Eyelid Lump Treatment (Chalazion, Xanthelsma) – by Leading Oculoplastic Surgeon, Dr Sabrina Shah-Desai, in London

What are Eyelid Lumps?

Benign Eyelid Lumps can take many forms; however, the most common types are:

Chalazion

A Chalazion is a Greek word meaning “small lump”. It refers to the swelling of an oil-producing gland (or “meibomian gland”) in the eyelid. A chalazion can often be confused with a stye, which also appears as a lump in the eyelid. While a stye is an infection of the lash follicle, a chalazion is an inflammatory reaction to trapped oil secretions. When a chalazion is small, it may disappear on its own; however, if it is large, it can cause blurred vision, discomfort and in some cases can cause the entire eyelid to swell suddenly (preseptal cellulitis), which needs to be treated with antibiotics. Occasionally, if a chalazion has been present for a long time, it can cause a thickening within the structure of the eyelid, which can be difficult to treat.

Papilloma /Seborrhoeic Keratoses

An eyelid papilloma is any lesion on the eyelid that is smooth, rounded, or has a pedunculated elevation. It is most probably caused by a virus and is essentially a wart on the skin. A seborrhoeic keratoses is also called a “senile wart”, but does not have a viral origin. However, it is possible that other benign eyelid lesions may take on the same appearance, as well as malignant skin lesions, especially squamous cell carcinoma (papilloma) and melanoma (pigmented seborrhoeic keratoses).

Xanthelasma

A Xanthelasma, otherwise referred to as a cholesterol deposit, is a soft yellowish subcutaneous plaque within the skin of the eyelid. They are often associated with Hyperlipidemia, familial hypercholesterolemia, or primary biliary cirrhosis but can also be seen in menopausal, diabetic and in normo-cholesterolemic patients. Some studies have shown a link between Xanthelasma and an increased risk of coronary heart disease.

Cyst

There are various cysts that can arise around the eye. Common ones include sebaceous cysts (as with any other part of the body), cysts of Moll (benign, non-tender translucent lesions arising from the apocrine sweat glands) and cysts of Zeiss (similar to cysts of Moll but containing oily secretions). However, it is possible that other malignant eyelid skin lesions may take on the same appearance, especially basal cell carcinoma.

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Patient Questions

Commonly Asked Questions about Eyelid Lump Surgery 

How can a chalazion be treated?

Chalazions are treated with any of a combination of the following methods:

Warm compresses and massage, twice per day
Soak the eyelids for 10 minutes with a hot washcloth, or wrap a just- boiled egg or new potato in a wet washcloth (as it will maintain the heat for a long time). Be careful not to burn your skin!

Steroid Injections
Steroid injections can work well if the chalazion is fresh. These can be performed in the clinic with topical anaesthesia.

Surgery
The aim of surgical correction is to incise and drain the lump. This is a simple 10-minute procedure, often performed under a local anaesthetic.

How can a xanthelasma be treated?

Xanthelasmas are treated with any of a combination of the following methods:

Argon Lasers /Trichloroacetic acid peels
The xanthelasma can be ablated with an argon laser or TCA peel. This is very useful in treating xanthelasma around the inner corner of the eye or where there is a lack of skin.

Surgery
The aim of surgical correction is to excise the lesions. This can range from a simple 30-minute procedure to a more complex 90-minute procedure, which involves sliding in a flap of normal skin, generally performed under local anaesthetic.

What are the potential risks and complications of chalazion treatments?

Complications from steroid injections are rare and include less than a 1% chance of skin hypo-pigmentation. Vision loss has been reported, but it is extremely rare. Bleeding and infection which are potential risks with any surgery are very uncommon, while minor bruising or swelling, which settles in 1-2 weeks, can be expected. The chalazion rarely recurs.

How can a papilloma or seborrhoeic keratoses be treated?

These are treated with surgical correction, with the aim being to excise the lump. It is generally a simple, 10-30 minute procedure, performed under local anaesthetic.

What are the potential risks & complications of various treatments?

Minor bruising or swelling, which settles in 1 week, can be expected. Bleeding and infection which are potential risks with any surgery are very uncommon. Visible scarring and recurrence of the papillomas can occur.

How can a cyst be treated?

Cysts are treated with surgical correction, with the aim being to excise the lump. It is generally a simple, 10-minute procedure, performed under local anaesthetic.

What are the potential risks and complications of cyst treatment?

Minor bruising or swelling, which settles in 1 week, can be expected. Bleeding and infection which are potential risks with any surgery are very uncommon. Visible scarring and recurrence of the cysts can occur.

Before & After Eyelid Lump Surgery

Disclaimer: Your results may vary. Any specific claims or length of results vary for each patient and are not guaranteed.
Papilloma /Seborrhoeic keratoses before and after pictures
Eyelid Lumps & Bumps before and after pictures

Eyelid Lump Surgery Cost

Dr. Shah-Desai’s charges are from £500 per chalazion removal at 121 Harley Street