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Caring for Yourself After Your Blepharoplasty

This information will help you care for yourself at home after your blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery).

After Your Surgery

  • Wear dark sunglasses during your trip home. You may be sensitive to light.
  • Do not wear contact lenses until at least 2 weeks after your surgery. You can wear eyeglasses. 
  • The ointment used during your surgery may make your vision blurry. This is temporary and usually goes away within 24 hours.
  • It is important to get quiet, peaceful rest during the first 3 to 4 days after your surgery. Avoid activities such as heavy lifting and exercise. These activities can raise your blood pressure and cause bleeding at your surgical sites.
  • Avoid bending at the waist or lifting items heavier than 5 pounds for 2 weeks after your surgery. Talk with your surgeon before resuming activities such as lifting and exercise.
  • Rest and sleep with your head raised on 2 to 3 pillows to prevent swelling at your surgical sites.
  • Your eyes may look swollen and bruised after your surgery, and later you may see swelling on your cheeks and jaw line. The eyelid swelling is usually worse early in the morning and will get better during the day as you sit or walk around. This will start to get better 2 to 3 weeks after your surgery.
  • Your stitches will be removed at 2 different appointments between 2 and 7 days after your surgery. Your nurse will make these appointments for you.

Cold Compresses and Eye Drops

Before your surgery, your nurse will show you and your caregiver how to use the cold compresses and sterile saline eye drops. He or she will give you sterile saline solution (normal saline), eye drops, and sterile gauze pads before your surgery.

  1. Wash your hands well before you use the cold compresses and eye drops.
  2. Make a cold compress by applying the sterile saline solution to a sterile gauze pad. You can keep the bottle of normal saline in the refrigerator, freezer, or on ice.
  3. Apply the cold compress to your eyelids every 10 to 15 minutes (on for 10 to 15 minutes, then off for 10 to 15 minutes) for the first 24 hours after your surgery. After 24 hours, cold compresses are not as effective.

Use the sterile saline eye drops if your vision is blurry after your surgery or if your doctor has prescribed you an eye ointment. Apply the eye drops every 4 hours to the inner part of your eye. Do not pull on your eyelids while using the eye drops.

General Hygiene

You can take showers from the neck down any time after your surgery. Do not take full showers until your surgeon tells you it is safe to do so. This is usually 5 days after surgery. Once you can take full showers, you can wash your eyelids and shampoo your hair with mild products, such as baby shampoo.  

Do not apply creams or makeup (i.e., eye shadow, eye liner, mascara) to your surgical sites for 2 weeks after your surgery. You can use creams and makeup on the rest of your face.

Call Your Doctor or Nurse if You Have:

  • A temperature of 101° F (38.3 C°) or higher
  • Shaking chills
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Increased pain, swelling, and redness at your surgical sites that is getting worse
  • Continuous oozing from your suture lines
  • Separation of your suture lines
  • Sudden shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Any unexplained or unexpected symptoms