HOW TO CLEAN INCISIONS AFTER BLEPHAROPLASTY / EYELID SURGERY
HOW TO REDUCE SCARRING AFTER UPPER BLEPHAROPLASTY / EYELID SURGERY
HOW TO REDUCE SCARRING AFTER LOWER BLEPHAROPLASTY / EYELID SURGERY
PREPARING FOR THE PROCEDURE: BLEPHAROPLASTY
10 days off of work is recommended to recover from eyelid surgery.
On the business day prior to the operation we ask you to call to confirm your arrival time for surgery.
Do not bring valuables (cash, credit cards, watches, jewelry, etc.) on the day of eyelid surgery.
Remove all makeup, eyeliner and nail polish before arriving for your procedure.
It is essential that someone be available to drive you home, and that person is able to spend the evening of surgery with you. It is California law that every patient be monitored for a period of twenty-four hours following surgery. This person does not have to have any nursing experience, just an interest in your welfare. While you spend the day at rest, your helper will fix soft food for your lunch and dinner, assist in applying the cold compresses to your eyes, walk you to the bathroom and just be near if you should require anything.
You may not eat or drink after midnight the evening before the eyelid procedure unless instructed otherwise. This includes all food, liquids, water, candy, mints or gum.
Clothing- Wear a loose dress, or slacks and a blouse. You must not wear anything that pulls over the head or face.
It is imperative to refrain from tobacco products for one week prior and two weeks following eyelid surgery. If smoking is continued during these periods there is a significant risk of skin necrosis and sloughing.
It is recommended that you purchase thick cover-up make-up prior to your procedure. In some instances this may be useful to camouflage bruising or redness after surgery.
At your preoperative appointment you will provided with all of the instructions for you to follow before and after surgery. During this appointment you will also be given all of the prescriptions necessary for the recovery period. It is recommended that you fill these prescriptions prior to the date of surgery. We will also ask you to obtain an the prescription antibiotic ointment and saline water for use following eyelid surgery.
Please avoid any aspirin, aspirin-containing products, or ibuprofen (Advil, Aleve, etc.) for one week prior to and two weeks following your eyelid surgery. See our “Medication List” for products to avoid prior to and immediately following eyelid surgery. If you are on any medications that affect bleeding (such as coumadin or warfarin) please notify the office immediately.
Please avoid herbal supplements for 10 days prior to surgery, including and especially fish oil, ginseng and garlic.
We ask that you remain on your daily medications unless instructed otherwise. At the preoperative eyelid appointment, you will be told which daily medications to take with just a sip of water on the morning of surgery.
Postoperative eyelid medication checklist
1. Antibiotic (Keflex, Clindamycin) 2. Pain reliever (vicodin, percocet) 3. Medrol Dose Pack 4. Saline water: purchased over the counter 5. Erythromycin ophthalmic ointment: 6. Artificial tears / rewetting drops: purchased over the counter 7. Arnica (a natural herb that significantly decreases bruising): purchased over the counter
AFTER EYELID SURGERY
Immediately after the procedure
When you wake up from eyelid lift surgery you will notice iced saline eye pads on your eyes. These help to minimize swelling and bruising. Your vision will be blurry due to the eye ointment that was placed in your eyes after eyelid lift surgery. You may also notice that tears run down your cheeks, which is due to swelling and will subside during the first week following surgery.
Following your eyelid surgery, the nurses will ask you to meet the discharge criteria: to drink liquids, walk with a steady gait, void, and manage your discomfort.
You will be asked to come to our office the following day after surgery for an evaluation of your eyelids. All sutures will be removed 3-4 days after surgery and tapes should be removed 7-8 days after surgery. You may then begin wearing make-up to camouflage any residual bruising or redness.
POSTOPERATIVE EYELID INSTRUCTIONS
The First 24 Hours:
Cleaning the suture with a Q-tip dipped in saline water and then applying the prescription antibiotic ointment (Erythromycin opthalmic) twice a day is an essential part of the healing process. Sutures that have been kept lubricated with ointment are less painful to remove (see video).
The day after surgery you should begin using the artificial tears hourly. These rewetting drops help moisturize your eyes and keep them comfortable.
It is recommended to apply the ointment inside the lower eyelid at bedtime. Ointment inside the lower eyelid will make vision blurry, so do this immediately prior to retiring for the evening.
Ice after Eyelid Surgery
For 48 hours after surgery, keep ice water soaked pads on eyes, changing pads every 20-30 minutes. There are several techniques for icing which are effective. The glove with ice and cool compresses are the preferred methods. Icing for 24-48 hours is recommended, icing after this period can be used for comfort. See video on right.
A small bag of frozen peas or corn may also be used on top of the eye pads. Make sure the bag is not placed directly on the skin. Use a washcloth or towel between the bag and your skin.
Puffiness and bruising around the eyes can occur but if present usually regresses quickly over the next few days.
Sleep with head of the bed elevated or use two to three pillows. Absolutely no bending, lifting or straining. If you have little children, bend at the knees or sit on the floor and let them climb on to your lap.
Shower / Bathing
Bathing is ok as long as you don’t get your incisions wet for a minimum of four days after surgery.
Advance diet from liquids to soft food to your regular diet as tolerated.
