Depending upon medical history and age, there are certain medical and laboratory tests that may need to be ordered prior to any elective cosmetic surgery such as a blepharoplasty. A physical examination will be done by Dr. Portuese, but some patients may also elect to have a complete thorough exam done by their family physician. An EKG or heart tracing will need to be performed on men 45 and over and women 55 and over as a routine screening to make sure that there are no preexisting heart problems. Other blood work may need to be performed depending upon individual health history. For example, a complete blood count or a potassium level should be done if patients are taking a diuretic. Women of childbearing age should undergo a pregnancy test the week prior to the surgery to make sure that they are not pregnant at the same time as undergoing cosmetic blepharoplasty surgery. It is also important to avoid aspirin, ibuprofen, vitamin E, and any type of herbal supplements. This includes stopping all vitamins and herbal supplements two weeks prior to surgery. It is also important that the blepharoplasty patient arrange for a caretaker for the first 24 hours after their surgery. Patients need a responsible caretaker to be with them for the first night. Patients are not allowed to drive themselves or take public transportation alone to home because of the effects of the anesthesia. The Seattle Eyelid and Blepharoplasty Center surgery staff will ask for the caretakerís name and contact information as well as who will be taking the patient home from the recovery room at the Blepharoplasty Surgery Center.
The recovery period lasts for approximately two weeks after the surgery. It is imperative that patients take it easy during this time. Nothing should be done to raise the heart rate or blood pressure and exercise should be curtailed for two weeks. It is suggested that patients sleep on one or two pillows to keep their head elevated and above their heart. This helps to keep the swelling down during the first few days of the recovery period. It is probably important to do all housework, laundry, and grocery shopping the week prior to the surgery so that this is not a concern after the surgery. Grocery shopping can be done to stock up on soft foods such as yogurt, soups, pudding, and other items that would be easy to eat and drink during the postoperative phase. If patients who are undergoing a blepharoplasty have young children, arrangements should be made for their care for the first day or two during the recuperation phase of the blepharoplasty.
WHAT TO AVOID BEFORE SURGERY
Smoking: It is best to stop smoking two weeks prior to the blepharoplasty surgery and two weeks after the surgery since tobacco can slow down the healing process.
Medications: Before undergoing any type of elective cosmetic surgery, especially a blepharoplasty, it is important to avoid certain medications. Many medications prolong bleeding time and can create a hematoma underneath the skin of the eyelid. If this should occur, it will need to be evacuated and removed. Medications including some prescription drugs, vitamins, and herbal supplements also contain elements that thin the blood and interfere with anesthesia. Any medications including aspirin or ibuprofen and prescription blood thinners such as Coumadin and Plavix should be avoided two weeks before the surgery. Vitamin E, diet pills, and all herbal remedies need to be stopped two weeks before any surgery as well.
Avoid exposure of the eyelids to sunburns from both natural sunlight and tanning beds within the first month after the blepharoplasty surgery.
Patients should wash their hair and face prior to the surgery and should not put on any makeup the morning of the blepharoplasty surgery.
It is very important to avoid eating or drinking anything after midnight the night before the blepharoplasty. The reason for this is to prevent any nausea and vomiting during and after the surgery.
It is important that patients wear comfortable clothing such as sweatpants and a shirt or sweater that has a front closure. These garments should not have to be pulled up over their face after surgery. Do not wear any makeup, wigs, or jewelry on the day of the blepharoplasty procedure. Please leave all jewelry at home including rings, earrings, watches, and any piercings. Contact lenses should not be worn the day of the surgery. Eyeglasses are acceptable and can be taken into the operating room with the patient. In the first week of the postoperative phase, eyeglasses can be worn however, contacts should not be worn for the first 7 to 10 days after the surgery.