Postoperative instructions are given to emphasize protection of the eyelids while they heal for the first month after the surgery. Avoid hitting, contact sports, rubbing, and bumping the eyelids, which might necessitate additional surgery. With respect to cleaning the eyelids, patients are able to use soap and water within two to three days after the surgery, and it is acceptable to get the incisions wet with normal soap and water. All crusts can be cleaned off with normal saline. It is important not to pick at the incisions or the glue on the lower eyelids because the incision could open up and/or the eyelashes could be accidentally removed. In the postoperative phase, in order to minimize swelling, most patients are instructed to keep their head elevated above their heart on extra pillows. This is only a suggestion and not imperative to help bring the swelling down faster. It is important not to do heavy lifting or exercise or anything else to raise the heart rate or blood pressure for at least two weeks. These activities can cause additional swelling and bruising.. Dr. Portuese does not want patients to use any ice, gauze pads, frozen peas, or cold compresses around the eyes. After the first week post surgery, most patients are able to start wearing contacts, but for the first week to 10 days, patients need to wear glasses only.
Patients are given a narcotic prescription for pain relief, but most patients typically take only a few pills for their entire postoperative course. The eyelid surgery is uncomfortable but not truly painful. Dr. Portuese does not wish for patients to take any ibuprofen or aspirin for the first two weeks postoperatively. Extra-Strength Tylenol is acceptable to take instead of narcotic pain pills.
BLEPHAROPLASTY SIDE EFFECTS
Swelling: Patients can expect swelling of the eyelids to last for approximately two to three weeks after their surgery. Surrounding tissues including the sclera, which is the white part of the eye, can be swollen for upwards of two weeks as well. This is similar in appearance to conjunctivitis or pink eye and can last two to three weeks. A majority of the swelling usually subsides at about two weeks after the surgery. There is still an additional 10% of swelling that still needs to take a month to two months to go away and full healing is two to three months.
Bruising: Bruising usually occurs in the upper lids and lower lids and into the lower cheeks and lasts approximately 7 to 14 days after the surgery. Bruising depends upon the patient; some patients get a lot of bruising and some patients hardly get any.
Pain associated with a blepharoplasty is usually very mild and is more associated with a burning sensation, tired eyes, or a headache.