Eyelid lump diagnosis and removal

Eyelid lumps can be simply and easily removed by a specialist

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Eyelid lumps range from minor to sinister causes, so it is important to get any new lump reviewed by a specialist oculoplastic surgeon.

The eyelid is a unique and intricate organ, and therefore various lesions can develop in this area. They can be benign (and not worrying), such as skin tags (papillomas), intradermal naevi (moles), sweat gland cysts, and xanthelasma (please add hyperlink to xanthalasma section). However, some lumps can be due to sinister causes such as skin cancer. Any new eyelid lesion requires assessment by a specialist oculoplastic surgeon.

Benign eyelid lesions can be simply removed under local anaesthetic on the same day as the consultation. They can have an unpleasant appearance and cause discomfort.

Small eyelid skin cancers are painless lumps that grow over time. They commonly occur in the eyelid region, usually due to sun exposure. Early diagnosis and management is essential to preserve healthy eyelid tissue and improve outcomes. Some lumps require a biopsy in the first instance to confirm a diagnosis. Following this, complete tumour excision and reconstruction is then required. This is in order to attempt to have a functioning and aesthetically pleasing eyelid after lesion removal.

How long does eyelid lump diagnosis and removal take?\

Simple eyelid lesion excision can be performed on the same day as the clinic appointment, lasting a total of 45 minutes. It is removed under simple local anaesthesia.

Eyelid cancer surgery is more complex, and varies on a case by case basis. Most will require a biopsy on the day of consultation, followed by advanced excision techniques (e.g. MOHs) and reconstruction procedures on a separate day. Again, the vast majority are performed under local anaesthetic.


For simple eyelid lesion excision there is minimal downtime of only 24 hours with mild eyelid swelling.

Eyelid cancer surgery excision and reconstruction will require small stitches in order to restore the eyelid architecture. Therefore this usually requires 1 - 2 weeks of downtime for healing and suture removal.


Any new eyelid lesion requires urgent specialist oculoplastic assessment. Small eyelid cancers when diagnosed early are associated with better outcomes.

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British Oculoplastic Surgey SocietyESOPRSAmerican Academy of OphthalmologyImperial College LondonThe Royal College of OphthalmologistsIranian Medical SocietyAestheticsIndependent Doctors FederationCMAC Specialist Advisory BoardPembroke College Circle
Dr Elizabeth Hawkes

Elizabeth Hawkes is a Consultant Ophthalmic and Oculoplastic Surgeon, specialising in blepharoplasty surgery, eye health and advanced facial aesthetics.

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