Eyelid surgery aftercare

Eyelid Aftercare

We have provided some useful postoperative instructions and advice following your blepharoplasty/ eyelid surgery with us. The information is also beneficial if you are considering blepharoplasty surgery as it will give you an idea of what to expect in terms of eyelid surgery aftercare.

Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty), like all surgery, involves a period of recovery following the procedure. Knowing what to expect after the surgery is sometimes as important as knowing what to expect during the surgery. In the content below you can read about what is involved in recovery from eyelid surgery. In addition, you can learn about how to care for yourself during the healing process, as well as how long the process should last.

Before Discharge

Medications – You will be provided with painkillers and an antibiotic ointment to apply to your eyes.

Change of dressings – Your dressings do not usually require changing before discharge.

Follow up appointments for dressing clinics – You will be handed a card with details of your first follow up appointment and contact details for the ward should you have any concerns once you get home.


Have someone drive you home after surgery.

Get plenty of rest.

Start walking as soon as possible, this helps to reduce swelling and lowers the chance of blood clots.

Follow a balanced diet. Decreased activity may promote constipation, so you may wish to add more raw fruit and fibre to your diet. Make sure you increase fluid intake.

Take pain medication as prescribed. Do not take aspirin or any products containing aspirin unless approved by your surgeon.

Avoid smoking for at least two weeks, as smoking delays healing and increases the risk of complications.

Avoid alcohol when taking pain medications. Even if you are not taking pain medications, it is advisable to avoid alcohol for 3 weeks as it can cause fluid retention which may worsen swelling.

When can I go back to work?

Your recovery and your job will dictate when you can return to work. We would advise patients to leave at least a week to 10 days before returning to work although this does vary depending on each individual.


Showering/ bathing – Generally speaking you can shower at any time after your surgery.

Sleeping position – Sleep comfortably on two or three pillows. You do not need to sleep propped upright.

Clothing – Wear clothing that is easy to remove and avoid tight tops that require removal over your head as they might catch on your eyes.

Driving – We recommend not driving for at least three days after your surgery as you may be on pain medication. Additionally, your eyelids might be puffy and swollen.

Exercise – Avoid strenuous activities or any activity that increases your blood pressure for around two weeks.

Glasses – You can wear your glasses any time after surgery.

Contact lenses – Generally speaking you should avoid wearing contact lenses for as long as possible after your surgery. This is to avoid manipulation of the eyelids which may impair healing. Most patients can start wearing their contact lenses after about 3 weeks. Some patients, however, may have a degree of dryness or irritation to their eyes and should wait until this is resolved.

Wound Care

Antibiotic ointment – You may have been provided with an antibiotic eye ointment (Chloramphenicol) to apply over your lashes and in your eyes. Apply a small amount 2-3 times a day for the first 1-2 days.

Be gentle when washing your face – use a mild detergent or soap.

Do not use makeup or other cosmetics on your external incisions until your wound is fully healed (usually by two weeks).

Cold compresses around your eyes may help reduce bruising and swelling.

What to Expect

Discomfort/ Pain

Pain after surgery is not usually an issue for most patients. You may experience a degree of discomfort in the first few days which will improve each day thereafter.

Bruising/ swelling

Temporary swelling and bruising around your eyes is common at first and peaks after 2 or 3 days. Most swelling and bruising should disappear within one week. Some subtle swelling and bruising may persist for up to 2 weeks.

Sticky eyes – It is not uncommon for your eyes to feel a bit sticky and crusty, especially in the mornings when you wake up. This usually settles by 1 week.


Bruising and swelling of the eyelids may last 1-2 weeks.

Your eyes may water for several weeks.

Scars take a variable amount of time to settle. In some cases redness may persist for several months.

Follow Up

4-6 days after your operation – You will attend a specialist nurse clinic to have your stitches, tape removed.

6 months – You will be asked to arrange a follow up appointment with your surgeon at 6 months to discuss the outcome of your surgery and any concerns you may have.

Please note – Some of our patients will get in touch prior to their 6 month follow up appointment and we are often able to address any concerns you may have over the phone or via email. You are welcome to make an appointment (at no cost to you) prior to your 6 month follow up if you wish to be seen in person to discuss any issues.

Scar Management

Healing is a gradual process and your scars may remain slightly pink for up to 6 months.

Avoid exposing scars to direct sun for 3-4 months.

Always use a strong sunblock, if sun exposure is unavoidable (SPF 30 or higher).

You can start to massage your scars with a plain moisturising cream from around 3 weeks after surgery.

When to Call

Increased swelling or bruising which is not settling.

Increased redness along the incision (this may be a sign of infection).

Severe or increased pain not relieved by medication.

Any side effects to medications; such as rash, nausea, headache, vomiting.

Temperature over 38 degrees Celsius.

Any yellowish or greenish discharge from the incisions.

Bleeding from the incisions that is difficult to control with light pressure.

If concerned, please call Beechwood House on 0131 316259 between the hours of 8am-8pm or after that on 0131 334 0363.