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Surgery for eyelid lumps and bumps / Chalazion, papilloma - A State of Sight #124

Growths or bumps on the eyelids can often be treated surgically in the office. These most commonly could be from a chalazion, a papilloma, or a cyst.

Watch this episode of A State of Sight with Isaac Porter, MD to learn more about these eyelid problems and the potential operation to remove them.



Welcome to A State of Sight, I’m Isaac Porter and this is your update in ophthalmology and eye care from Raleigh. Today, I would like to explain how we treat different lumps and bumps that can appear on the eyelids. These can usually be removed surgically, most of the time with a procedure here in our office.


First, I would like to discuss a few of the most common problems or growths that we see on the eyelids. Papillomas arise from the skin and they can come up quickly or sometimes grow more slowly over time. Alternatively, cysts can also occur on the eyelids. Sometimes these are clear fluid filled cysts and sometimes they may be white in appearance.


A chalazion is one of the most common bumps on the eyelids. This can be from a blocked oil gland. It can develop quickly and cause redness and pain in the area. Once the redness resolves, a knot may remain in the eyelid for an extended period of time (months to years).


There are a few malignant tumors that can occur on the eyelids, but they are less common than the problems listed above. Basal cell carcinoma is the most common malignancy of the eyelid. Squamous cell carcinoma is present less frequently than basal cell, but it can be more invasive.


In order to treat eyelid growths or a chalazion, we first give an injection of numbing medicine (local anesthesia) into the eyelid. This will sting and burn, but it won’t last very long and it is very effective in numbing the eyelid to make our patients comfortable for the remainder of the procedure.


Next, we carefully clean and prep the area to try to kill any bacteria that may be present. Then, we can proceed to make an incision to remove the bump or lump from the eyelid.


For the problems that are on surface of the skin we usually remove them at the level of the skin. If they are deeper, we may have to go a little bit deeper into the eyelid. Depending on what we have to remove and the depth, we may need to repair the eyelid with sutures or let it heal spontaneously.


With a chalazion, I prefer to go underneath the eyelid on the inside to open and drain this blocked oil gland to remove it. The inner layer is left open to heal on its own as it resolves.


If a lesion is removed from the eyelid, we will send it to pathology so they can look at it under a microscope and let us know the exact identification of the problem, especially if there is a chance for a malignant growth.


If you have any questions about any spots on your eyelids or the procedures that may be needed to repair it, please post and we will be happy to answer them. We hope to see you again soon, next time on A State of Sight.