What should I expect after surgery?

  • Post-operative bruising and swelling always occurs after eyelid surgery and may last many weeks. Bruising often takes 3-4 weeks to resolve completely, and swelling a little longer. The final result is not seen for at least 3-4 months
  • A ‘tight’ appearance to the eyelid, which may look ‘pulled’ upwards at the outer corner compared to the other side. This will settle and become more symmetrical as the swelling subsides and the tissues relax.
  • Mild blurring of vision often occurs for a few weeks afterwards. It is usually helped by blinking.
  • Some tearing and mucous discharge is to be expected for a few weeks after surgery.
  • The skin wound may start to itch after a few days – this is a sign of wound healing.
  • Numbness may occur around the area of the operation. This improves with time.
  • Temporary dryness of the eyes may occur after surgery. Blink frequently in order to clear the tear film and keep the eye moist. A short course of lubricating eye drops or gel will be prescribed if necessary.
  • The wound is likely to feel uncomfortable for a couple of days. You may take simple analgesia such as paracetamol (aspirin, ibuprofen or other anti-inflamatory drugs should, ideally, be avoided).

Will my daily activities be affected?

  • You can read, watch television and go outside immediately (wearing sunglasses if more comfortable)
  • You should resume all medications on the day of surgery, except medicines which may increase the risk of post-operative bleeding. I will discuss this with you on the day of surgery.
  • Drive when you feel safe and able to see properly.
  • Avoid getting water directly into the wounds when showering or bathing to reduce the risk of infection.
  • Do not rub your eye
  • Avoid bending for 1 week
  • Avoid heavy lifting for 2 weeks
  • Avoid eye make-up for 3 weeks
  • Avoid dusty environments for 1 week
  • Avoid all strenuous activity for 3 weeks
  • Avoid swimming for 4 weeks

Are there any risks?

Complications in the hands of a trained and experienced oculoplastic surgeon are very rare. However, risks include:

  • Infection. This may be heralded by swelling and redness around the wound. Should this happen, you must contact me.
  • Asymmetry. Tightening of the lower eyelid on one side can give a ‘pulled up’ look to the operated eyelid but this settles as the tissues relax over time.
  • Scarring. Initially, the incisions will appear red. However, the skin around the eyelids typically heals very well, such that after several weeks most wounds are almost invisible.
  • Thickening of a skin graft (ectropion surgery only). This very unusual and, if it does occur, tends to settle after a few months.