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Chalazion Removal

Last updated April 16, 2019

Approved by: Krish Tangella MD, MBA, FCAP

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Chalazion Removal is a surgical procedure that involves removing the chalazion.

Background Information:

What are the other Names for the Procedure?

  • Eyelid Bump Removal
  • Eyelid Lump Removal
  • Meibomian Cyst Removal

What is Chalazion Removal surgical procedure?

  • Chalazion Removal is a surgical procedure that involves removing the chalazion
  • A chalazion is a lump or a cyst formed in the cartilage of either the upper, or lower, or both the eyelids
  • It is caused by blockage or infection of the meibomian gland duct

What part of the Body does the Procedure involve?

Chalazion Removal procedure involves the eyelids and the meibomian glands.

Why is the Chalazion Removal surgical procedure Performed?

There could be various reasons for performing a Chalazion Removal procedure, some of which include:

  • Heaviness of the eyelid
  • Pressure on the eye ball
  • Constant shedding of tears; due to irritation caused by the bump
  • Disruption in vision
  • Cosmetic purpose

Normally, the procedure is performed only as a last resort, when all other treatment methods have failed.

What are some Alternative Choices for the Procedure?

A few passive alternatives prior to the procedure are:

  • Applying warm compressors to the infected eyelid, once every 3-4 hours
  • Massaging the eyelids to aid in opening the blocked gland ducts
  • In case of an infection, applying local antibiotic cream

However, if all of the above conservative methods fail, Chalazion Removal surgical procedure remains a gold standard technique.

What are the Recent Advances in the Procedure?

The recent advances in the procedure are in the usage of laser techniques to remove the chalazion. 

What is the Cost of performing the Chalazion Removal surgical procedure?

The cost of Chalazion Removal procedure depends on a variety of factors, such as the type of your health insurance, annual deductibles, co-pay requirements, out-of-network and in-network of your healthcare providers and healthcare facilities.

In many cases, an estimate may be provided before the procedure. The final amount depends upon the findings during the surgery/procedure and post-operative care that is necessary.

When do you need a Second Opinion, prior to the Procedure?

  • It is normal for a patient to feel uncomfortable and confused by the information regarding Chalazion Removal and on what needs to be done
  • If the patient needs further reassurance or a second opinion, a physician will almost always assist and also recommend another physician, if required

What are some Helpful Resources?


Prior to Chalazion Removal surgical procedure:

How is the Chalazion Removal surgical procedure Performed?

  • In a Chalazion Removal surgery, the physician turns the affected eyelid inside out to locate the site where the chalazion is present
  • A small incision is made on the surface just above the chalazion; it is then cut and removed
  • Pressure is applied at the incision site to stop bleeding and the eye bandaged

Where is the Procedure Performed?

A Chalazion Removal procedure is usually performed at an out-patient surgery center facility or a physician’s office. The individual can go home once the procedure is completed.

Who Performs the Procedure?

The procedure is performed by an ophthalmologist.

How long will the Procedure take?

The procedure may take anywhere between 15-30 minutes. If necessary, the physician may ask the patient to wait for a longer period of time at the healthcare facility for observation.

What do you need to tell your Physician before the Procedure?

It is very important to provide the following information to your healthcare provider. This enables your healthcare provider in assessing the risks for the surgical procedure and helps avoid unnecessary complications.

  • Provide a complete list of medications you are currently, taking to your physician. This information is useful for a variety of reasons. For example, it can help your healthcare provider prevent complications due to a drug interaction
  • If you are allergic to any specific medication or food items
  • If you are taking blood thinners, such as aspirin, warfarin, herbal supplements, or any other such medications
  • If you or your family members, have a history of bleeding disorders, or if there is a tendency to bleed more than normal
  • If you have diabetes, high blood pressure, chest pains, or have previously suffered from a heart attack
  • If you have ever been diagnosed with blood clots in your leg (deep vein thrombosis) or lung (embolism of lung)
  • If you have a history of frequent bone fractures (this may affect bone-healing, if bones are involved as part of your procedure)
  • A list of all previous surgical procedures you have undergone, like for example: Removal of appendix, gallbladder, or any other part, of your body; surgical repair of any body part, such as hernia repair, perforation of bowel wall, etc.

What Preparations are needed, prior to the Procedure?

  • No particular preparations are needed prior to a Chalazion Removal procedure
  • However, the physician may evaluate the individual’s medical history to gain a comprehensive knowledge of the overall health status of the patient including information related to the medications that are being currently taken
  • Some medications increase a person’s chances of bleeding and it may be recommended to discontinue them for a period of time, before the procedure is performed
  • Blood tests may be performed to determine if there is a bleeding tendency or any other medical conditions that prevents the person from undergoing the procedure
  • Avoid application of any cosmetics, deodorant, or topical medicines on the area, prior to the procedure
  • It is advisable to quit smoking and the use of any nicotine based products, for a while, before the surgery
  • Consumption of alcoholic drinks must also be avoided for a period of time, as instructed
  • For persons suffering from diabetes, it is important that the blood sugar stays within the normal range; if not their diabetologist may have to control blood sugar by recommending insulin and/or a combination of oral medicines

A physician will request your consent for the Chalazion Removal procedure using an Informed Consent Form.

