After Surgery Instructions: Eyelid Surgery

Normal Things: Expect that your eyelids will be swollen after the surgery. The swelling may be increased the following morning. To keep swelling at a minimum, keep crushed ice packs over your eyelids as much as possible the first night. By the next morning, the ice will have less effect and is not necessary. It is also helpful to sleep with your head elevated. This is best accomplished by sleeping with your back and head propped on several pillows or to sleep in a recliner chair for a couple nights. You may have some bloody drainage from the eye. This is also normal. You will most likely have some bruising around the eyes. Often, it takes several days for the bruising to fully show up.

Medications: Take the Vicodin for pain every 4 hours if you need it for discomfort. Take it less often if your discomfort is controlled. If you get nausea from the Vicodin, try taking a half a pill at a time. Take the antibiotics (Cipro) and Arnica as directed. The Maxitrol (antibiotic) ointment should be put on the eyelid skin incisions (if you have them) and in the eye at bedtime (if you have the incision there) as directed. The artificial tears are for use if your eyes get dry during the day. The ointment is for bedtime so that your eyes do not dry when you are sleeping.

If your eyes feel scratchy or burn: This sensation is common after eyelid surgery. It is from the surgery and usually resolves in the first week. The eye drops and ointment usually help.

If you have more tears than usual or your eyes are more dry than usual: Extra tearing or unusual dryness is common after eyelid surgery. It is because the normal tear production is altered temporarily by the surgery and swelling. Crusting on your lashes is also common in the morning for the same reason. Use the drops and ointment for dry eyes.

If your vision is blurry: This is common after eyelid surgery for a couple of days. It is usually caused by the altered tear production. The ointment can also cause your vision to be blurred.

Makeup: It is best to avoid makeup directly where an incision is on the eyelids in the first week. Cover-up makeup can be used away from the incisions to conceal bruising.

Glasses and contact lenses: Glasses are fine to wear after your surgery. You should not wear contacts for 2 weeks after eyelid surgery.

Activity: You should take it easy after your surgery even if you feel fine. Vigorous physical activity can cause bleeding or break sutures. Wait for several weeks to begin vigorous activity.

Showering: Getting your face and eyelids wet is fine 48 hours after your surgery. Try to avoid direct shower spray on your eyes. Pat your face dry and try not to rub the sutures.