Background: Treatment outcome in patients with pterygium following bare-sclera excision and conjunctival autograft (CAG) with and without phototherapeutic keratectomy (PTK). Methods: Retrospective comparative analysis of 81 eyes, with primary and recurrent pterygia, that were analyzed for recurrence, best-corrected visual acuity (BCVA) and astigmatism in primary (P1 without PTK, P2 with PTK) and recurrent pterygia (R1 without PTK, R2 with PTK). BCVA and astigmatism were compared in patients with simple CAG alone (group I) or in combination with PTK (group II). Results: Recurrence rates were 4.7, 11.6, 16.2, 23.2 and 32.5% at 3, 6, 12, 24 and >24 months (P1), 7.1% at >24 months (P2). Recurrence rates were 5.3, 10.5, 21.1, 21.1 and 26.3% at 3, 6, 12, 24 and >24 months (R1) and 1 recurrence (7.7%) till month 24, and 3 (23.1%) thereafter (R2). BCVA increased from logarithm of the minimal angle of resolution 0.095 ± 0.141 (mean ± SD) at baseline to 0.066 ± 0.09 (group I), and from 0.090 ± 0.164 to 0.054 ± 0.124 (group II). Astigmatism decreased from -1.01 ± 0.90 dpt at baseline to -0.97 ± 1.24 dpt (group I), and from -1.19 ± 1.55 to -0.75 ± 0.87 dpt (group II). Conclusion: In comparison to CAG alone, additional excimer smoothing with PTK tends to increase BCVA and reduces recurrence rates in patients with primary pterygia.

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