Oculoplastic Surgery/Chalazion

Procedure performed to release any pressure and discomfort felt due to chalazion (meibomian cysts)

A chalazion is a small lump or cyst on the eyelid. These cysts are harmless and do not usually cause any significant problems for patients. However, they can lead to an aesthetic concern and in some cases may cause some discomfort. In addition, there is potential for the chalazion to become inflamed or infected, which can lead to other problems with the function of the eye if left untreated.

Chalazions occur due to a blockage in an oil gland within the eyelid. The meibomian glands are located within the eyelid, and open behind the eyelashes. When these are blocked, they cause a backlog of oily fluid within the gland, resulting in a chalazion.

Meibomian glands are more likely to become blocked if you have the predisposing conditions blepharitis (also known as meibomian gland dysfunction) or rosacea.

Chalazion prevention

A chalazion can be prevented. To avoid the development of these cysts, it is important to maintain good eyelid hygiene and ensure the eye area is kept clean to avoid oil and crusts building up causing blockage of meibomian glands.

Chalazion treatment

There are a few different treatments for chalazion. In some cases the chalazion will resolve spontaneously, particularly if you carry out regular hot compresses and massage. However, in some cases, this will fail to get rid of the chalazion, in which case you may benefit from surgery.

Surgery may be necessary or considered due to significant  aesthetic concern or deficient functioning of the eye. During the surgery, a small incision is made inside the eyelid to drain the content of the cyst.

Chalazion surgery is advised if the chalazion is causing significant aesthetic or functional concerns. Although a chalazion is not usually painful, it can cause significant discomfort and irritation to the eye leading to many patients being unable to wait for it to resolve itself and choosing to undergo surgery. Additionally, chalazion can be aesthetically unappealing, and so many patients choose to have them removed to feel more confident about their outward appearance.

During the chalazion procedure, a small incision is made inside the eyelid. Through this incision, your consultant will drain the contents of the chalazion cyst using a small instrument called a curette. If the cyst has already burst onto the skin surface, then the surgeon may feel it is more appropriate to incise the chalazion from the skin side.

Following chalazion surgery, you can resume everyday activities within a day or two but extensive physical exertion should be avoided for the first  week following surgery to allow the eyelid to heal properly. Patients should also avoid rubbing the eye area for the first two weeks to allow the wound to heal. Consultants also may prescribe an ointment to encourage healing. In addition, a pad may be placed over the treated eye, which should be kept on until the morning after surgery.

Results from chalazion surgery are usually permanent as the cyst is drained. The procedure is effective for around 80-90% of the patients and successfully removes the chalazion.

Procedure Overview 

  • Functional and cosmetic procedure to remove chalazion cysts from the eyelid
  • Chalazion cysts are caused by a blockage in a meibomian oil gland
  • Chalazion cysts can lead to aesthetic concerns but can also lead to some discomfort with potential for infection
  • Typical procedure takes around 1 hour to complete
  • Following surgery, a pad may be placed over the eye
  • Typical procedure costs around £500
  • You will have an initial consultation with an expert specialist in this area

Before chalazion surgery you will receive a local anaesthetic, so no pain or discomfort will be felt during the procedure.

A typical chalazion surgery procedure takes around 1 hour to complete.

The price for a chalazion procedure starts from approximately £500 which includes both consultant and facility fees. The total cost will be confirmed following the initial consultation.

Close up right upper eye lid abscess "stye or hordeolum"

"I’m writing this using the one good eye that you have improved. Thank you so much. I’m writing this card with no glasses on!! (One and a half hours after the operation)."


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