At our Baltimore area plastic surgery center, eyelid surgery patients are advised of how to prepare for their procedure and recovery to maximize their comfort, safety, and results.
Two Weeks Before Eyelid Surgery:
- Stop taking aspirin and products containing aspirin.
- Please notify our Baltimore area center if you develop a cold or illness prior to your eyelid surgery.
- Schedule “Pre-op” exam, blood work, and test through your family doctor to be completed within one week of surgery.
- Schedule your post-op visit.
- Vitamins are important in healing. Begin taking multi-vitamins with C, E, minerals, and iron. Stop taking “extra” Vitamin E.
- If you plan to wear tinted glasses after eyelid surgery, start now to get people accustomed to seeing you with them on.
- If you are having surgery as an outpatient, make certain arrangements have been made to have someone else pick you up after surgery and to stay with you for the first 24 hours.
- If you wear contact lenses, be sure to have prescription glasses available to use for two to three weeks after surgery.
Two Days Before Eyelid Surgery:
- Have your hair done i.e., color, perm, etc. Set aside your sunglasses and scarf.
- Prepare for ice cold compresses: small zip-lock bags for crushed ice, frozen peas, soft commercial ice packs are good alternatives. Another option: place ice in a large bowl, place a small bowl into the ice, and place damp cloth/gauze into small bowl. The ice will chill the cloth/gauze. Regardless of what method you choose, plan to rotate the compresses to keep them cold.
- Purchase that new tape/CD you’ve been wanting or try a book on tape.
- Go to the grocery store to buy “light foods” such as juices, tea, soup, toast, crackers, bagels, jelly, etc.
- Go to the pharmacy to pick up prescriptions and to buy Betadine™ liquid soap/scrub.
- You may want to purchase a stool softener, such as Colace, as pain medication may cause constipation.
- Begin Arnica Montana – three tablets, three times daily.
Evening Before Eyelid Surgery:
- Shampoo your hair and apply conditioner. Wash your face with Betadine™ soap for three full minutes. Avoid contact of jewelry with Betadine™; it stains.
- Get a good night’s rest.
- DO NOT eat or drink anything after 12:00 midnight prior to surgery.
Day of Eyelid Surgery:
- Do not eat or drink anything prior to surgery. DO NOT SMOKE.
- Wash your face with Betadine™ for three full minutes and go to the bathroom. Do not wear any facial make-up or lipstick after washing.
- Do not wear wigs, hairpins, hairpieces, or jewelry. Dress in loose comfortable clothes. Do not wear pullover tops or panty hose.
At Home After Eyelid Surgery:
- Elevate your head at all times and avoid turning your head from side to side. No lifting or bending over.
- Get out of bed with help. It is not good to lie still in bed, so move your feet and legs a couple of times every hour while you are awake.
- A liquid diet is best for the day of the surgery. Begin by taking liquids slowly and progress to soups or JELL-O®. You can start with a light diet the next day.
- You can expect some swelling of the face and eyes after eyelid surgery. Call our Baltimore area center if swelling after eyelid surgery is definitely more pronounced or harder on one side than the other side or if you are having pain which is not relieved by pain medication.
- Apply ice compresses as much as possible through the first three days. 20 min. on / 20 min. off is a good rule of thumb, but the more the better.
- Two or three times a day, clean the eyelid sutures gently with a Q-tip and warm water. Then apply Lacrilube over the sutures. This is to keep the sutures from getting crusty. The cleaner the sutures, the easier is to get them out!
- There will be a slight bloody dripping or oozing. Don’t get alarmed. If it seems that it is bleeding more than you think “is right” call the office.
- You may wear your regular eyeglasses as you like. Do not wear contact lenses until you are told. This may take about two to three weeks.
- Remember: DO NOT SMOKE or be around smoke until Dr. Schuster tells you it is okay. This is very important.
Other Post-operative Eyelid Surgery Instructions:
- Discourage visitors and keep facial movements (smiling, talking, chewing, yawning, etc.) to a minimum for the first few days.
- You will return to our Baltimore area office every few days after your eyelid surgery to have sutures removed. You may wear your sun glasses.
- You may begin to shower after 48 hours. You may wash your face gently with a bland soap (Dove, Neutrogena, etc.). You may use a moisturizer on your face, being careful to keep it away from the sutures.
- Makeup may be applied immediately, but do not get it near the sutures until two days after they have been removed.
- Normal activities can be gradually resumed after two weeks. You may resume exercise after two to three weeks.
- The skin of your face is sensitive to sunlight after eyelid surgery. Protect your facial skin with sunscreen (SPF – 15 or greater). Sauna and steam baths should be avoided for four weeks following surgery.
- Swelling and bruising will almost always be more than you expected. Bruising generally subsides in seven days. Most of the swelling subsides in two weeks. It will continue to improve for two to three months.
- Scars have a tendency to redden and become more noticeable a few weeks after eyelid surgery. However, the redness will fade with time.
- Discoloration of the whites of the eyes may occur if there’s a lot of swelling. This is painless, will not harm your vision and will disappear completely.
Contact Baltimore area plastic surgeon Ronald Schuster, MD to learn more about eyelid surgery or to schedule a consultation today.