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Caring for Eyelids After Your Surgery

Follow these guidelines to care for yourself after your surgery.

  • Wear dark sunglasses during your trip home. You may be sensitive to light.
  • Don’t wear contact lenses until at least 2 weeks after your surgery. You can wear eyeglasses.Contact insertion will pull on the stitch line
  • Do not drive until you have stopped taking pain medication and no longer have blurry vision. Make sure that you can safely and comfortably drive a car. This is up to you but be sensible.
  • It’s important to get quiet, peaceful rest during the first 3 to 4 days after your surgery. To do this:
    • Avoid activities such as heavy lifting and exercise.
    • It’s important for you to avoid sneezing, coughing, and vomiting (throwing up), as much as you can. These can raise your blood pressure and cause bleeding at your surgical sites.
    • Avoid bending at the waist or lifting items heavier than 5 pounds (2.3 kilograms) for 4 to 6 weeks after your surgery. Talk with your surgeon before going back to your usual activities, such as lifting and exercise.
  • Rest and sleep with your head raised on 2 to 3 pillows for 2 weeks or as directed by your surgeon. This will help prevent swelling at your surgical sites.
  • Your eyes will look swollen and bruised after your surgery. The eyelid swelling is usually worse early in the morning and will get better during the day as you sit or walk around.
  • You may also have swelling on your cheeks and jawline. This will start to get better 2 to 3 weeks after your surgery.

Cold compresses and eye drops

Follow these steps to use cold compress after your surgery:

  1. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds before you use the cold compresses and eye drops.
  2. Make a cold compress by applying saline solution to a sterile gauze pad. You can keep the bottle of normal saline in the refrigerator, freezer, or on ice.
  3. Apply the cold compress to your eyelids every 10 to 15 minutes (on for 10 to 15 minutes, then off for 10 to 15 minutes) for the first 24 hours after your surgery. Try to do this as much as possible while you’re awake. After 24 hours, cold compresses aren’t as effective.
  4. Alternatively put something from the freezer into a face towel and compress with that.
  5. Proprietary goggles are available which can come from the freezer to your eyes until they warm up. Repeat 3-4 times a day.

If you suffer from dry eyes after surgery, apply the eye drops every 4 hours to the inner part of your eye. Don’t pull on your eyelids while using the eye drops.

Showering and applying makeup

You can take showers any time after your surgery. You can use simple shampoo for your hair. You can wash your eyelids and shampoo your hair with mild products, such as baby shampoo.

Don’t apply creams or makeup (such as eye shadow, eyeliner, or mascara) to your surgical sites for 2 weeks after your surgery. You can use creams and makeup on the rest of your face.


Your sutures (stitches) will be removed between 5 and 7 days after your surgery. We will make these appointments for you.

You will be swollen and bruised for 1-2 weeks and it gets a little worse before it gets better. If you are worried please call but a picture will usually tell the whole story if you have any concerns.

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