OverviewNatural historyExaminationSurgeryPost operativeFAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What if I don't want surgery for my chalazion?

You don't have to have surgery. There is a very good chance that with time (6 - 9 months) the lump will gradually settle and disappear. Surgery helps it disappear quickly.

Alternative treatments: injection of a small amount of steroid into the eyelid around the lump to quieten the inflammation and help it settle faster.

2. When is my chalazion not suitable for I+C?

If the chalazion is already getting better and there is just a very small lump that doesn't look as though it contains anything to drain..

3. Will I get the chalazion back again?

It is unlikely that you will get that chalazion back again, but you still have over 20 other meibomian ducts in each eyelid which could become blocked and cause a new chalazion in the future.

4. What are the risks of surgery?

Common risks include localised bruising and swelling post-operatively. There is a very low risk of infection. These are the reasons an eyepad is commonly placed and antibiotic cream used.

Theoretically there is a risk of inadvertent eye perforation from the local anaesthetic needle; this is extremely rare.

5. How can I prevent getting another chalazion in the future?

People with a chalazion often have blepharitis and this should be treated well.

6. Could my lump be anything more serious?

Rarely an inflamed lump on the eyelid is a small cancer such as a rodent ulcer or basal cell carcinoma, but this originates from the skin and won't be visible under the eyelid when it is everted. Another skin tumour called squamous cell carcinoma can cause an ulcerated lump, but this is again from the skin.

Rarely, there is a meibomian cell carcinoma (sebaceous cell carcinoma) which looks like a like a chalazion when small but is a malignant cancer. If you have a "chalazion" which required I+C more than once exactly in the same place, especially if it doesn't drain any debris, a carcinoma should be considered a possibility and a BIOPSY taken by the surgeon for the cells to be examined. One or two other very rare tumours can also mimic chalazia.