Post-operative Care - Blepharoplasty

The following guidelines are to help patients who have undergone eyelid surgery or blepharoplasty.

  1. Try and arrange to have either a friend or family member pick you up after surgery and stay with you for the first 24 – 48 hours in order to help you get settled in around the house.
  2. Everyone recovers from their anaesthetic differently. Some people feel no side effects while others are more noticeably affected, feeling tired and even sick for the first couple of days. Avoid any sudden bending movements for the initial week after surgery.
  3. Eat lightly with small meals throughout the day to minimise sickness. If necessary, cut food into small bite sized pieces to facilitate chewing and digestion.
  4. It is important to note that salty foods can contribute to fluid retention and swelling so reduce these in the first 7-10 days. In order to avoid constipation, eat plenty of fresh vegetables and dried fruits. Overall, try to eat a balanced diet to ensure your body is getting all the important nutrients it needs in the immediate post-operative healing period.
  5. Drink plenty of fluids in the form of water and fresh juices for the first few days after surgery.
  6. Reduce caffeine and carbonated drink intake in the first few days.
  7. Again it is important to note that dairy products in the first 72 hours after surgery can upset your stomach and make you feel sick and therefore it would be sensible to limit these.
  8. Do wear comfortable front opening and loose clothing at night and in the day. Ideally wear garments that do not need to be pulled over your head.
  9. There is likely to be some degree of soiling or staining from the surgical incision sites so it is advisable to use older bed and pillow linen.
  10. The bruising and swelling will start to subside after about 10 to 14 days and most of the obvious swelling will be gone within 3 weeks. Try and prepare young children (if applicable) in advance so that they do not get frightened by any swelling, bruising or sutures. Remember to take your Arnica tablets for two weeks following surgery.
  11. You may experience a gritty sensation in the eyes in the first few days. Occasionally, what appears to be a transparent sack of fluid develops and covers part of the eye (chemosis). This looks quite frightening but you should not be alarmed as it mostly settles on its own.
  12. Anti –inflammatory eye drops are prescribed if this persists. With lower eyelid surgery, lowering or irregularity of the lower eyelid (depending on the degree, termed scleral show or ectropion) can sometimes occur as a result of the pulling effects of scar tissue in some people. This is unpredictable and sometimes occurs only in one eye. As a result, changes of the shape and size of the eye may be noticed. If this is very noticeable it can be a little distressing. We will instruct you on how to massage the eye area and ask that you undertake this very early on. This diminishes the chance of this happening. If it does occur however then more intense massaging to the lid and even application of some tape will help alleviate this problem. You will be instructed accordingly in the follow-up appointment.
  13. This usually settles with time and in fact it is very rare that revision surgery is required. Remember to apply the antibiotic ointment or eye drops as instructed (usually for 5 days).
  14. Try to sit upright as much as possible to help reduce the swelling. At night use an extra pillow to ensure that your head is above the level of the heart and avoid any straining.
  15. It is advised that you purchase a freezable eye mask (available from Boots or The Body Shop) prior to your operation and alternate applying this to the eyes with something cold from the freezer (such as a bag of frozen peas) or another eye mask.
  16. Apply cold compresses to the eyelid area intermittently for 48 hours. Never apply ice packs directly on the skin. Wrap them in a clean towel or linen before applying them.
  17. Keep the wound and dressing as dry as possible for at least 48 hours. However, it may be necessary for you to bathe the eyes, particularly in the morning. The Practice Nurse will advise you regarding this.
  18. You should abstain from alcohol during the first week following surgery. Remember to recommence any regular medication that you take (i.e. blood pressure tablets) as soon as you are able to drink, unless specifically instructed not to.
  19. Abstain from exercise for 2 weeks.
  20. You may drive after 72 hours if your vision is not altered through swelling.
  21. Stitches are usually removed between 3 and 4 days.
  22. Do not use makeup for at least 1 week.
  23. Avoid sunlight as much as possible for 3 months after surgery and then use a high filter sun block (e.g. Factor 15).
  24. Do not start local massage until instructed to do so.

Should you experience any pain, you may take one or two pain relieving tablets (such as paracetamol) as required up to 4 hourly. DO NOT TAKE ASPIRIN OR PRODUCTS CONTAINING ASPIRIN.
You should contact us if any of the following occur:

  • Fever greater than 100 F or 38.5 C.
  • Fresh bleeding other than that of a minor nature.
  • Excessive swelling, particularly of the lower lids.
  • Pain not relieved by two pain relieving tablets.
  • Any discharge from the incision sites after 48 hours.
  • Any sudden disturbance in vision or the feeling of something sticking in your eye

REMEMBER IF IN DOUBT, PLEASE ASK BY CALLING THE OFFICE 9.00am – 5.00pm
MONDAY to FRIDAY ON 0161-232-2670/ 0161-232-2680 OR OUT OF HOURS IN AN EMERGENCY
PLEASE CALL THE HOSPITAL ON 0161-226-0112.