Chalazion Surgery: Preparation, Recovery, Long Term Care


Chalazion surgery involves removing a chalazion, a painless, hard, elastic lump or lump that can develop on the upper or lower eyelid, although the upper eyelid is more common. Chalazia (plural of chalazion) is caused by a blockage of the oil-producing gland in the eyelid called the Meibomian gland.

Chalazion surgery is often unnecessary, as the chalazion (especially superficial ones) usually clears up on its own within a few days or weeks. But when they persist or are large and cause symptoms such as blurred vision or eye irritation, surgical removal may be indicated.

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What is Chalazi Surgery?

Chalazionic surgery is performed by an ophthalmologist or oculoplastic surgeon, a doctor who specializes in plastic and reconstructive surgeries of the eyelids and certain other parts of the face.

During this outpatient procedure, the surgeon makes an incision in the eyelid and removes the oily contents of the chalazion with a surgical instrument called a curette.

The operation can be performed for both adults and children. Local anesthesia or general anesthesia can be used, although the latter is more common in young children.

Chalazion vs barley

Sometimes chalazion can be confused with barley . The main differences are that Halasia is painless, while barley is tender, redder, and generally shows more signs of inflammation. Also, barley is usually located on the edge of the eyelid, where the calasia forms on the eyelid, away from the edges.


Any of the following can interfere with your chalazion operation:

  • The chalazion is located near the point of the eye (a small hole in the corner of the eye where tears flow).
  • Inability to stay still, although a sedative may be recommended to allow surgery.
  • Allergy or sensitivity to anesthesia.

Potential risks

Potential risks associated with chalazion surgery include:

  • General risks of surgery (eg, bleeding, bruising, infection)
  • Relapse of the chalazion or development of a new chalazion
  • Dimples or dimples on the eyelids
  • Misdirected or misplaced eyelids ( trichiasis )
  • Loss of eyelashes
  • Eye wound
  • Eyelid scar

Purpose of chalazion surgery

Chalazion surgery is performed to alleviate symptoms and any negative impact that eyelid irregularities have on the patient.

In particular, an operation can be indicated if:

  • Chalazion persists despite non-surgical treatments (warm eye compresses, light eyelid massage, prescription steroid ointment)
  • The chalazion / eyelid is infected and does not improve with antibiotics.
  • The chalazion is large and causes symptoms (eg, blurred or decreased vision, astigmatism , watery eyes, eye discomfort).

Note that your doctor may suggest an alternative, less invasive treatment, injecting corticosteroids into the chalazion, when you are being evaluated for chalazion surgery.

Halasia steroid injections are designed to reduce inflammation , as well as to reduce the redness, swelling, and pain it causes. Although considered safe and potentially beneficial, irreversible lightening of the skin may occur at the injection site.

If chalazion surgery is appropriate, further medical evaluation will likely be required if general anesthesia is planned. Usually this permission can be obtained by visiting a pediatrician or general practitioner.

How to prepare

At your preoperative appointment, your doctor will review the stages of your surgery, including the preparation and recovery processes.


Chalazion surgery is done in an office, outpatient surgery center, or hospital. The last two are the only places where the procedure can be performed under general anesthesia.

What to wear

Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing on the day of surgery. You can wear a button-down or zip-front shirt or blouse so you don't have to run it over your head at the end of the day when you're home.

If general anesthesia is planned, something that is easy to remove / apply is best as you will need to change into your hospital gown upon arrival.

Finally, do not wear makeup on the day of surgery. If you usually wear contact lenses, be sure to wear glasses that day.

Food and drink

When undergoing general anesthesia, do not eat or feed your child after midnight on the eve of surgery. Clear liquids can be allowed up to two hours before the scheduled arrival time.


Patients can probably take their usual medications on the day of chalazion surgery. But there are some exceptions, including drugs that can increase the risk of bleeding, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) .

To be safe, check with your doctor beforehand.

Before surgery, tell your doctor about all the medications you are taking, including prescription and over-the-counter medications, dietary supplements, herbal medications, and recreational medications.

What Brig

Bring your ID and insurance card on the day of your surgery. Also, bring someone to drive you home after the procedure.

If your child is about to have surgery, consider bringing his favorite stuffed animal or toy to soothe him after the procedure.

