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There are different types of tissue around the eyelid; skin, muscle, glands and fat. Lesions (or cysts) on eyelids can arise from any of these layers. Some cysts on eyelids are benign (not suspicious) like chalazion (blocked oil gland cyst), sweat gland cysts, sebaceous cysts, warts or xanthelasma (cholesterol deposit).
However, sometimes a lump on the eyelid may be a form of skin cancer and any new eyelid lumps should be checked.
Eyelid cysts can cause the eyelid to become droopy, the eye can become red and watery and can cause discomfort and an unpleasing cosmetic appearance.
Eyelid cyst removal surgery is the procedure aiming to remove lumps or cysts on the eyelid that do not resolve themselves or that might be cancerous.
Benign Eyelid Lumps (Non-cancerous)
Chalazion are common eyelid cysts which usually resolve by themselves over several weeks or months. Using a warm compress over the chalazion several times a day can help it settle quicker, but sometimes the chalazion can form a hard lump on the eyelid which can be painful and unsightly.
If this happens the cyst can easily be removed by making a hidden incision on the inside of the eyelid.Another option that may be effective in some cases, is to treat the chalazion with a course of steroid injections.
Occasionally there can be an infection around the chalazion (cellulitis) which requires treatment with antibiotics and if there is any underlying blepharitis or other skin condition, this should also be treated.Most other benign skin lesions are easily removed with a minor eyelid surgical procedure.
Suspicious Eyelid Lumps (Potentially cancerous)
Sometimes a biopsy is needed to confirm what the lesion is and to plan further treatment. If a cancer is diagnosed, the aim of managing any confirmed eyelid cancer is to completely remove the affected area followed by surgical reconstruction to give the best cosmetic result.
Initially you will have a consultation with your surgeon, during which the treatment options, including surgical options, will be fully explained to you. There will also be a detailed discussion on expected surgical results, risks and benefits of surgery and the care that will be required before and after the surgery. Photographs will be taken, as will a detailed medical history. Please let your consultant know about any medication that you take, any allergies, if you have had previous surgery and your smoking habits.
A full examination of your face and eyelids will be carried out to assess your eyes, eyelids, skin, eyelid laxity (how loose the eyelids are) and whether you have any conditions like blepharitis or dry eyes which can affect the surgery. It may be necessary to treat an underlying condition first and carry out scans before any surgery, in order to give you the best outcome.
Surgical removal of eye lid cysts can be carried out under local anaesthesia, with mild sedation or under general anaesthesia. Your surgeon will discuss these with you so that you can decide which options will be best suited to you. Whichever form of anaesthetic is used, the surgical area will be numbed so that you do not feel any pain.
Sedation causes you to be in a calm and relaxed state, but you will be able to respond to instructions. General anaesthesia involves complete loss of consciousness.
If you need eyelid reconstruction, this is usually performed using sedation or general anaesthesia due to the longer surgical time.
You will be given clear instructions when to stop eating and drinking before your surgery. This is usually 6 hours prior to surgery with sedation or general anaesthesia, although clear fluids (water) can be taken up to 2 hours before surgery. Do not wear any makeup or face cream on the day of surgery.
Smokers will be asked to stop smoking at least 6 weeks prior to surgery and for 2 weeks following surgery, as smoking delays the healing process and causes a higher risk of complications. If you take any non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Aspirin or Voltarol, Warfarin or NOACS like Apixaban you will be instructed on when to stop or reduce the dose of these drugs.
Should you require medication to treat a heart or lung condition, your surgeon will check with your cardiologist or chest doctor which drugs can be safely stopped temporarily.
A dressing will be applied to cover the surgical area that can usually be removed the following day after the procedure. It is common for your vision to be blurry after the surgery as a thick antibiotic ointment is applied into your eyes to prevent against infection and to stop the front surface of your eyes from drying out. This blurred vision will gradually settle. You will be given eye drops and ointment to use in your eyes and on your eyelids after the surgery.
The majority of patients will return home on the same day as their surgery, but if needed an overnight stay can be arranged. You will be given written instructions for your postoperative care.
Swelling and bruising is normal following eyelid surgery. This should start to settle 1-2 weeks after surgery. In some people, it can take longer to settle. We recommend you use ice packs for the first 10 days following eyelid surgery. Frozen peas placed in a small plastic bag and covered in a thin cloth is an effective icepack. This can then be gently placed on the wound up to 6 times a day, without rubbing or placing any pressure on the wound.
Surgery for most benign skin lesions is straightforward. If eyelid reconstruction has been carried out, recovery can take longer. For the first 7 days after reconstructive surgery, sleeping semi-upright with several pillows placed underneath your head will help the swelling to settle. You will be given eye shields to cover your eyes at night to protect the wounds whilst you are sleeping.
Anything more than gentle exercise (like walking) should be avoided for at least 2 weeks following surgery and swimming should be avoided for at least 6 weeks post-operatively. Make up can be worn again 3-4 weeks after surgery. As the eyelid wounds heal, they may become “itchy” – it is important not to rub your eyes or eyelids following surgery. Contact lens wear should also be avoided for the first 2 weeks after surgery.
Recovery time varies but we advise you rest for the first few days after surgery. Working from home on a computer should be fine after 2 days, but it is important to keep your eyes well lubricated with the eyedrops that you have been given. Most patients who have undergone surgery for benign eyelid cysts can return to work after 1-2 days, but following reconstruction it is advisable to take 2 weeks off work.
If you have had sutures during surgery, these are usually removed 10 days after surgery if the wounds are healing well. We like to take photographs at your first post-operative visit and again 3 months later.
Finance Options/Interest Free Credit
We also offer 0% interest finance options making it easier to spread the cost of surgery over up to 24 months.
A minimum 10% deposit is required and the balance is split over your chosen monthly period of either 6, 12 or 24 months at a rate of 0% APR.
Get in touch to find out more about our flexible pricing options and how we can make it work for you.
OCL Vision’s oculoplastic surgeon, Miss Susan Sarangapani, offers both surgical and non-surgical cosmetic treatments, sometimes combining both as appropriate. This holistic approach allows her to personalise care for each patient and deliver optimal results.
Susan Sarangapani specialises in natural-looking results with strong attention to detail, alongside an empathetic consultative approach to ensure she understands exactly what every patient is looking for.
Susan Sarangapani is part of OCL Vision, a group of expert eye surgeons offering consultation, treatment and surgery onsite in one place. Choose from our central London location (close to Harley Street) or Elstree, Hertfordshire.
Susan Sarangapani is an expert in her field and has undertaken a fellowship at the internationally renowned Craniofacial Unit of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, ensuring extensive training in facial and eyelid reconstruction surgery.
Miss Susan Sarangapani specialises in Oculoplastics; she uses both surgical and non-surgical treatments to achieve outstanding natural-looking results in eyelid and facial restoration treatment. Susan offers personalised care and takes an empathetic approach when providing consultation.
Susan can be seen at our clinic in New Cavendish Street in Central London, as well as in Elstree, Hertfordshire.
If you would like to discuss potential eyelid cyst removal surgery options, make an enquiry or call us on 0203 369 2020