Risks of Steroid Injections Around the Eyelid

A patient recently asked the following question on Healthtap:

I had my chalazion removed almost 2 weeks ago on my upper eyelid and it’s still swollen and now it’s starting to get swolen under my eye? 

Here was my response:

Could be there is still scar tissue in that gland or an adjacent gland. There are about 20-25 glands in the upper eyelid & each gland can get clogged/chalazion. See your surgeon about injecting a small amount of steroid (risks: see eyedoc2020@blogspot.com) or re-excision which is sometimes needed. 

There was not enough room due to word-limit to add the following.

Risks of injecting steroid in lids (to shrink persistent scar tissues in the meibomian gland) is very rare but include the following:
1. Most common risk: steroid does not help at all.
2. Other risks: slight whitening of area that can be permanent; rarely is the whitening very large (depends on how much steroid is injected). I usually inject <0.1-0.2 cc at most. If scar is still present and patient wants to avoid further excision, I inject more.
2. Extremely rare: Loss of vision from a artery or vein occlusion. I have never seen this happen in any of my patients or any of my colleague’s patients but it has been reported in the literature. 

See lid hygiene to avoid new swelling of lid:
Shopping Cart