The swelling of one or both eyelids is one of the most common medical problems encountered in a non-emergency healthcare setup. Curiously, among the most stigmatic of these diagnoses is the conjunctival granuloma or better known as a chalazion. In a layman’s general understanding, a chalazion is the messier and more painful progression of a stye (hordeolum).
Characterized by an enlarged tender eyelid nodule, a chalazion is caused by an obstruction of the ocular sebaceous glands. Other observable symptoms may include heaviness of the eyelid/s, increased sensitivity to light, constant shedding of tears, and even fever.
According to E-Medicine, there are over 14 associated medical causes for chalazion. However, it is generally understood that the disease may stem from either trauma, immune system deficiency, or even to some degree a combination of either principal triggers.
Despite the common occurrence of chalazion in the United States, there is no comprehensive data that precisely determines its nationwide prevalence. Although this infection indiscriminately affects all age groups, it is generally understood that adults between 30 and 50 years old are the most susceptible category.
Following an eye exam ($128), an ophthalmologist may recommend several options for remedy. These may include eyelid surgery, steroid injection, antibiotic prescription, alternative medications, or even doing nothing more than bed rest. Apart from the patient’s physiological constitution, choosing the type of treatment may often come down to the ‘relatively acceptable’ cost to remove chalazion in the system.
Average Chalazion Surgery Cost
A non-cosmetic eyelid surgery often proves to be the most drastic of all solutions for removing chalazion. It is often prescribed for patients with severely infected eyelid tissue that may potentially progress into a malignant skin sarcoma.
According to Real Self, the average chalazion surgery cost is anywhere between the broad price range of $525 to $8,400. Considering the enormity of the nationwide scope and how exact prices may differ in various locations, one may refer to the following examples of low cost (uninsured) areas within each well-known populous state in America:
- Korea Town, Los Angeles: $1,920
- Gordon, Fresno: $2,250
- Greenbrae, San Francisco: $2,350
- River Oaks, Houston: $1,800
- Northwest Hills, Austin: $1,883
- Plano, Dallas : $2,400
- Brandon, Tampa: $1,800
- Coral Gables, Miami: $2,000
- Valencia Heights, Lakeland: $2,200
- Woodmere, Long Island: $1,750
- White Plains, New York: $1,861
- Brooklyn, New York: $1,933
- Clark-Fulton, Cleveland: $1,700
- Powell, Delaware: $2,000
- Worthington, Columbus: $2,500
Steroid Injection Treatment
As mentioned earlier, medical operations only constitute one of the several methods of removing chalazion. Considering the relatively exorbitant chalazion surgery cost, a milder form of invasive remedy administered by healthcare professionals is steroid injection.
The British Journal of Ophthalmology in published a paper in 1984 discussing in detail how the injection of the steroid suspension triamcinolone acetonide (10 mg/ml) effectively treated chalazion. Yielding 77% success for preliminary injection and 90% success for the injection accompanied by surgery, the procedure is presently a widely observed non-surgical treatment.
In a 2016 discussion by Steady Health, one of the respondents estimated the cost of steroid injection to be anywhere around $60 every 3 months. However, it is important to understand that this figure exclusively reflects the expected price for insured patients disbursing via a specific copay policy. Excluding the service cost of the administering physician/nurse, the conservative estimate for the price of triamcinolone acetonide 10 mg/ml is around $30.48.
Generic Antibiotic Prescription
Apart from the cost to remove chalazion itself, one of the important considerations for patient consumers also involves ‘safety.’ It is important to understand that regardless of the efficiency of surgery and injections, there is no complete guarantee against possible post-operative complications. In fact, a huge part of such treatment rides on the competence and motor precision of the administering healthcare personnel.
Unless the chalazion has not yet progressed to a degree that strongly requires surgery, physicians may recommend a generic antibiotic prescription. The one advantage this form of treatment has over surgery and injection is that it does not require fine motor skills to swallow a pill.
As of June 2017, the average cost of Doxycycline Hyclate (generic for Vibramcyn and Doryx) is around $82.25. However one can procure this drug at a cheaper cost under Good Rx providers. One can avail the following bargain prices at these outlets:
- Target CVS: $20.14 (with free coupon)
- Health Warehouse: $20.80 (online purchase)
- Duane Reade: $23.50 (with free coupon)
- CVS Pharmacy: $29.03 (with free coupon)
- Walgreens: $29.03 (with free coupon)
- Rite–Aid: $29.99 (with free membership)
- Kmart: $49.33 (with free coupon)
The Theralife Alternative
Aside from the number of options mentioned earlier, it is interesting to take note that there are consumers who would opt for ‘alternative medicine’ as a viable recourse. Among the well-known producers of non-prescription drugs in the country is a California-based company called Theralife. They sell products that are not only designed to keep consumers from worrying about the burden of the cost to remove chalazion but are also geared towards safer and healthier treatment.
Theralife’s emphasizes the patient’s responsibility to maintain optimal hygiene as a foolproof eye care method for controlling persistent chalazion. These are the following goods sold on their page:
- Theralife Eye Enhanced: $99 (4 capsule bottles per month)
- Eye Lid Cleanser: $70 (1 eye drop bottle)
- Theralife Fish Oil capsules: $49.98 (1 capsule bottle)
- Hot Compress: $24.95 (1 elastic gel pad)
Chalazion Treatment Overseas
It stands to reason that the average chalazion surgery cost for the uninsured American consumers normally exceed $1,000. If surgery proves to be the most favorable method for a patient (regardless of the physician’s assessment), the only way to avail this treatment at a reduced cost is getting medical treatment abroad. There are at least four hospitals overseas that offer chalazion surgery that costs lower than $700. Medigo highlights the following world class facilities:
Cedars – Jebel International Hospital
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
JCI Accreditation: Year 2012
Treatment cost: from $626
Bati Goz Eye Clinic
ISO 9001 Certificate: Year 2000
Treatment cost: from $630
Dr. Agarwal’s Eye Hospital
Overseas branches: Mauritius, Mozambique, Madagascar, Seychelles, Zambia, Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, Rwanda.
Treatment cost: from $620
Jelenia Gora, Poland
ISO 9001 Certificate: Year 2009
Treatment cost: from $114