Chalazion (known as a ‘sty’) is a common eyelid lump which will often resolve spontaneously but sometimes requires drainage by an oculoplastic surgeon.
A chalazion develops when a meibomian gland in the eyelid becomes blocked up. The meibomian glands are situated within the upper and lower eyelids and produce the oily outer layer of the tear film. These glands can become painfully swollen and sometimes harden resulting in a persistent lump. Over time, they can grow in size and cause blurred vision by pressing on the eyeball.
Warm compresses are the first step in management in order to speed up recovery. If the lump does not resolve it may require drainage. This is a straight forward procedure performed on the underside of the eyelid, and is therefore ‘scarless’. Sometimes a steroid injection can help to improve a chalazion, and avoid the need for further surgery.
The underlying cause is frequently blepharitis (hyperlink to blepharitis section) and this will be discussed in your consultation with your oculoplastic surgeon. Careful management of blepharitis can reduce the likelihood of developing chalazion.
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How long does chalazion removal take?
Simple chalazion excision can be performed on the same day as a clinic appointment, lasting a total of 45 minutes. It is removed under simple local anaesthesia and is ‘scarless’ with no sutures.
There is minimal downtime of only 24 hours with a gradual improvement in appearance.
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