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To evaluate and compare the recurrence rate and complications of conjunctival autograft (CAG) combined with preoperative mitomycin C (MMC) injection versus CAG with intraoperative local MMC over the medial rectus muscle tendon in primary pterygium.Randomized prospective study.This study included 108 eyes of 108 patients with primary fleshy or growing pterygium. All patients were from rural areas and less than 50 years old. Fifty-three patients were treated with injection of 0.1 mL of 0.15 mg/mL MMC into the body of pterygium followed 1 day later by pterygium excision and CAG (group I), and 55 patients were treated with pterygium excision and local application of 0.2 mg/mL MMC for 2 min over the medial rectus tendon followed by CAG (group II). The minimum follow-up period was 18 months.Two patients from group I and one patient from group II did not complete the follow-up period and were excluded. There were no statistically significant differences between the two groups regarding age, sex, laterality, or follow-up period. Recurrence occurred in 2 eyes in group I (3.92%) and 1 eye in group II (1.85%); (P=0.52). All recurrences occurred in male patients of less than 30 years of age. No significant complications were encountered in both groups.Both preoperative MMC injection followed 1 day later by pterygium excision with CAG, and pterygium excision and intraoperative local application of MMC on the medial rectus tendon are successful in treating primary pterygium with low recurrence rate and few complications.