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Chalazion Treatment - Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

Last Updated: Aug 28, 2020

What is the Chalazion?

Chalazion is the result of a cyst or stye formation on the eyelid- either lower or upper, usually on the centre. It is formed when a gland, called meibomian gland, gets clogged. This gland is responsible for secreting oil and mucous in the inner eye for proper lubrication of the eye.

The cyst or the chalazion formed is often painless and may appear and disappear within few weeks or a month. The condition occurs mostly in people who have pre-existing conditions like acne, chronic blepharitis, seborrhea, rosacea or other reason causing long term inflammation of the eyelid.

People infected with viral conjunctivitis also are more prone to get chalazion. Usually, small, asymptomatic chalazia can be ignored. But it calls for treatment when it does not resolve with a month. Before getting help from the conventional medication, people usually try treating chalazion with conservative treatments or home remedies. In case, they do not work with such medication, it is better to refer to a good ophthalmologist for treating it and get rid of it.

Although rare, but a chalazion may need surgery to be removed in case home remedies and conventional medication both are not effective. Surgical removal of chalazion is a safe and simple procedure and generally does not pose any serious complication or side effect.

How is the Chalazion treatment done?

Normally, a chalazion goes away without giving too much pain within a month. You can try some conservative measures or home remedies to treat the chalazion. In case it does not heal with simple home remedies, pharmacological treatment may be required after consulting an ophthalmologist.

The doctor may recommend either a corticosteroid injection or may remove it surgically. Both the methods have been found to be quite effective and safe. As already stated, a chalazion does not become an acute infection and can be easily treated with home remedies. Corticosteroid injections are given directly in the lesions if they are smaller in size. The larger lesions are subjected to surgical excision to get rid of them using local anaesthesia.

The surgical removal is does from underneath the eyelid to avoid any scar formation on the skin. The procedure of the surgery will depend upon the texture of the chalazion. If it is mainly fluid filled, it can be easily removed by puncturing it a slightly and putting little pressure on the chalazion to drain out the fluid. But if the infection is bigger in size and has hardened, then it will need a slightly bigger incision and the hard substance need to scraped off from the chalazion.

In order to heal it completely and remove even slightest of infection from the eye, it is subjected to dry heat so that it metabolizes and sloughs off. Medicinal therapy using tetracycline like minocycline 50 mg PO QD for about 10 days or doxycycline 100 mg PO BID reduces the infection quite effectively. In case the patient is allergic to tetracyclines or phototoxicity treatment is done with metronidazole is done.

In order to prevent chronic inflammation, topical steroids can be prescribed. If there is no infection, the lesion can be simply treated using methylprednisolone or triamcinolone steroid injection.

Who is eligible for chalazion treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

If the chalazion remains for about a month, if it grows in size with infection and does not heal with simple home remedies, only then the person having it will be eligible for Chalazion surgery.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

If a person develops a chalazion on his eyelid, he/she does not require treatment right in the beginning. It can be observed for at least about a month. If it goes away without any treatment, the person does not require medical or surgical treatment.


Are there any side effects of chalazion removal ?

Treatment with steroid injections are usually safe and effective, but it can cause certain side effects like atrophy of the injected area, hypopigmentation, elevated intraocular pressure, corneal perforation, traumatic cataract, a visible hematoma around the operated site and potential exacerbation of viral or bacterial infection.

chalazion removal side effects include minor discomfort in the area after the chalazion removal surgery or the lesion removal is done. Sometimes, although rare, but surgery or steroid injection can cause the area to look unsightly for a long time or maybe forever. Sometimes the chalazion may also recur after the treatment or surgery.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

After the treatment or removal of the chalazion, it is recommended that the sample be biopsied to rule out any possibility of tumour. Also, after the surgery, it is suggested to keep their eye away from water to avoid catching infections for at least 10 days. It is recommended to keep the area clean and dry all the time. It is also advisable not to wear eye make up for at least a month after the surgery or treatment.

Contact lenses also should not be worn for at least eight weeks to avoid any complication. Doctors may also give you an eye drop in case you feel excessive discomfort in the eye, or if there is swelling in the eye as a result of the treatment. To control any pain in the eye, the patient can take paracetamol instead of any aspirin.

How long does it take to recover?

It takes at least a month to go away completely without any treatment. If it does not go away without any treatment, then after the treatment or surgery, whichever is applicable, it takes another month to heal completely.

What is the price of chalazion removal surgery in India?

The price of treating a chalazion or eye cystschalazion surgery results in India can range from Rs. 300 to Rs. 1,700 all inclusive of consultation fees, medication and surgery.

Are the results of the Chalazion treatment permanent?

No, the results of Chalazion surgery may not be permanent. Once treated or operated, a chalazion can occur again either on the same are or on some other area in the different eye or eyelids.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

Alternatives to the conventional treatment of chalazion that includes steroid injections and surgical removal are conservative measure or home remedies. About 50% of the chalazia have been observed to heal with conservative methods only. In this method warm compress can be used for 15 minutes 2-4 times every day to eventually heal the eyelid cyst.

Maintaining eye and eyelid hygiene is also important. For this, baby shampoo or other lid wipes available in the market are considered good to wipe off any debris over the eyelashes. Few other natural remedies for treating chalazion are compresses with castor oil, guava and acacia leaves because they contain anti-inflammatory substances that help in reducing the inflammation and also aids in draining the fluid of the chalazion on its own.


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Written ByDr. Ruchi MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery,DOMS,MBBSOphthalmology
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Reviewed ByDr. Bhupindera Jaswant SinghMD - Consultant PhysicianGeneral Physician
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