Pre-op Instructions for Eyelid Surgery
By Dr. William Cohen on August 28, 2014
Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, can be a safe and highly successful way to improve your appearance and complement the rest of your facial features. Whether you plan to undergo lower eyelid surgery, upper eyelid surgery, or both at the same time, it is important to ensure that the procedure and ensuing recovery do not suffer from any unforeseen risks or complications. It is therefore important that patients take the right precautions before visiting our Orange County office for surgery. If you plan on having any eyelid surgery in the foreseeable future, follow the below pre-operative instructions to improve your chances of success.
Two Weeks before Surgery
It’s important to begin preparing your body for surgery at least two weeks prior to treatment. This means beginning the cessation of any drugs, supplements, or habits that may have harmful interactions with the surgery and its recovery. In particular, patients should engage in the following preparations:
- Discontinue any medications that have not been approved by your doctor. Be sure to discuss any current medications (prescribed or otherwise) with your surgeon so that you can be sure their continuation will not negatively impact your recovery.
- Discontinue any herbal supplements or vitamins that have not been recommended or approved by your doctor. Ginseng and vitamin E, for example, are likely to have negative interactions during surgery or recovery.
- Avoid the use of aspirin, ibuprofen, and other NSAIDs. Medications containing acetaminophen can usually be taken during this time, as its anti-inflammatory properties are relatively mild.
- Avoid smoking or using other products containing tobacco or nicotine.
- Avoid sun damage to your face. Wear sunscreen and/or a hat if you plan on being in direct sunlight for any significant amount of time.
- Get any post-operative prescriptions filled ahead of time, such as antibiotics and painkillers.
- Make arrangements for a friend or family member to drive you home after surgery, as the anesthesia will prevent you from driving that day.
- Alcohol should be avoided in the week prior to surgery.
The Night and Morning before Surgery
As the day of surgery approaches, the above instructions becoming increasingly more important. Additionally, patients should keep the following points in mind during the night and morning directly preceding treatment:
- Wash your face the night before surgery and again in the morning. This will help promote a clean surgical area and limit the chance of infection.
- Refrain from eating or drinking anything, including water, after midnight. Continue to fast until surgery.
- Do not apply any makeup, hairspray, or other products to the face or head.
- Wear loose fitting clothing to improve your comfort during and after treatment. If possible, avoid clothing that must be pulled over the head to be removed, as this may irritate the eyes and sutures after treatment.
- Do not wear contact lenses, as the doctor cannot easily or safely remove them for treatment.
Expectations for Recovery
When you arrive home from surgery, you will be expected to rest for the remainder of the day. Although you will probably experience some irritation or discomfort from the incisions, your prescribed medication should alleviate most pain. The sutures will need to stay in place for a few days before being removed in a follow-up appointment.
As any side effects of surgery begin to subside toward the end of the first week, you will see and feel a substantial improvement. Although everyone’s recovery timeline is slightly different, you can expect to return to work after the first week or two. At this time, your doctor will likely permit the use of makeup to conceal residual swelling, bruising, or scarring.
As you continue to recover, your doctor will gradually permit you to return to your previously restricted medications, supplements, and general lifestyle habits. Be sure to stay in touch with your doctor regarding any concerns during recovery and how to best prevent risks such as infection or skin damage.
Contact Our Office
Successful eyelid surgery begins with accurate expectations and pre-operative guidelines. To find out how you can improve your chances for a safe and satisfying surgery, contact our office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Cohen.
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