Once you’ve decided to have undergo the eyelid blepharoplasty procedure to reconstruct your eyelids and tighten sagging skin around your eyes, it’s important to prepare yourself properly. Your cosmetic oculoplastic surgeon will tell you more about how to get ready, but here are some simple tips on what you can do:
Stop smoking, at least a month and a half before the surgery. While of course quitting smoking is a good idea anytime, it’s especially important before a surgery. Smoking can depress your immune system, putting you at greater risk for infections and complications after the surgery. And after the surgery, smoke will irritate your eyes, causing you greater discomfort and making it harder to heal. This includes secondhand smoke!
Likewise, drinking alcohol can make it harder to recover from surgery. Stop drinking two weeks before the surgery for best results.
Keep yourself well hydrated and eat a healthy diet to speed your healing after the surgery.
On the day of the surgery, do not wear makeup, skin cream, or any other cosmetics. Do not wear contact lenses, false eyelashes, or jewelry.
Be sure you’re ready to recover at home after the procedure. You won’t be in a condition to go out shopping until your eyelids have healed. Make sure you’re stocked with all the groceries and supplies you’ll need, and if possible arrange for someone you can trust to take care of cooking, at least until you’ve recovered a bit. You should not eat any solid food until 24 hours after the blepharoplasty.
Tylenol or another acetaminophen pain medication, as needed for pain. Do not use aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin), or naproxen sodium (Aleve), as they can cause bleeding. If your ocuplastic surgeon prescribes a pain medication, use that instead — don’t mix pain medications!
Some useful supplies to have on hand include:
ice cubes, which can be applied to the eyes (wrapped in a cloth or towel) to reduce swelling and ease pain
gauze pads to help protect the eyes and absorb any discharge
lots of pillows or a bed wedge so you can sleep with your head elevated
Be sure to talk to your surgeon before the surgery. He or she should be happy to answer any questions you have about the procedure and what results you should expect.
Blepharoplasty is a relatively simple outpatient procedure. But there are risks associated with any surgery, no matter how simple. That’s why it’s best to arm yourself with knowledge and make proper preparations. This way, your recovery can be easy as possible and you can get on with enjoying your new and improved eyelids! For more dramatic effect, you can also consider undergoing blepharoplasty in conjunction with a brow lift which will raise your eyebrows and tighten the skin on your forehead. Contact our office to schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Robert Schwarcz, board- certified ophthalmologist and oculoplastic surgeon.