Eyelid surgery, also known as blepharoplasty, is done to remove excess, hanging skin from the eyes. In some people, it is done to create a crease in the eyelid. Blepharoplasty can be done for purely cosmetic reasons, or it can be done for functional reasons in people whose skin obstructs their vision. Regardless of the reason you choose to have eyelid surgery, it is critical that you know how to care for your eyes after eyelid surgery.
- You will not have any bandages or dressings on your eyes. You may have a small piece of tape at the corners of your eyes to hold the sutures in place. Do not remove this tape.
- Your eyes and surrounding areas will be swollen and you will have some bruising. Uneven swelling (more on one side than the other) is also normal. Your swelling may increase during the first 48 hours after surgery and will gradually subside thereafter. You may notice an increase in swelling in the mornings -– this will also slowly decrease as the day progresses.
- For the first seven to ten days, your eyes may feel sticky, dry, and itchy. Your surgeon will show you how to clean the eye area. In addition, eye drops may be recommended.
- Keep your head elevated as much as possible for two to three days after surgery to minimize swelling and speed recovery.
- To reduce swelling, apply gauze soaked in ice water to your eyes during the first afternoon/evening after surgery. When the gauze becomes warm, resoak the gauze and reapply. You may also use a soft washcloth that has been moistened in cold water and lay it across the eyes.
- Monitor your incision and report any signs of infection: spreading redness, excessive swelling or drainage, increasing pain, increasing warmth, or temperature over 101 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Excessive tearing, sensitivity to bright light, blurred vision, or double vision may occur for a short period of time during the first few weeks after surgery. If you experience prolonged symptoms, call your plastic surgeon.
Recovery After Other Plastic Surgery Procedures
American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Eyelid Surgery Recovery. Accessed May 22, 2011.
Saadeh PB, McCarthy JG. Blepharoplasty. In McCarthy JG, Galiano RD, Boutros SG, eds. Current Therapy in Plastic Surgery. Philadelphia: Saunders Elsevier, 2006.