THE INCIDENCE of pterygium among military personnel in semitropical Hawaii is higher than in most sections of the United States; however, its frequency does not approach that of the more tropical countries. A uniform satisfactory treatment of this ancient problem is far from achievement. One who sees many pterygiums cannot help but be impressed by the large number which have previously been treated surgically. In the published series recurrence rates vary. One may justifiably suspect that in a series in which no failures are reported the patients have not been carefully followed.
During the past 18 months, my colleagues and I have treated 300 patients with pterygium at this hospital. In about one third the lesion was recurrent, and previous operation had been done elsewhere. The obvious failure of the usual method of treatment prompted us to employ various technics, in an effort to determine the most satisfactory treatment.