Lifestyle changes before surgery

For adults under general anesthesia, stop smoking as soon as possible before surgery.

What to Expect the Day of Surgery

This is what you can usually expect before, during, and after chalazion surgery.

Before the surgery

Upon arrival at the hospital, doctor's office, or surgical center, you will be escorted to a small waiting or pre-op room. If you are under general anesthesia, you will be asked to change into a hospital gown. The nurse will then insert an IV tube into your arm.

Your doctor will then come over to greet you and briefly discuss the procedure with you.

From there you will enter the operating room / treatment.

If your child is given chalazion under local anesthesia, he may first be given a sedative to help him fall asleep.

During the operation

Chalazic surgery takes 20 to 45 minutes.

This is how the procedure works under local anesthesia:

  • Numbness of the area: The surgery will begin with the injection of pain medicine into the eyelid around the area of the chalazion. You may feel a tingling sensation and some discomfort during the injection.
  • Placement and incision: Your surgeon will use a forceps to hold your eyelid open during the procedure. They will then make a small incision in the front or back of the eyelid, depending on the size of the chalazion. If there is a large chalazion, the incision is usually made in the front of the eyelid.
  • Extraction: A curette will be used to extract the contents of the chalazion. A cotton swab is placed over the wound to stop the bleeding. The forceps are then removed, and the doctor presses on the wound with gloved fingertips.

The incision usually heals on its own. But if a large chalazion is removed, the surgeon can close the incision site with absorbable sutures.

The contents of the chalazion can be sent to the laboratory, especially if the chalazion is present for a long time or is repetitive. A pathologist examines the contents to rule out possible eyelid cancer .

After the operation

If you have received local anesthesia, you can go home immediately after the procedure.

If you have received local anesthesia with sedatives or general anesthesia, you will be taken to the recovery area where you will slowly wake up. When you are fully awake and ready, you will be discharged home with postoperative instructions.


Recovery is expected to take about a week, although the time period may be slightly shorter or longer depending on the location and size of the chalazion.

You may experience some minor and temporary side effects from chalazion surgery, including:

  • Discomfort, bruising, and swelling of the eyelids
  • Slightly blurred vision
  • Minimal loss of red fluid from the surgical site

When you are recovering at home, your surgeon may advise you:

  • Use cold compresses on your eyes to reduce puffiness.
  • Taking Tylenol (acetaminophen) for eyelid discomfort
  • Apply an eye ointment or antibiotic drops to prevent infection.
  • Avoid contact lenses, touch your eyes, and avoid wearing eye makeup to prevent infection.
  • Avoid heavy lifting, bending, and strenuous activities to reduce bruising.
  • Wearing an eye patch that you can remove yourself the morning after surgery.

Check with your surgeon again, but you will likely be able to shower immediately after surgery. However, you may be asked to avoid getting water in your eyes for a week or so.

You will most likely also be able to resume your normal work and household chores immediately after surgery, as long as they are not subject to the above restrictions.

Your doctor will ask you to see him for your follow-up appointment one week after your procedure.

Long term care

Although recovery from chalazion surgery is relatively short, your eyelid may remain mildly sore for several weeks. As a result, your doctor may ask you to see him again a couple of months after your surgery to make sure everything goes away.

In the long term, you will also want to try to prevent the formation of new halasia.

Good habits to consider include:

  • Adoption of a daily eyelid cleaning regimen: Use baby shampoo or eyelid wipes to gently rub the edge of the eyelid (where the lashes stick out).
  • Get in the habit of washing your hands frequently, especially before touching your eyes.
  • If you wear contact lenses, clean them properly and dispose of disposable contact lenses on a schedule.
  • If you wear makeup, change your eyeshadow, eyeliner, and mascara every two months, and clean your eye makeup brushes with a mild dish soap or baby shampoo every two weeks.

In some cases, certain complementary therapies, such as omega-3 supplements and / or flaxseed oil , may be recommended to combat eyelid inflammation. Be sure to use these treatments only under the direction of your doctor.

Possible future operations

In the future, surgical interventions may be required if a new chalazion develops and / or if complications develop after surgery.

Get the word of drug information

If you think you have a chalazi, try not to worry too much. In the vast majority of cases, these bumps on the eyelids heal with simple home treatments.

If you need surgery, the good news is that your result should be excellent.

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