The following is a list of general instructions for your care following your surgery. Please read them carefully several times as most of your questions should be answered here. Instructions for your care will also be reviewed the morning after surgery. Carefully following these instructions should help you get the best results from your surgery.
It is important to keep cold compresses on the eyes the first 48 hours after surgery. This can be done with cold wash clothes from a basin of ice water or with Swiss Therapy Mask. Do not use an ice bag. Wash clothes should be changed every 20 to 30 minutes through the first night to keep them cool. You should plan on remaining within thirty miles from the location of your surgery for this first night. It is also important for you to keep your head elevated the evening after surgery as well as for the first two weeks following surgery. This can be done by either sleeping in a recliner tilted at 45 degrees or sleeping with two pillows underneath the head. Avoid rolling onto your face. Sleeping on your back for the first two weeks after surgery helps to ensure this.
This care will be reviewed the morning following your surgery:
- Apply two to three drops of the Bion tears drops in each eye three times a day (Do this prior to cleaning the suture line).
- Go over suture lines three times daily with hydrogen peroxide on a Q-tip. After this again with a Q-tip apply a liberal amount of the antibiotic ointment (Bacitracin ophthalmic or Maxitrol ointment).
- At night, put a small amount of either lubricating ointment or if not available antibiotic ointment in the eye to keep them moist.
- You may shower the second day following surgery and should shower everyday following this. Be sure to use a gentle shampoo such as Johnson’s Baby Shampoo.
- Be sure to report immediately any signs of bleeding that persist after ten minutes of direct pressure, infection, redness, fever, unusual drainage, or pain.
- Stitches will be removed at the one-week point.
What to expect
Swelling will vary both patient-to-patient as well as side-to-side. Swelling may actually increase the first three to four days before subsiding. Most of your swelling should resolve over the first two to three weeks. Do expect, however, to have minor fluctuations in the remaining swelling over the course of the next two to three months. Things to do to minimize this swelling include keeping your head elevated as much as possible over the first two to three weeks, avoid bending over or heavy lifting for the first three weeks, and avoiding prolonged sun exposure for the first two to three months.
Bruising will vary like swelling from person to person as well as side-to-side. Most bruising and discoloration should resolve over the first two weeks. Make up, with Dr. Hamilton’s permission, can be applied ten days to two weeks after surgery.
This can occasionally occur, especially for those patients with low tear production to begin with. With dry eyes, your eyes will feel as if you have sand in them. They may look bloodshot or develop a yellowish swelling or film. Although annoying and uncomfortable, this is a temporary condition. Dr. Hamilton will work with you to expedite the resolution of the dry eyes as well as to make you more comfortable.
- No strenuous exercise for at least two weeks.
- No heavy lifting for three weeks.
- Wait ten days to two weeks prior to putting your contacts in. You may begin wearing your glasses the day following surgery.
- No tweezing of the eyebrow for two weeks.
- Hair coloring should be delayed for four weeks after surgery.
- No driving for one, preferably two weeks after surgery.
- Eye shadow and false eyelashes should not be applied for two weeks after surgery.
- Make up should not be applied for two weeks after surgery.
The healing time for blepharoplasty surgery is often less than expected and the results are worth the wait. While swelling should be completely gone after four to six weeks, your healing will continue for the entire first year. I will follow you through this entire process, but be patient.
Please do not hesitate to ever contact our office.
Mark M. Hamilton, M.D., F.A.C.S.