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Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery) Post-Operative Instructions


  • Have someone drive you home after surgery and help you at home for 1-2 days.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • Follow balanced diet.
  • Decreased activity may promote constipation, so you may want to add more raw fruit to your diet, and be sure to increase fluid intake.
  • Take pain medication as prescribed. Do not take aspirin or any products containing aspirin unless approved by your surgeon.
  • Do not drink alcohol when taking pain medications.
  • Even when not taking pain medications, no alcohol for 3 weeks as it causes fluid retention.
  • If you are taking vitamins with iron, resume these as tolerated.
  • Do not smoke, as smoking delays healing and increases the risk of complications.
  • Sleep with your head elevated 45 degrees for several days to minimize swelling.


  • Start walking as soon as possible, this helps to reduce swelling and lowers the chance of blood clots.
  • Do not drive until you are no longer taking any pain medications (narcotics).
  • Avoid activities that raise your blood pressure, including bending, lifting and rigorous sports.
  • Keep activities to a minimum for 3-5 days; avoid strenuous activities for 2-3 weeks.
  • Read or watch television after 2-3 days.
  • Return to work in 10-14 days

Incision Care

  • Avoid exposing scars to sun for at least 12 months.
  • Always use a strong sunblock, if sun exposure is unavoidable (SPF 30 or greater).
  • Keep steri-strips on. If steri-strips come off, you can replace them if provided with additional strips.
  • Keep incisions clean with soap and water and inspect daily for signs of infection.
  • Use cold saline compresses for the first 24 hours for comfort and to reduce swelling and bruising.
  • Generally, your hair can be shampooed anytime after surgery.
  • Wait at least 2 weeks before wearing contact lenses.
  • You will have sensitivity to sunlight, wind and other irritants for several weeks, so wear sunglasses and a special sunblock made for eyelids.

What To Expect

  • Occasionally, the eyes are bandaged for the first night.
  • Maximum discomfort should occur in the first few days, improving each day thereafter.
  • Expect temporary swelling of the eyelids, tightness of lids, bruising, dryness, burning, and itching of eyes.
  • You may have gummy eyes for approximately 1 week.
  • Your physician may recommend Natural Tears (OTC eyedrops) or Lacrilube (OTC ophthalmic ointment) as part of your post op treatment.
  • For the first few weeks, you may experience excessive tearing, sensitivity to light, and double or blurred vision.
  • You may have difficulty closing your eyes when you sleep.


  • Bruising and swelling of the eyelids may last 1-2 weeks.
  • Healing is a gradual process and your scars may remain slightly pink for 6 months or more.
  • Tiny whiteheads may appear after stitches are taken out; can be easily removed by surgeon.
  • Facial makeup can cover up bruising after the sutures are removed.

Follow-Up Care

  • Sutures will usually be removed in 5-7 days.

When To Call

  • If you have increased swelling or bruising.
  • If swelling and redness persist after a few days.
  • If you have increased redness along the incision.
  • If you have severe or increased pain not relieved by medication.
  • If you have any side effects to medications; such as, rash, nausea, headache, vomiting.
  • If you have an oral temperature over 100.4 degrees.
  • If you have any yellowish or greenish drainage from the incisions or notice a foul odor.
  • If you have bleeding from the incisions that is difficult to control with light pressure.
  • If you have loss of feeling or motion.

For Medical Questions, Please Call:

  • (734) 998-6022, Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • After hours and on weekends, call Hospital Paging at (734) 936-6267 and ask for the Plastic Surgeon on call.