A Chalazion is a lump on the eyelid that forms due to the blockage and swelling of an oil gland in the eyelid. The oil produced can become thick and is unable to flow out of the gland, creating a lump on the eyelid. It may appear as a red, tender, swollen area on the eyelid, but usually switches to a painless, slow growing lump. It is usually not due to an infection. Warm compresses and lightly messaging the area may help facilitate healing. Most chalazia resolve on their own without treatment, but on occasion, they may have to be removed. If the chalazion does not drain and heal within a month, you should have it evaluated by one of our doctors.
A surgical chalazion removal procedure is performed in the office under local anesthesia. Unless complications arise, a person undergoing this procedure can go home immediately after the removal of the cyst. Because a local anesthetic is applied, you will feel that something is being done to your eye although there is no pain.
In the case of a small chalazia, an incision about 3 mm in size is made at the back of the eyelid. The cut is only about 3 mm and does not need any stitches on account of its very small size. If the chalazia are larger, the incision may be made in front of the skin and closed with very fine stitches that are hardly visible.
Once the incision is made, the lump is then removed. Pressure is applied to stop the blood from oozing. Since the procedure can cause bleeding, it may be recommended to stop blood thinner you may be taking prior to the procedure. Your surgeon and/or prescribing doctor will advise you on discontinuing these. It may also be recommended to use an antibiotic eye drop or ointment for a few days after the procedure.
Surgical removal of a chalazion is not necessarily a permanent fix to the problem. There are cases when the chalazion will return. Those who have had chalazia have increased chances of other growths in the future.