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Eyelid Surgery Recovery

How to Manage Your Pain After Eye Surgery


Updated August 05, 2012

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Eyelid surgery, also known as blepharoplasty, is done to remove excess, hanging skin from the eyes. Eyelid surgery can be done for purely cosmetic reasons or they can be done for functional reasons in those whose vision is obstructed by the excess hanging skin. Regardless of the reason you choose to have eyelid surgery, in order to optimize your final result, it is critical that you know how to minimize your pain after eye surgery.

  • Your eyelids may feel tight and sore after surgery. This should be easily controlled by the pain medication prescribed for you. Often, an over-the-counter medication, such as Tylenol (acetaminophen), will be enough. You and your plastic surgeon will determine your pain medication needs.

  • You should avoid aspirin, Motrin, Ibuprofen, Advil, and Aleve for the first week or two, as they can increase bleeding and/or bruising.

  • Your eyes may be more comfortable with the use of artificial tears, which you can purchase without a prescription from a local pharmacy.

  • If your pain is severe or you feel a scratching, burning sensation, or a sense of a foreign body in your eyes, you should call your plastic surgeon.

More About Recovering from Eyelid Surgery:

How to Care for Your Eyes
Activity After Eyelid Surgery


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.

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