Eyelid Surgery Pre Surgery & Recovery Tips
Blepharoplasty, commonly referred to as eyelid surgery, rejuvenates your eye area by removing wrinkles, puffiness, bags and sagging skin around both your upper and lower eyelids. Our eyes communicate how we feel to the world. Eyelid surgery restores a more youthful, open appearance to the eye area. Eyelid surgery is performed on either the upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both, depending on your needs and desired outcomes.
Upper eyelid surgery often is performed comfortably as an office procedure. Patients are given a local anesthetic and oral sedation. There is very little discomfort with the numbing process, when it is administered slowly. Many patients choose this in office option and find the procedure comfortable and uncomplicated with a short recovery time.
Other surgeries require out patient surgical facilities and have a longer healing and recovery time.
Pre Surgery Prep for Eyelid Surgery
You have gone through the consultation process with your surgeon, and now you are wondering how best to prepare for your surgery. Here are simple steps to follow before and after your surgery to increase healing and recovery.
Discuss Your Medications, Vitamins etc. with Your Surgeon
Be sure that you have discussed all prescription, over the counter medications, and any vitamins that you are taking with your doctor. Your surgeon will advise you, if your medications effect your surgery and recovery.
Before your surgery, (well actually always– but especially now) is the time to focus on a healthy diet that is low in salt and filled with healthy, water and nutrient rich, fresh foods. Great choices are strawberries, blueberries, cucumbers, and celery for snacks. Avoid sodium heavy sodas. Instead, drink lots of fresh water. Read Dr. Woods’ Blog on healthy foods for your skin. High nutrient, whole foods help your body heal.
Stop smoking prior to your surgery. Smoking restricts blood flow and inhibits your skin’s ability to heal.
While some eyelid procedures are relatively uncomplicated, they are a surgical procedure. Make your healing and recovery a priority. You will relax better, if your house and affairs are in order prior to the surgery, then you can comfortably rest and focus on healing. Get those groceries, have the house clean, and maybe even stock up on some audio books – eyes closed entertainment is best.
Arrange A Surgery Buddy
Arrange for a spouse or close friend to take you home from your procedure, help you get comfortably situated, and fill your prescriptions.
On your surgery day, have your reliable surgery buddy scheduled to arrive in plenty of time to drive you to either the doctor’s office or surgical center. Come with a freshly washed face., and do not wear any make up. Do not take any blood thinners. This includes aspirin, vitamin E or motrin. Take a Valium or tranquilizer prescribed by your surgeon.
Arrive to your surgical center on time.
Post Eyelid Surgery Recovery Tips
You will apply ice compresses to your eyes for the first 24 hours. Packages of frozen peas serve as handy ice compresses, and they are more comfortable on your sensitive eye area than a bag of ice chips.
Keep Your Head Elevated
Have extra pillows on hand so that your head remains elevated while resting and sleeping. Keep your head elevated during the day also. Avoid bending over, and do not lift heavy objects. Keeping your head elevated minimizes fluid from collecting around your eyes.
Rest Your Eyes
Try to find restful entertainment that doesn’t involve eye movement. That means no TV, computer screens, and reading. Enjoy your recovery time listening to audiobooks or podcasts, allowing your eyes to rest.
Physical Activity Limitations
No heavy lifting or strenuous exercise for 1 week. After your one week visit with your surgeon, you can discuss any further limitations depending on how you are healing.
Vitamin E Oil Aids Eyelid Surgery Healing
Apply vitamin e oil to the incision 4x a day for one week. You will meet with your surgeon again after a week, and then additional recommendations or limitations will be made.
Protect Your Eyes Outdoors
Wear your UV protection sunglasses outdoors or in bright lights. Protecting your eyes from bright sunlight ensures better lasting results. Even after you are healed, always protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses and sunscreen.
Time To Heal After Eyelid Surgery
The healing process depends on your individual circumstances and the type of eyelid procedure performed. You can expect to see swelling and bruising, as your eye area is sensitive. Be patient with your recovery and healing process. Support your body by following your surgeon’s instructions. Learn More about Dr. Woods’ Blepharoplasty techniques and evaluation considerations.
Dr. Robert H. Woods is a double board certified facial plastic surgeon with 20+ years of experience as an ENT and Facial Plastic Surgeon. He is head of the ENT Department of Honor Health, Shea Hospital. Read more about Dr. Woods.