These instructions are meant to help you considering what you are going to be experiencing and the rough measures to be taken after a blepharoplasty.
These are not meant to substitute the advice given to you by your own surgeon or cosmetic clinic undergoing your own procedure. If in doubt please refer to your clinic for advice.
Everyone experiences some pain in their eyelids and face after surgery. Most people take only plain acetaminophen (Tylenol) and Celebrex as prescribed for pain control. If you are unable to take Celebrex, acetaminophen alone may be sufficient. Begin taking acetaminophen elixir (liquid) or tablets for pain as soon as possible after surgery. If this is not sufficient to control your pain, begin taking any prescribed narcotic(Vicodin, Percocet, Darvocet, Tylenol #3) pain pills as directed. If you did not receive a prescription for narcotic pain medication and you feel you need something stronger for pain control, please contact your clinic. Prescribed narcotic pain medications can make you sick to your stomach. Take them only after you have had something to eat. It is recommended you take a dose of either acetaminophen or narcotic pain medication before you go to bed the first night or evening after surgery. Set an alarm clock to wake yourself up 4 hours after you go to bed. Take a second dose of the same pain medication then resume your rest until morning.
Ice application during the first 24 hours after surgery will also reduce pain and swelling. Apply ice bags to your eyelids and cheeks for 20 minutes at a time followed by 10 minutes of rest. In other words, apply ice to your eyelids and cheeks for 20 minutes of every half an hour. When applying the ice bags make sure there is a small amount of water in with the ice at all times. Your skin should feel cool to the touch. Do not use frozen gel packs. It is not necessary to apply ice while you are sleeping at night.
Do not take aspirin or ibuprofen-containing products (After Surgery Medications) for two days after your surgery. These may cause excessive bleeding that could ruin the result of your surgery.
Drink only liquids for the first few hours after surgery. Advance slowly to small, light meals. If you experience nausea or vomiting more than two times, contact your clinic and your doctor so you can be prescribed something to reduce this. Excessive vomiting and retching can result in bleeding beneath the skin that will require more surgery.
You must have an adult (older than 18 years old) take you home and remain with you continuously for 24 hours after your surgery. Although rare, emergencies do occur. You need to have an adult with you in the event you need help. You must have help to the bathroom the first few times in case you experience dizziness or light-headedness.
Do not do anything that requires mental or physical coordination for 48 hours or for as long as you are taking prescription pain pills. This includes driving a car, truck, tractor, or operating machinery, power tools or appliances. The pain medicines and the anaesthesia drugs interfere with your good judgement and coordination.
Swelling is a normal part of eyelid surgery. Swelling will involve the eyelids and face. It can even extend onto the neck. Elevating the head of your bed for two to three days will minimise swelling. You may sit in a chair. Avoid activities that involve bending over or straining. Applying ice to your eyelids and face will also help. When applying the ice bags make sure there is a small amount of water in with the ice at all times. Your skin should feel cool to the touch. Do not use frozen gel packs. Reducing the swelling reduces the pain after your surgery.
Gently get out of bed as soon as possible after your surgery. When you get up, sit with your legs hanging over the edge of the bed or chair for a few minutes before standing. This will help avoid problems with dizziness, light-headedness, and fainting. Have an adult assist you the bathroom the first few times. Always get out of bed to go to the bathroom. Begin to walk as much as possible as soon as you can after surgery. Do take it easy the first few days. Do not exert yourself in any strenuous activity. Avoid activities that involve bending over or straining. A balance of rest and reduced activity will speed up your recovery.
This depends whether the surgeon has used dissolvable stitches or not. In case of dissolvable stitches, the sutures will fall off on their own accord over the few days following the surgical procedure. In case normal non-dissolvable stitches have been used then you usually have to be back to the clinic 7 days after the procedure to have the stitches removed.
Makeup can be applied as soon as the area has recovered completely and the stitches have been fully removed or have fallen off on their own. Using makeup during the healing process can increase the likelihood of infections. Gently remove the makeup being careful not to massage the skin. Do not apply mascara for two weeks after surgery.
If you live further than a one-hour drive, you must stay in the area for one or two nights. This is because if some complications they usually occur soon after the surgery and therefore you can pop into the clinic quickly. Usually, possible complications occur soon aft4er the surgery, the likelihood of complications diminish over time.
Travelling long distances or for long periods of time can be problematic after surgery. Generally, I do not recommend travelling longer than one hour for one week after surgery. When you do travel you must have help at all times with your baggage (do not lift more than five pounds for three weeks) and you must get out of your seat and walk for five minutes every hour. Remember, even small vibrations during travel can increase the amount of pain you experience. Finally, you will not have the same energy level as you did immediately before your surgery.
Do not consume any alcoholic drinks (including beer and wine) for 48 hours after surgery. In addition, do not have any alcoholic drinks while you are taking the prescription pain pills. The alcohol can interact with these medicines and lead to serious health problems. Finally, if you really have to drink alcohol, do it in moderation for at least three weeks. Excessive consumption can lead to a fall that could ruin the results of the surgery.
How long you are off work depends on your occupation. If you do clerical work (i.e. stockbroker, teacher, or programmer), you can return to work when you feel up to it. This usually takes about two to three days. Do not go to work for three weeks if you do manual labour (i.e. entertainer, truck driver or personal trainer). Regardless of your employment, do not lift anything weighing more than five pounds for three weeks.
Body massage is very effective for relaxation. However, it cannot be done while there is bruising of the skin due to the risk of long-term or permanent brown-grey staining of the skin. All therapeutic massage treatments must be discontinued until any bruising has completely resolved. Do not massage the eyelids or face for six weeks.
Generally, you can go back to working out three weeks after eyelid surgery. This depends on how you feel. Do not lift anything that weighs more than five pounds for three weeks. Do not do contact sports for six weeks. Avoid movements which would stress any of the incisions. Workouts must stop if you experience discomfort in your eyelids or face. A balance of rest and reduced activity will speed up your recovery.
Do not use a heating pad on your face or neck for a full 3 months after your surgery.
Sun tanning damages your skin. It leads to wrinkling, discolouration, and superficial growths. It can also lead to serious skin cancer. For these reasons, I recommend you use sunblock with an SPF number of 15 or greater at all times. A physical broad-spectrum sunblock works best. If you are exposed to the sun, I recommend you protect your eyelids and face for six weeks with a hat and sunblock. You must carefully protect any scars from sun exposure with sunblock for six months.
It is normal for the eyelids to be swollen, tender, and numb for the first six weeks. Some of the numbness can linger for one to two years. Intermittent very brief pains can occur during the first year. This is a sign of nerve healing. These pains will pass within a few weeks after they begin.
Scar healing takes six months to a year. For this reason, you will not see the final result of your surgery for six months. During this time you will notice the scars will lighten in colour and they will become softer to the touch.
Surgery effects each person’s emotions differently. During the first week, you can expect your energy level to be noticeably reduced. This will begin to improve the second week but it will take a full six weeks for you to have the same energy level you had before surgery. Many people say they want to sleep longer or more often. Normal hormone changes after surgery will also affect your emotions. Between 5 to 10 days most patients experience a period of doubt regarding their decision. They may feel down and sometimes cry. Remember, this is normal and will pass with time. If this depression is severe, contact us immediately so we can see you in our office.