Post-Operative Instructions: Blepharoplasty

What to expect

Any surgery on the eyelids will likely affect the tear film that naturally protects your eyes. You need to use artificial tears/drops every hour while awake and a lubricating ointment before falling asleep. We prefer that you use a preservative free medication as this is less likely to irritate the eyes further. Swelling will peak at 2 days. The swelling and bruising will evolve over the next week but will have greatly subsided by 2-3 weeks. Remember that all of this subsides with time and has no bearing on results. Swelling and bruising around the eyes is variable from patient to patient.

The discomfort should be managed well with the pain and anxiety medicine provided. Often the most common complaint is not pain but rather that the eyes feel irritated from the swelling. You can place cold-water compresses on the eyes for the first couple of days or longer to help with the swelling and discomfort. Do not place ice on your eyelids. We will provide the necessary items for this. We would like for you to sleep upright on your back and avoid turning on your side so that there is no inadvertent trauma during sleeping. Some people use a recliner; others use multiple pillows in bed.

You can shower the day after surgery. Clean your incision(s) once daily with peroxide for the first two days. Apply antibiotic ointment with a q tip lightly along the sutures lines every morning and before bed until the suture are removed.

The sutures will be removed after 3-4 days. You will receive a card noting your appointment times upon discharge from the surgery center. After suture removal, tape will be applied. The tape should be worn continuously until the second week after surgery. The third and fourth week you will tape your own incisions before you sleep. We will show you how to tape the incisions appropriately. Be patient and follow up diligently.


  • no excessive bending over or stooping
    • the above increase pressure in the face which can cause bleeding and worsen swelling
  • no lifting greater than 15 lbs for the first two weeks. Strenuous exercise can be resumed after 5-6 weeks. Light contact sports at 6-8 weeks.
  • avoid the sun completely while bruising is present. You must further protect yourself and minimize sun exposure for the next six months after surgery or until scars completely heal.
  • no nicotine or tobacco for two weeks afterwards
  • no medicines that can promote swelling, bleeding for two weeks afterwards
  • do not use contacts until at least one week after surgery

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