Fibrin glue for Pterygium surgery

Pterygium surgery can be uncomfortable in the recovery stages. Using fibrin glue to attach the graft rather than sutures can reduce this discomfort and shorten the surgery time for patients.

Comparison of fibrin glue with sutures for pterygium excision surgery.

Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology. August 2009, Volume 37, Number 6, Pages 584-9.

Reece C Hall MBChB, et al.

Ophthalmology Department, Wellington Hospital, Capital Coast District Health Board, Wellington, New Zealand.

This is one of the first and only randomized eye surgery studies done in New Zealand. It shows that using fibrin glue in Pterygium surgery makes the recovery for patients significantly more comfortable and decreases the total surgical time.


To compare pterygium excision conjunctival autograft surgery using Tisseel fibrin glue versus Vicryl sutures.


Prospective randomized clinical trial. 50 patients were randomized into either sutured graft or glued graft groups. 25 received standard conjunctival autograft sutured with Vicryl and 25 received surgery with the autograft placed with Tisseel fibrin glue. Outcome measures include surgical time, patient discomfort, pathology, complications and recurrence rates at 3, 6 and 12 months. Patients were followed up at days 1, 7, 14, 30, 90, 180 and 365.


The mean surgical time for the glue group was significantly shorter at 12 minutes compared with the suture group at 26 minutes (P < 0.001). Postoperative pain was significantly less at day 1 (P < 0.001) and day 2 (P < 0.05) but was not significantly different following these visits. Complications in the glue group included one patient with an absent graft at week 1 that required revision of the graft. At 3 months there were no recurrences in the glue group and two recurrences in the suture group. The 6- and 12-month recurrence rate was unchanged and not significantly different between the glue and suture groups (both 0/24 and 2/23, respectively).


Both glued and sutured conjunctival autografting procedures are safe and effective methods for pterygium surgery. The glued autograft recurrence rate at 12 months was similar to that of sutured grafts. Conjunctival autograft with fibrin glue in pterygium surgery decreased surgical time and resulted in less postoperative pain in the first 48 hours but had a higher complication rate.