AIM To study prospectively the outcome of conservative and surgical treatment of chalazia provided by medical and nursing staff.
METHODS During a 5 month recruitment period all patients attending a district general eye hospital for treatment of chalazion were included in the study. 129 patients (217 visits) with chalazia were seen by either a senior nurse or a trainee ophthalmologist (senior house officer, SHO) or both. Patients received either conservative treatment or eversion of the eyelid with incision and curettage. Patients were mailed a questionnaire asking them if their cyst had resolved and how they rated their treatment. Marginal cost analysis was used to determine the cost of treatment.
RESULTS The outcome of treatment could be determined in 170 of the 217 visits. Conservative treatment was successful for 29% of cysts while surgical treatment was successful for 72%. There was no significant difference in treatment outcome between nurse and SHO groups. Patients found nurse treatment acceptable with a high level of patient satisfaction. The marginal cost of treatment by a nurse was £9.91 per cyst compared with £12.10 for SHOs. There were no surgical complications and no evidence of malignancy in six biopsies.
CONCLUSIONS Surgical treatment of chalazion is safe and effective and successfully treats approximately three quarters of selected cysts. With conservative treatment approximately one third of selected chalazia will resolve within 3 months. Nurse treatment of chalazion is safe, effective, and acceptable to patients.
- treatment outcome
- patient satisfaction
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