What are meibomian gland tumours

These are tumours of the meibomian glands of the eyelids. These are common in older dogs and start as small bumps at the margin of the upper and lower eyelids. Many of these stay small (2 – 3mm) and do not continue to grow further, so there is never any rush to have them removed. Some of these tumours even rub or rest on the eye itself, but if they remain small, they do not appear to cause any irritation. Occasionally the tumours become “active”, and they start to become larger. Once evidence of enlargement is seen then they will only continue to grow until removed.

Treatment options

These tumours are easily removed using a “V” wedge excision of the affected eyelid. We can cut close to these tumours as they do not require large margins, thus preserving most of the eyelid. Most of these require removal of around an 1/8 to 1/4 of the affected eyelid, but even up to a 1/3 of the eyelid can be removed without noticing that surgery has been performed once healed.

Very fine sutures such as 6-0 Prolene are used to close the surgery site or re-oppose the eyelid margins. Placement of the first suture at the eyelid margin is very important. If this is located perfectly then it is often hard to tell that the affected eyelid did indeed have surgery once it has healed.

Recovery and aftercare

Pets go home with an Elizabethan collar to prevent them rubbing at the eyelid that has had surgery. Eye ointment is usually sent home with them as well to help control any conjunctival inflammation as a result of the surgery. Follow up is suture removal two weeks after surgery and we do not charge for this visit.