Eyelid (blepharoplasty) and browlift surgery can make a dramatic impact on how well rested you look since eye contact is a big part of every social conversation. It can also relieve the weight of excess upper eyelid skin and get rid of bags on the lower eyes. Any surgery around the eye will cause a fair amount of bruising and swelling after which, although it is fairly painless, certainly looks bad and is socially obvious for a awhile. Here is list of instructions that I provide to my patients after blepharoplasty and browlift plastic surgery.
1. Expect considerable swelling and bruising of the eyes, which usually is most severe by the second postoperative day. Most of the swelling and bruising will be gone by 2 weeks after surgery. Keeping your head elevated, on 2 to 3 pillows or sitting/ sleeping in a recliner, will help limit how much swelling will occur.
2. Keeping cold compresses on the eyes for the first 24 hours is also very helpful in in keeping down swelling. This can be done with ice cubes or frozen vegetables in a ziplock bag, changing them every 30 minutes or so as they become lukewarm. Continuing these cold compresses for 48 hours, if possible, is even better.
3. For eyelid suture lines, antibiotic ointment will be provided to you to apply twice a day. Apply enough to keep them lightly lubricated. The antibiotic ointment is an ophthalmic preparation, so it is safe if it gets in your eyes. (which it almost always does) Also, apply in eyes at bedtime for the first 2 to 3 days after surgery if they feel dry.
4. In browlifts, the incisions are in the scalp or at the hairline and there is no need to apply antibiotic ointment to them. This only makes the hair greasy and is difficult to get out.
5. In browlifts, there will be a circumferential head dressing to put pressure on the forehead. This may be removed the first morning after surgery.
6. Eyelid sutures will be removed 1 week after surgery. In browlifts, the scalp sutures will be removed 10 to 14 days after the procedure.
7. In eyelid surgery, you may resume the wearing of contacts 1 week after surgery.
8. In browlift surgery, one may wash their hair 48 hours after surgery.
9. The use of eye makeup (eyeliner, eyeshadow) should not be used for 2 weeks after surgery. Cover-up or concealer may be used on bruised areas after sutures are removed.
10. Exercise and strenuous physical activities should not be done for at least 3 weeks after surgery. Bending over (head below one’s waist) should be particularly avoided within the first week after surgery.
Dr. Barry Eppley