When is surgical care indicated in the treatment of a hordeolum (stye)?

Updated: Nov 19, 2018
  • Author: Michael P Ehrenhaus, MD; Chief Editor: Edsel Ing, MD, MPH, FRCSC  more...
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Incision and drainage is indicated if the hordeolum is large or if it is refractory to medical therapy.

Incision and drainage is done under local anesthesia, and the incision is made through the skin and orbicularis (in the case of external hordeola) or through the tarsal conjunctiva and tarsus (in the case of internal hordeola). The specimen should be sent for histopathological evaluation to confirm the diagnosis and to rule out a more sinister pathology (eg, basal cell carcinoma).

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