Knowing what to do in terms of eyelid surgery aftercare can help you to speed up your recovery time and avoid unnecessary complications. Remember to follow your surgeon’s instructions as closely as possible and if you have any concerns about your healing or recovery you should raise them with your surgeon as soon as possible.
What To Expect After Your Surgery?
How Will You Feel?
You should discuss expectations with your surgeon prior to surgery, so you are well prepared. It is quite common for eyes to be completely bandaged after eyelid surgery, at least for the first night. You can expect the most discomfort immediately after you are discharged, but this should improve steadily in the days following your procedure.
Some bruising, swelling and redness are to be expected, and the swelling may be present for up to two weeks. Your eyes may also burn or feel itchy but you must not touch or rub them, even through the bandages. You may also experience a sticky discharge from your eyes for the first week.
Once the bandages have been removed, you might also experience blurred vision, teary eyes, light sensitivity or double vision. It may also be uncomfortable to close your eyes when you sleep.
Blepharoplasty Aftercare Instructions
Most procedures go to plan because your surgeon will manage your risk factors to ensure safe eyelid surgery. In general, the majority of patients are able to return to work 10 to 14 days after their eyelid surgery, but there are some eyelid surgery aftercare instructions you should be aware of, which may contribute to a faster recovery.
Make sure you have someone to drive you home after eyelid surgery. It is also very helpful if someone can help you at home for the first few days after your surgery.
Make sure you drink plenty of fluids as constipation is a common side effect of dehydration and pain medications. You can manage constipation by drinking lots of fluids, eating fruit and vegetables and walking regularly as part of your eyelid surgery aftercare.
Use Your Prescribed Pain Medication
Only use pain medication prescribed by your surgeon as you should avoid aspirin during your recovery (many pain medications contain aspirin). Remember you should not drive or operate machinery while you are taking pain medication.
Avoid Alcohol And Cigarettes
You should avoid alcohol for at least three weeks post-surgery as it can interfere with your ability to heal. You should also quit smoking before your procedure but if you don’t, you should not smoke during your recovery phase as it can cause complications and increase your chance of developing an infection. You should also avoid being around smokers.
Get Plenty Of Rest
One of the best things you can do to speed up healing and recovery is to rest. You should aim to rest as much as possible for the first three to five days following eyelid surgery. But you should make sure that you sleep or lie down with your head elevated at a 45-degree angle as lying flat can cause swelling.
You also need to give your eyes a rest and a chance to recover. That means avoiding reading and watching television too, for the first two or three days after surgery.
Exercise And Activity Levels
You should discuss your specific activity levels with your surgeon, but generally, activities that increase your heart rate, bending over and heavy lifting should be avoided until you get the go-ahead from your surgeon, which is usually two to three weeks post-surgery, depending on how well you are healing.
However, walking is an important activity that you should resume as soon as possible after eyelid surgery because it can help to reduce your chances of developing blood clots, constipation and developing pneumonia.
Eyelid Surgery Aftercare: Caring For The Incision
Manage Your Sun Exposure
You should not expose your wound or scar to the sun for at least 12 months after surgery. Make sure you use a good sunblock with a sun protection factor of at least 30 and wear oversized sunglasses if you cannot stay out of the sun.
Use a saline compress to reduce swelling and provide you with some pain relief. Using a compress for the first 24 hours may also help to reduce bruising.
If you wear contact lenses, you will have to wait about two weeks before you can start wearing them again.
Healing takes place gradually and it is quite normal for your scars to stay light pink for up to six months after your surgery. You may wish to cover them with make-up until they fade away.
When Should You Seek Medical Advice?
You should contact your plastic surgeon in the event that any of the following complications occur after eyelid surgery
● In the event that your swelling, bruising or pain increases rather than decreases
● If redness or swelling along the incision increases as this may be a sign of an infection
● If you experience severe pain
● If you experience side effects from your pain medication such as nausea, vomiting or dizziness, a rash or constipation
● If you notice an unusual discharge or a bad smell coming from your surgical site.
Do you still have questions about eyelid surgery aftercare or concerns about your healing process? It’s always best to speak to a professional. Please contact us for a convenient appointment: (02) 9158 6375.