Discomfort following surgery is usually limited to the two or three hours just after the procedure. The prescription for pain tablets that you have received is more precautionary that necessary, but please have it filled and available at your home bedside. Take pain medicine with milk to avoid any stomach upset. Most patients switch to extra strength Tylenol on the first day of recovery.
Most patients complain of pressure from swelling more than pain. Use pain medication (most commonly Vicodin/hydrocodone) as directed/as needed. Vicodin contains Tylenol. Do not take additional Tylenol or acetaminophen while taking Vicodin.
Do not drive or drink alcohol while taking pain medication.
Side effects of pain medications can include nausea and constipation. Taking pain medication with food can minimize nausea. Over-the-counter laxatives are indicated if constipation persists. Start your antibiotic (Keflex/Cephalexin) when you arrive home following the eyelid procedure. During your surgery you received antibiotics through your IV. Take antibiotics as directed until gone. Start the prescription for swelling medication (most commonly Medrol Dosepak/methyl prednisolone) when you arrive home following surgery.
ONE WEEK AFTER SURGERY
Bruising can be camouflaged at one week postoperatively with make-up. It is recommended that you purchase thick cover-up make-up prior to your procedure. In some instances this may be useful to camouflage bruising or redness after surgery. A scarf can be worn around the head to hide the incisions.
What to Expect During Healing
The incision lines will appear a little red for the first few weeks after surgery. Gradually, over time the redness will disappear.
Dr. Kolstad will instruct you on when (usually two weeks after surgery) and the type of eyelid exercises that are appropriate for your surgery. Depending on the procedures, there are three different types of exercises (see video upper lid, lower lid, and midface lid exercises).
Always protect your face from the sun. At this point, a hat and sunglasses are a good idea. Following eyelid surgery, our staff will tell you when it is ok to apply sunscreen, cosmetics or facial creams. Avoid unprotected prolonged sun exposure for three months following surgery to prevent pigmentation of incision lines.
Swelling, bruising and disrupted sleep are very normal postoperative browlift symptoms and will decrease as the healing process occurs. Assistance with daily activities the first two to three days after surgery is strongly recommended.
BEFORE SURGERY CHECKLIST
Preparing for the Procedure:
1. Call to confirm your arrival time for surgery. 2. Do not bring valuables on the day of surgery. 3. Arrange a friend / family member to observe you for 24 hours after surgery. 4. You may not eat or drink after midnight the evening before the procedure. 5. No smoking for 1 week before and 3 weeks after surgery. 6. Purchase thick cover-up make-up prior to your procedure. 7. Medications: avoid (aspirin, Motrin, ibuprofen, Alieve) unless advised to continue by your doctor. Inform office if you are on coumadin / warfarin, plavix, or other blood thinner. 8. Medications: confirm which of your daily medications to continue the morning of surgery. 9. Medications: fill your prescriptions before the day of surgery. Typical medications are found below. 10. Over the counter items: arnica, saline water, Qtips, ice packs.
Eyelid Surgery Postoperative Medication Checklist
1. Antibiotic (Keflex, Clindamycin): prescription 2. Pain reliever (vicodin, percocet): prescription 3. Medrol Dose Pack: prescription 4. Erythromycin ophthalmic ointment: prescription 5. Saline water: purchased over the counter 6. Artificial tears / rewetting drops: purchased over the counter 7. Arnica (a natural herb that significantly decreases bruising): purchased over the counter
PREOP / POSTOP CHECKLIST
AFTER SURGERY CHECKLIST
Immediately after the procedure
1. You must meet nursing criteria for discharge home; walking, voiding, talking. 2. Receive instructions dressing management and icing. 3. Confirm your appointment with the office, always on the morning after surgery. The First 24 Hours 1. Wound care: cleaning the sutures with a Q-tip dipped in saline water and then apply the Erythromycin ophthalmic ointment twice a day. 2. The day after surgery begin using the artificial tears hourly. 3. It is recommended to apply the ointment inside the lower eyelid at bedtime. 4. Activity: sleep with head of the bed elevated or use two to three pillows. No strenuous activity / aerobics / yoga / heavy lifting for 3 weeks after surgery. 5. Bathing is ok as long as you don’t get your incisions wet for a minimum of four days after surgery. 6. Advance diet from liquids to soft food to your regular diet as tolerated. 7. Cold compresses are used continuously over the forehead to minimize swelling and control bruising (30 minutes on, 15 minutes off) for the first 48 hours after surgery. 8. Medications: use pain medication as necessary. You can have a maximum of 8 tablets of vicodin + Tylenol in a 24 hour period (6 vicodin + 2 Tylenol = 8, ect). 9. Medications: Start antibiotic (Keflex/Cephalexin) when you arrive home and feeling ok to take medicine. 10. Medications: Start Medrol Dosepak/methyl prednisolone when you arrive home and feeling ok to take medicine.
One Week After Surgery
1. Make-up can be started 1 week after surgery to camouflage any bruising or redness. 2. Begin eyelid exercises when instructed, typically 2-3 weeks after surgery. 3. Avoid sun exposure for three weeks after surgery, and then use sun block. 4. Swelling, bruising and disrupted sleep are very normal postoperative symptoms and will decrease as the healing process occurs. 5. Differential swelling may asymmetries of the right and left sides of your face. As the swelling goes away, so will these asymmetries. Please be patient.