Can a Stye be Surgically Removed?

Can a Stye be Surgically Removed?

Styes, also known as chalazions, are common eyelid infections that can be bothersome and unsightly. In most cases, styes can be treated with conservative measures such as warm compresses, lid scrubs, and antibiotic ointments. However, there are instances where surgical removal may be necessary. In this blog, we will explore the circumstances in which a stye may require surgical intervention, the procedure itself, and what to expect during the recovery process.


When is Surgical Removal Necessary?

Surgical removal of a stye is typically considered when other treatment options have not been successful or when the stye persists for an extended period. Some factors that may warrant surgical intervention include:

Size of the Lesion: Larger styes that do not respond to conservative treatments may require surgical removal. When a stye becomes significantly enlarged, it can cause discomfort, blur vision, or interfere with normal eyelid function.

Location of the Lesion: Styes located on the inner surface of the eyelid or along the eyelid margin near the lash line can be particularly challenging to treat effectively. Surgical removal may be necessary if the stye is in a difficult-to-reach location or if it is causing persistent irritation.

Duration of the Lesion: Most styes resolve within a week or two with proper care and treatment. If a stye persists for an extended period or recurs frequently, surgical removal may be considered to address any underlying issues and prevent complications.

It is important to consult with an eye care professional to evaluate the severity of your stye and determine if surgery is the appropriate course of action.


The Surgical Procedure

Surgical removal of a stye is a straightforward procedure typically performed in an outpatient setting. It involves the following steps:

Anesthesia: The eye area will be anesthetized to ensure your comfort during the procedure. This may involve the use of local anesthesia administered with eye drops or an injection near the area.

Incision or Excision: Depending on the size and location of the stye, your eye care professional will make a small incision or excise the lesion. The goal is to remove the entire stye and any associated infected material.

Drainage and Cleaning: After making the incision or removing the stye, any accumulated pus or discharge will be gently drained and the affected area will be thoroughly cleaned.

Closure: In most cases, sutures or adhesive strips are not required. The incision or excision site is left open to heal naturally. However, if sutures are necessary, they will be very fine and typically dissolve on their own.

The procedure is relatively quick and is performed with precision to minimize any discomfort or potential complications. Your eye care professional will provide detailed pre-operative instructions and address any concerns you may have before the surgery.


Post-op Stye Follow-up Care

Following the surgical removal of a stye, it is common to experience some tenderness or mild swelling in the affected area. This discomfort can typically be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers and ice packs. Your eye care professional may also prescribe antibiotic ointments or drops to prevent infection and promote healing.

It is important to adhere to the post-operative instructions provided by your eye care professional. This may include avoiding certain activities, maintaining proper hygiene, and attending follow-up appointments to monitor the healing process.

While surgical removal of a stye is generally safe and effective, it is essential to note that there may be a small risk of complications, such as small areas of scarring or eyelid contour irregularities. However, these risks are minimal and should not overshadow the potential benefits of the procedure.


Dr. Jorge Malouf and the staff of the Malouf Eye specialize in a variety of ophthalmologic conditions and treatments including cataract surgery, glaucoma surgery, strabismus surgery, neuro-ophthalmology exams, oculoplastics, diabetes and more.  Call our ophthalmologist in Tampa, FL today at 813-798-2020 if you are interested in learning more about Why is it important to consult an expert before deciding to have a stye be surgically removed?.  Our eye doctor provides only the highest quality eye care and surgical services amongst eye doctors in the Tampa, Florida area.