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Recovery Following Eyelid Surgery

By Brian Kobienia, MD, FACS on May 21, 2012


 

Recovery Following Eyelid Surgery

 

Removal of the extra hooded skin from the upper eyelid is often the first surgical cosmetic intervention the average patient pursues.  The drooping of eyelid is the sentinel visual cue to broadcast your aging.  Extra skin covering eyeshadow or even blocking peripheral vision can motivate patients toward eyelid surgery.  The need for eyelid surgery typically predates the need for more invasive surgery like a facelift.

 

The recovery from your eyelid surgery begins well before the surgery itself.  It is important to prepare for surgery by minimizing the potential for bleeding by avoiding all medicines and vitamins that may increase the chance of bleeding.  These include aspirin, ibuprofen, vitamin E and fish oils among others.  Additionally, general health maintenance needs to be in order.  For example, it is important to have your blood pressure under good control.  Those who suffer from anxiety about surgery may benefit from medications to help relieve the apprehension which in turn helps minimize bleeding and bruising.

 

 

The surgery itself is a relatively short affair.  Most patients prefer to have sedation during surgery as it can be awkward for the patient to endure manipulation near the eye.

 Once surgery is complete ointment and cold packs are immediately applied for their soothing effects. 

 

Once home elevation of the head of the bed or resting in a recliner is an excellent way to minimize swelling and maximize comfort.  A light pain pill or anxiety reducing medication will help to induce a restful state.  Cooling the eye region will help minimize pain and certainly help minimize bruising.  I recommend ice packs, gel packs or some cooling compress for the first evening after surgery.  The longer the eyelids are cooled the less chance of bruising.  A simple way to accomplish this is to have Tucks © pads stashed in the freezer.  Replacing these pads every 15- 20 minutes cools and comforts the eyes -plus the emollients in the pads make cleaning of the incisions a breeze.

 

Activity restrictions following surgery involve a big dose of common sense.  You should avoid any activity that makes the face feel flush.  No deep bending, exercise or straining should be considered.  In a week light exercise can be resumed.

 

Sutures are typically removed 4-5 days following surgery.  This is easily accomplishing at a quick office visit.  Once complete eye makeup can usually be applied.

 

The scars resulting from the surgery are quite concealed in the natural skin folds of the eyelid.  Over the course weeks to months postoperatively the scars will lighten in color and soften in texture.  The lateralmost component of the scar will be the last to soften.  This is because the skin here is of a different nature.  But eventually even this scar is easily hidden in a natural crow’s foot wrinkle.

 

Years of enjoyment will be gained.  Immediate improvement in vision can be expected if your peripheral vision was blocked preoperatively.  

This simple surgery will improve the quality of your life and shave years off your look!

 

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