What to Expect After Cosmetic Eyelid Surgery
Recovery After Cosmetic Eyelid Plastic Surgery
So what can you, the patient, do or not do to attain the best final result from blepharoplasty or other kinds of eyelid surgery (canthoplasty, ptosis repair, eyelid fat grafting, eyelid fat repositioning, etc.)?
These are Dr. Massry’s recommendations for the best results:
Ice the eyelids
First, you want to do all you can to reduce bruising and swelling. This is important so as not to stretch or potentially stain (discolor) the thin eyelid skin. The most important thing you can do to achieve this is to apply ice to the eyelids at frequent intervals for the first two days after the eyelid surgery. Applying ice for 10 minutes every hour while you are awake is an appropriate icing regimen. Dr. Massry recommends using frozen peas as they contour to the eyelids well.
Refrain from strenuous exercise
Dr. Massry asks patients to refrain from strenuous physical activity for the first week after eyelid surgery. Obviously this means absolutely no gym activity. In fact, his basic tenant is no bending, stooping or lifting for this time period. Dr. Massry will let you know when you can resume your exercise routine.
In addition to reduced physical activity, sleeping with two pillows at the head of the bed is also of benefit as it reduces swelling in the surgical area during sleep.
Over the counter treatments
There are a number of over the counter homeopathic medications which may speed up the post-operative recovery (reduce bruising/swelling) after blepharoplasty and other forms of eyelid surgery. At your pre-operative appointment, Dr. Massry and his staff will explain which supplements to take and the healing benefits of these products.
It is very important to reduce the risk of infection after surgery. The eyelids are such a well vascularized area (good blood supply) that infections are rare. That being said, Dr. Massry feels applying topical ocular (appropriate for eyes) antibiotic ointment (with a Q-tip) three times a day and at bedtime to the stitches is important. Dr. Massry prefers Erythromycin ophthalmic ointment, but others are also useful. Washing your hands before applying ointment to or touching the eyelids is important.
Showering after cosmetic eyelid plastic surgery
Dr. Massry does not feel taking a shower is a “don’t,” as long as care is taken not to put pressure on the eyelids or get them overly wet. Use similar judgment when washing your face.
Other activities after cosmetic eyelid surgery
Dr. Massry feels it is ok to go out, watch TV, and read as you feel comfortable. You should only drive a car when it feels safe. In this instance, refrain from applying ointment to the eyelids for a few hours before driving as this can blur vision.
Finally, following the post-operative instruction regimen, informing the Dr. Massry of any questions or concerns about surgery or healing, and using common sense in regards to wound care is important.
When patients follow the above recommendations closely, Dr. Massry feels recovery from surgery becomes easier. Remember, having surgery is a big deal, so be diligent about healing so that the outcome will be what you expect.