor had the same problem and treated it successfully with laser.
can anybody please give me an idea of what it is? i am a nurse and tried to do some searches right now but can't find anything that looks like my description
Submitted: 5 years ago.Category: Eye
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Answered in 1 minute by:
4/3/2012
Eye Doctor: Dr. Dan B., Board Certified Ophthalmologist replied 5 years ago
Dr. Dan B.
Dr. Dan B., Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 3,343
Experience: Eye surgeon experienced in cataracts, glaucoma, retina & neuro-ophthalmology
Verified
Doctor DanB :

Hello and thanks for your question. Are you available to chat?

Customer:

yes, thanks

Doctor DanB :

What your friend has, by all accounts, are pterygia (pterygium, singular).

Customer:

so, what is the best treatment for this condition?

Doctor DanB :

Essentially if he is becoming debilitated from these, then the treatment is surgical excision. Laser is not an effective treatment for these for the most part.

Customer:

but he told me that whenever he consulted various doctors in CR they recommended laser and told him that surgical excision only treats it temporarily

Customer:

and that the laser treatment will get rid of it once and for all

Doctor DanB :

It's actually the other way around. These are much more likely to need further treatment (ie surgical) if a laser is applied to it--this kind of treatment is not an established, acceptable treatment option for pterygia. While the risk of recurrence is there with surgery, depending on the way the surgery is done the risk of recurrence can be as low as 1-5%, whereas trying to treat this with a laser will almost certainly not get rid of it for good and it will likely need future interventions.

Customer:

how strange.. i know he had to save money for years to do this instead of surgery that is almost free. this is very disappointing to hear. thanks a lot though

Doctor DanB :

You're welcome. Do you have any other concerns or questions about this topic?

Customer:

no, thank you. all the best, ***** *****

Doctor DanB :

My pleasure.



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My opinion is solely informative and does not constitute a formal medical opinion or recommendation. For a formal medical opinion and/or recommendation you must see an eye doctor.


Dr. Dan B.
Dr. Dan B., Board Certified Ophthalmologist
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Experience: Eye surgeon experienced in cataracts, glaucoma, retina & neuro-ophthalmology
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