When you’re planning to have eyelid surgery, it’s important know what to expect after surgery. Everyone’s eyes are unique and your eyelid surgery will be customized for you. The same is true for your post-operative instructions.
Watch the video below and read on for a general overview of how to take care of yourself and achieve optimized healing after your eyelid surgery. In addition, our team has answered the most commonly FAQs we receive from our patients who have undergone eyelid surgery.
Post Operation Self-Care Guide
You just had eyelid surgery, now what?
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 Surgery
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.
Keep Your Head Elevated If You Are Having Trouble Sleeping
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.
Ice Is Your Friend
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. Cold Compress Tip: A bag of frozen peas or a washcloth that has been placed in a bowl filled with ice cubes and water both work fantastically!
Use Ointment/Eye Drops as Prescribed
Use the prescribed ointment and/or eye drops to keep your eyes the most comfortable after eyelid surgery.
Put Your Feet Up and Relax
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.
Do Not Overexert Yourself
No exercise, lifting over 10 pounds, or strenuous activity for at least 1 week after surgery.
H3: Try Not to Bend Over
Avoid bending over at your waist for the first week after surgery; instead, bend your knees to kneel down.
Stay Away From Sodium
Avoid any extra salt during recoveries, such as soup, Chinese food, and sushi to name a few, as that can lead to extra swelling.
Don’t Overdo The Concealer
Makeup may be used, after a few days, 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.
Blood Thinners are Bad
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.
Sunglasses, Sunglasses, Sunglasses
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.
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.
Post Eyelid Surgery FAQs
Will Flying on a Plane Immediately After Surgery Affect Healing?
Airplane travel right after eyelid surgery can cause problems. It’s not a good idea to fly a few hours after eyelid surgery for a several reasons. Rest is essential after eyelid surgery and any activity (including walking) increases blood flow to your eyes and raises the risk of bruising and swelling. Carrying a suitcase raises the risk even further.
When you have surgery on your eyelids, ointment is placed in your eyes immediately afterwards to protect your eyes from getting too dry. This ointment will blur your vision and make it difficult to see clearly. This makes traveling immediately following your surgery complicated.
I’m a Side Sleeper. Is it Okay To Sleep This Way After Surgery?
If you can, 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. Fluid in the eyelids is affected by gravity, so keeping your head elevated during sleep reduces the risk of swelling.
How Soon Can I Wear Makeup?
After relaxing for the first few days and some serious Netflix binge watching, you might be anxious to head outside for a change of scenery. 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.
When Can I Begin My Exercise Routine Again?
After the first few days, you can increase your activity almost back to normal. But you must wait at least a week to resume strenuous exercise such as going to the gym.
Is It Normal To Still Have Some Swelling A Few Weeks After Surgery?
Eyelids swell very easily and it takes time to heal from surgery. In the meantime, limit the amount of salt you eat because that will make your eyes swell more. If possible, continue to sleep with your head elevated.
What Our Patients Saying About Eyelid Surgery And Recovery
Meet Amy, one of Dr. Cohen’s patients. Amy had upper and lower laser blepharoplasty to treat under-eye bags and droopy eyelids. Read Amy’s full store here.
Why Drs. Cohen and Swartz?
Dr. Marc Cohen and Dr. Nancy Swartz are oculoplastic surgeons – board-certified ophthalmologists, or eye doctors, who have had additional training in plastic surgery relating to the eyes and face. We think of eyelid surgery as a team sport and will work together with you to achieve beautiful, natural results. Schedule your consultation or appointment online here.
Categorised in: Eyelid Surgery