Cyst is a benign neoformation that can also appear on the eyelids, lower or upper. Generally, to remove it, a simple surgical operation is required, as Alessandra Di Maria, an ophthalmologist and contact person for diseases of the orbit, eyelids and tear pathways of Humanitas, explains.

“Cysts of the eyelids have a capsule and contain material of various kinds. It is therefore necessary to distinguish them from other neoformations that are precisely neoformed entities made up of histologically different elements with unpredictable growth characteristics, such as tumors,” explains the specialist.


Where do the cysts come from?

Cysts can form from different glands in the eyelids, such as Moll glands or ciliary glands; these are sweat glands that are found in the follicles of the eyelashes along the edge of the eyelid. Moll cysts are small in size, roundish in shape and contain a serous liquid. Moreover, the cysts may also originate from the glands of Zeiss, sebaceous glands surrounding the lashes.

“Both Moll and Zeiss glands can form cysts that can also become chalazia and hordeola (styes), two common pathologies affecting the eyelids. Chalazion is a cyst that comes from an inflammation of a Meibomian gland, while the stye is the inflammation of a sebaceous gland. The duct of the secreting glands of the sebaceous liquid closes, the gland continues to produce the liquid and thus remains encysted,” emphasizes Dr. Di Maria.

Chronic blepharitis, i.e. inflammation of the free margin of the eyelid, favors the formation of a cyst from the Moll or Zeiss glands.


How is the diagnosis made?

Typically, the patient will report symptoms such as swelling, pain, and weight to the eye due to ongoing inflammation. If the cysts are large, it will also be difficult to open the eyelid, which will affect your vision.

The diagnosis is made by means of an eye examination, during which the type of cysts on the upper or lower eyelid of the eye is precisely identified by means of a clinical examination.


Surgical treatment

In the presence of an eyelid cyst, surgical removal is indicated in most cases. The procedure is carried out under local anesthesia and in ambulatory settings.

“An incision is made through which an attempt is made to remove the cyst while maintaining the integrity of the lid, if possible. Surgery normally leaves bruising, but does not affect visual function. Recovery is immediate. Surgery is also required for the chalazion because in most adult patients it does not resolve spontaneously, as often happens in children.

If cysts are not removed, the material may cause fistulization and skin maceration with possible aesthetic damage. The patient may also suffer from recurrent conjunctivitis,” concluded Dr. Di Maria.