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When should a chalazion be incised and curetted?

This depends largely on the symptoms:

  • the size of the lump
  • whether it is distorting the vision
  • discomfort
  • suspicion of atypical chalazia needing exclusion of malignancy

The decision whether to have a chalazion operated on depends largely on the patient and the doctor, following an examination.
At Clinica London, we see patients with chalazia on a daily basis and advise them on the need for surgery, or not. Because patients will have either self-referred to Clinica London, been referred by their GP, or recommended by their private medical insurance, we are seeing mainly the patients who want an incision and curettage.
We treat chalazia surgically in over 90% of patients and as a result, have a high success rate. A small number of chalazia do not go away fully with an incision and curettage, and this is either because the incision has been too small, it is too active, or often the adjacent meibomian glands are ‘chalazia prone’ and they develop another blocked meibomian gland close to the first one.
I often see in patients with chalazia a whole stretch of the eyelid where there is particularly severe meibomian gland dysfunction, with plugging and retention of meibum and early inflammatory signs. These are the future chalazia and have to be treated actively post initial chalazia incision and curettage.
So in summary, do chalazia go away? Yes, a large number of them do go away, but most of the ones that come to see us are self-selected, needing incision and curettage. At Clinica London Jane Olver, Jaheed Khan and Laura Crawley all do incision and curettage of chalazia. We have a special package price for patients who do not have personal private medical insurance.

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