Eyelid Surgery Aftercare
Eyelid surgery is a relatively simple way to appear youthful when those upper or lower lids start giving way to gravity, fatigue, and loss of collagen and fat. Even younger women might discover that their lids are sagging, especially women who spent a lot of time sunbathing as teenagers. The skin around your eyes is incredibly delicate, and yet we tend to rub our eyes a lot when removing makeup, when we are tired or have allergies, or just out of frustration during times of stress. So, loose and sagging eyelid skin is a common complaint for my patients. If you are considering eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, you might be wondering how you might take care of the area in order to improve healing and recovery time. There are a few rules to follow pretty rigidly, and some suggestions for eyelid surgery aftercare.
Swelling After Eyelid Surgery
When it comes to any surgery, swelling is inevitable. But, if you don’t keep it under control, it could lead to complications and a longer recovery time. Your doctor will warn you about “swell hell,” but you might wonder, what’s the big deal? Well, swelling is uncomfortable, for one thing, and can strain your stitches and incisions. But, excessive and extensive swelling that isn’t kept in check can actually begin to atrophy the muscles and even lead to permanent swelling. Over time, you could have problems with facial muscles and other facial functions.
The best way to alleviate this problem is with ice and elevation. The doctor will recommend periods of icing throughout the day. He or she will also ask that you sleep with your head elevated, because then fluids will flow away from your face, not to it. Also, depending on the extent of your surgery, there will likely be binding and face wrapping to keep the swelling from spreading to certain areas. Some patients get frustrated with this wrapping and stop doing it too early. Often this leads to a longer period of swelling and increased risk of complications. You’ve spent the time and money to get the surgery, give it the best shot at success by following your surgeon’s instructions.
Other Common Post-Surgery Issues
It’s very common to experience dry eyes and excessive eye watering. Your doctor will give you ointment to apply, though this can cause your vision to be blurry. Don’t plan on driving or doing anything that requires good vision for the first few days after your surgery. You should have someone to care for you, dose out your prescriptions, and make sure you stay fed and hydrated during the first two days. Luckily, the worst of it usually only lasts a short time. There will be a longer period of swelling and bruising, but the excessive swelling and watering of the eyes shouldn’t last very long.
Activities that increase blood flow to the eye area should be avoided for the first four weeks after surgery. This includes bending over activities like most yoga poses, gardening or long periods of picking up around the house. Even crying can cause increased blood flow. So, no Steel Magnolias or long walks down memory lane.
Eyelid Surgery Recovery Tips
The most important tip is to follow your doctor’s instructions as closely as possible. Your surgeon will know exactly what was done and whether there were any intraoperative complications that require special aftercare. Your surgeon will be your best guide on how to best care for your incisions and eyes following your surgery.
However, there are some things you can do at home before surgery to help you get ready. Make sure your recovery area is set up for lots of rest and very little activity. A recliner that leans almost all the way back might be a good place to spend the first two days, even for sleeping at night. Put a table near your chair and keep a large water bottle and all your prescriptions there, close at hand. Also make sure to include the TV remote and tape your phone charger end to the table top so you can always charge your phone without too much strain.
Eyelid surgery aftercare is an important part of your eyelid surgery. Follow your doctor’s instructions as closely as possible and go into your recovery armed with the rights tips and information.
Do you have more questions about eyelid surgery in Scottsdale?
Dr. Finkel has answers. Schedule your consultation with the surgeon.