Purpose: To compare conjunctival autograft and anchored conjunctival rotation flap techniques, in terms of recurrence and complication rates, after performing a primary pterygium surgery.
Methods: Sixty patients who underwent pterygium surgery, which was performed on 1 eye (M:F = 25:35), either using conjunctival autograft (25 eyes) or anchored conjunctival rotation flap (35 eyes) techniques, were followed up postoperatively for a minimum period of 18 months. The anchored conjunctival rotation flap surgery was conducted by designing a conjunctival flap with a similar shape as that of the autograft, but with the preservation of the inferior limbal anchoring point (1 mm) by the incomplete cutting of the limbal area. After rotation of the flap around the anchoring point, the flap was tightened with sutures to cover the bare scleral area. Early postoperative complications, such as flap or graft edema and granuloma formation, were assessed. The recurrence rate of pterygium was evaluated, and a comparison was made between the 2 surgical techniques.
Results: The recurrence rate was 8.0% in the conjunctival autograft group and 8.6% in the anchored conjunctival rotational flap group (P = 0.659). However, the occurrence of flap or graft edema was lower for anchored conjunctival rotational flap surgery (14.3% vs. 72.0%, P < 0.001). No granuloma formation was observed in either group.
Conclusions: The anchored conjunctival rotational flap surgery showed similar pterygium recurrence rates and a lower incidence of flap edema, while enabling simple recognition of flap orientation, compared with the conjunctival autograft technique.