Healing After Eyelid Surgery

February 12, 2015 10:19 pm 1 Comment

So you’ve made the big decision to look and feel younger by having eyelid surgery and are now wondering what recovery will be like. The keys to a fast and stress-free recovery are patience and taking it easy. Here are some tips to help you look your best the quickest after having your procedure:

  • The day of eyelid surgery, rest with your head elevated higher than your heart and use ice packs on your eyes for the remainder of the day.
  • If you are able to, sleep the first few nights after surgery with your head elevated above your heart, such as in a recliner chair or propped up with pillows in bed.
  • Use ice packs on and off for the first 24 hours, then at least four times per day for 2-3 days, followed by warm compresses (if applicable). Methods that also work well are a bag of frozen peas or a washcloth that you’ve placed in a bowl filled with ice cubes and water.
  • Use the prescribed ointment and/or eye drops to keep your eyes the most comfortable after eyelid surgery.
  • Take it easy for the first several days after surgery. Have a family member or friend stay over to help you the first night, and to help you with meals when you get home from surgery.
  • No exercise, lifting over 10 pounds, or strenuous activity for at least 1 week after surgery.
  • Avoid bending over at your waist for the first week after surgery; instead, bend your knees to kneel down.
  • Some patients like to read a book, watch tv, or use their computers as tolerable after surgery.
  • Avoid any extra salt during recoveries, such as soup, Chinese food, and sushi to name a few, as that can lead to extra swelling.
  • Many patients just relax during the first few days and then are eager to get out of the house.  Makeup may be used during that time to cover up bruises on the lower eyelids and tear trough area, but not over any incisions or upper eyelids until the day after sutures come out.
  • Do not use any pain relievers after surgery that may thin the blood, such as Advil, Ibuprofen, Motrin, Aleve, Naproxen, or Aspirin. Tylenol or Acetaminophen is acceptable to use. Your surgeon will let you know before surgery regarding any prescription blood thinners and how long to stop those for.
  • When venturing outside after your eyelid surgery, wear large sunglasses that would cover any bruising that you may have. You should also wear sunblock over any reddened or bruised areas (just not over any sutured areas) for as long as the redness or bruising remains. If it is windy that day, be sure to use a lubricating eye drop since your eyes may be more sensitive or dry.

Just keep in mind that some bruising, swelling, and redness is common after eyelid surgery.  Your surgeon will discuss with you how long that may be expected for on an individual basis during your consultation.

Now that you’ve learned a bit about healing after eyelid surgery, if you’d like to know more about the eyelid surgery procedure itself, visit our upper eyelid surgery, lower eyelid surgery, and eye bag surgery pages!


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