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Blepharoplasty Post-Operative Instructions


You can expect your eyes to swollen and bruised. This will subside over the next two weeks. Cold compresses should be kept on the area around the eyes for 24 hours to minimize swelling.  You may use a clean washcloth or gauze soaked in ice water draped over the eye area as a compress. When you use the cool gauze, make sure to only leave it on the area for 15 minutes at a time with a 15 minute break to allow the skin to return back to normal temperature.

Keep your head elevated at all times.  If you drop something, squat keeping your head elevated to pick it up. Sleep with your head elevated. You can use pillows behind your back and head to provide gentle elevation.

Pain medication and general anesthesia can cause constipation so it is helpful to begin a stool softener such as Colace a few days before surgery. If constipation is a problem after surgery you may use a glycerin suppository or Fleet enema.

Do not take your pain medication on an empty stomach. Eat a light snack, such as crackers, about 30 minutes before you take your medication.

You may wash your hair with assistance at any time following your surgery.  Be gentle during this washing.

You may shower following your return home.  Do not expose your face to hot water.  You may require assistance to stand in the shower because you are somewhat weak from the anesthetic.

Swelling will be maximal at 48-72 hours.  It will then decrease over the next two weeks.  It takes at least three months for all the swelling to resolve.

You will be able to apply makeup at seven to ten days after your surgery.  Check with our office if you have questions about this.  Clean your face of make up with a gentle cleanser.

Clean any materials from your eyelid sutures gently with water on a q-tip.  Apply a small amount of Vaseline ointment to the sutures to prevent further accumulation and keep the suture line clean.  Do this two to three times per day.  You will return approximately five to seven days post-op to begin your suture removal.

You will need to purchase over-the-counter preservative-free artificial tears (such as “Systane”, “Refresh Tears”) and ointment (such as “Restore PM”, “Systane night time ointment”). Purchase individual dose tears. Place the Refresh eye drops in your eyes every two hours while you are awake.  Use Refresh PM ointment in both eyes at night.  Continue this regimen for two to three weeks unless directed otherwise by Dr Papillion.  Your vision will be blurry due to the drops/ointment and swelling during this period.  If you have increased tearing, please contact our office.