After eye rejuvenation surgery, the patient is expected to relax for the rest of the day. The surgeon should give you instructions for your recovery, and you should get painkillers to relieve pain brought on by the incision(s). You might be given ointment to keep incisions lubricated. There may be initial obscured vision if ointment is placed in your eye by the surgeon; you will have to apply this nightly before you go to bed for two weeks after the surgery. The incision line should be dabbed with ophthalmic ointment several times throughout the day. You can also use eye drops to soothe the pain and prevent infection for the first few days after the procedure; make sure to use all of your prescribed antibiotics to rule out the risk for this. Take your temperature regularly to monitor risk of infection. You can also try closing your eyes and looking up repeatedly to keep your eyes lubricated.
Stitches applied during the eyelid surgery are usually taken out after two days. Patients can read and watch television after about 2-3 days. Expect some swelling for 7-10 days; cold compresses should be used while the patient is awake to minimize swelling. You should be able to return to work after 7-10 days. It is normal to have discomfort, unwarranted tearing, sensitivity to light and affected (blurred, double) vision, as well as red or patchy-looking eyes. All of these usually go away about 2-3 weeks after the surgery. Make sure not to use ibuprofen, aspirin or naproxen (non-steroidal pain relievers), as it amplifies the chance of bleeding.
Patients are told to maintain their hands above their body while asleep to accelerate recovery from the procedure. It is preferred that they sleep in a two-pillow supine position, and eye masks are helpful to sleep. It is advised that patients not bend at the waist for five days. Any pain can be taken care of with acetaminophen (with or without codeine). The patient is advised not to read or watch television for 24 hours after the procedure. Physical activity regarding workouts should be avoided for 10-21 days—particularly those that raise one’s blood pressure. Full physical workouts can be done after four weeks. Full-contact sports need approval from the surgeon. Men are more prone to need counseling about what to expect in the postoperative period. If Prolene is used to seal the wound, sutures can be removed four days after the surgery, and reactions to suture removal are rare.
There are different types of medication to treat swelling and bruises after the eyelid surgery and speed up one’s recovery, though they are not essential. Wobenzym is good for swelling, and it should be used three times daily on the second or third day after the procedure. Auriderm is similar to Wobenzym regarding its effect, but it has to be used approximately 10 days, twice a day, before the surgery. You should consult your surgeon before taking these.
Other sutures have different removal schedules: silk sutures can be removed within 24 hours to prevent track marks or suture tunnels; nylon sutures can be taken out after three days. When the suture is removed, the lateral wound should be observed for overlapping of wound edges or separation; problems of any sort will be reconciled by a rough-up of wound edges and suture replacement for 24-48 hours. A lateral eyelid wound tends to reveal itself because it extends onto the facial skin beyond the orbital rim and the difference in thickness between eyelid and facial skin. Taking care of the lateral wound will result in a lack of scarring; regardless, surgical tape (about an inch long) should be applied to support the wound area for 24-48 hours after suture removal.
You can resume wearing eyeglasses immediately after the procedure. Around the third day after the blepharoplasty, you can use lukewarm packs on your eyes to relieve pain. Dark glasses are recommended for wearing for at least one week after the eyelid surgery to prevent irritation from weather (wind, sun) exposure. Patients can use makeup or other cosmetics six days after the procedure. The patient should stay out of direct sunlight without protection for six weeks. Those that wear contact lenses should avoid using them until the incisions have healed; consult your doctor as to when you can start wearing them.
Laser Blepharoplasty Recovery
Expect a two-week recovery if you have had a four-lid blepharoplasty. This will give you time to recover, resume normal activity, and feel comfortable with your new appearance in public. Wait approximately three weeks before resuming aggressive exercise or lifting weights.
Most patients do not have complaints of pain after their laser eyelid surgery. Bruising due to the laser blepharoplasty is minimal, and some patients do not have bruising at all; the laser prevents this. If you do have bruising, you can wear sunglasses or herbal supplements until it subsides. It is recommended that you do not wear makeup for a week after the procedure.