What is the Consent Process before the Procedure?

A physician will request your consent for the Chalazion Removal procedure using an Informed Consent Form.

Consent for the Procedure: A “consent” is your approval to undergo a procedure. A consent form is signed after the risks and benefits of the procedure, and alternative treatment options, are discussed. This process is called informed consent.

You must sign the forms only after you are totally satisfied by the answers to your questions. In case of minors and individuals unable to personally give their consent, the individual’s legal guardian or next of kin, shall give their consent for the procedure.

What Tests are needed, before the Chalazion Removal surgical procedure?

  • Before the minor surgical procedure, a complete eye examination of the patient is performed
  • Certain blood tests may be necessary prior to the procedure; the extent of these shall be determined by the physician

What are some Questions for your Physician?

Some of the basic questions that you might ask your physician are as follows:

  • What is a Chalazion Removal procedure?
  • Why is this procedure necessary? How will this procedure help?
  • What does the procedure involve?
  • How soon should I get it done? Is it an emergency?
  • Who are the medical personnel involved in this procedure?
  • Where is the procedure performed?
  • What are the risks while performing the procedure?
  • What are the complications that might take place, during recovery?
  • How long will it take to recover? When can I resume normal work?
  • Are there any lifestyle restrictions or modifications required, after the procedure is performed?
  • Are there any follow-up tests, periodic visits to the healthcare facility required, after the procedure?
  • How many such procedures have you performed?
  • What are the costs involved?

During the Chalazion Removal surgical procedure:

What kind of Anesthesia is given, during the Procedure?

During the procedure the patient is administered local anesthesia.

How much Blood will you lose, during the Procedure?

Since Chalazion Removal is a minimally invasive procedure, there is little or no blood loss involved.

What are the possible Risks and Complications during the Chalazion Removal surgical procedure?

The possible risks or complications that may arise during the surgery are:

  • Infection
  • Accidental injury to the neighboring tissue or bone
  • Excessive bleeding

What Post-Operative Care is needed at the Healthcare Facility after the Chalazion Removal surgical procedure?

At the healthcare facility, generally there is no requirement for any post-procedure care, unless any complications arise.

After the Chalazion Removal surgical procedure:

What are the possible Risks and Complications after the Chalazion Removal surgical procedure?

Post Chalazion Removal surgery the following complications may arise:

  • Surgical infection
  • Recurrence of the chalazion

What is the Prognosis after the Surgery?

  • The recovery from the procedure is excellent
  • However, most patients who suffer from chalazion once are found to have recurrent chalazion formations in some other parts of the eyelid

When do you need to call your Physician?

Do contact your physician if you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • Pain around the surgical wound
  • Swelling and redness
  • Bleeding or fluid drainage
  • Fever
  • Dizziness
  • Changes in vision
  • Signs of infection

What Post-Operative Care is needed at Home after the Chalazion Removal surgical procedure?

At home, the following post-operative care is recommended, after a Chalazion Removal procedure:

  • Apply warm compress intermittently for 10-15 minutes, for 2 days after surgery
  • Use antibiotic eye drops, as prescribed by the physician
  • Wash the eyelid with soap and water while bathing; but, only after 7-10 days
  • Resume daily activities (after the patient recovers completely)
  • Avoid taking non-prescribed medications or pain killers

How long does it normally take to fully recover, from the Procedure?

It takes about 1 week to completely recover from a Chalazion Removal procedure.

Additional Information:

What happens to tissue (if any), taken out during the Procedure?

The tissue is taken for further examination and later disposed, as per the standard medical procedure.

When should you expect results from the pathologist regarding tissue taken out, during the Procedure?

  • The tissue removed is processed in the laboratory under a pathologist's supervision
  • Slide(s) are prepared once the tissue is processed and this is examined by a pathologist and a pathology report issued
  • Depending on the complexity of the case, issue of the report may take anywhere between 72 hours to a week's time

Who will you receive a Bill from, after the Chalazion Removal surgical procedure?

It is important to note that the number of bills that the patient may receive depends on the arrangement the healthcare facility has with the physician and other healthcare providers. 

Sometimes, the patient may get a single bill that includes the healthcare facility and the consultant physician charges. Sometimes, the patient might get multiple bills depending on the healthcare provider involved. For instance, the patient may get a bill from:

  • The outpatient facility, physician’s office, or hospital
  • An ophthalmologist
  • A pathologist (if the tissue was sent for analysis)

The patient is advised to inquire and confirm the type of billing, before Chalazion Removal procedure is performed.

Thanks and Gratitude:

We sincerely acknowledge and thank Dr. Douglas J. Jones for reviewing the article. His valuable input and feedback has helped enrich the contents of this article.

Douglas J. Jones, MD FACS
Board Certified General Surgeon and Faculty Member
University of Illinois, College of Medicine at Urbana-Champaign
506 S. Mathews Ave., Urbana, IL 61801, USA

Reviewed and Approved by a member of the DoveMed Editorial Board
First uploaded: May 23, 2013
Last updated: April 16, 2019