PRIOR to World War II recurrent pterygium had been a matter of little concern to most ophthalmologists in the United States. The few patients with primary pterygium who consulted the individual surgeon were handled with satisfaction to both the patient and the physician. Many ophthalmologists had seen no procedure other than McReynolds' transplantation or one of its minor modifications. They were for the most part unaware of the number of papers describing other technics, designed to avoid recurrence, written by men in sections where pterygium is common. The need of this knowledge did not exist for most ophthalmologists in this country. Recurrences were so rarely encountered that one did not inquire into the surgical treatment.
There is a vast difference between an operation for primary pterygium and the surgical management of recurrent pterygium. The first operation is simple and is attended with such a high degree of success that it
McGAVIC JS. SURGICAL TREATMENT OF RECURRENT PTERYGIUM. Arch Ophthalmol. 1949;42(6):726-748. doi:10.1001/archopht.1949.00900050737003