Your Chicago Eyelid Surgical Experience

The goal of your plastic surgeon and the entire staff is to make your surgical experience as easy and comfortable for you as possible.

How should I prepare for surgery?

If you are a smoker, you will be asked to stop smoking well in advance of surgery. Aspirin and certain anti-inflammatory drugs can cause increased bleeding, so you should avoid taking these medications for a period of time before surgery. Your surgeon will provide you with additional preoperative instructions.

Aesthetic eyelid surgery is usually performed on an outpatient basis. If this is the case, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home after surgery and to stay with you at least the first night following surgery.

What will the day of surgery be like?

Your eyelid surgery may be performed in a hospital, free-standing ambulatory facility or office-based surgical suite.

Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. Frequently, local anesthesia and intravenous sedation are used for patients undergoing eyelid surgery, although general anesthesia may be desirable in some instances. For your safety during the operation, various monitors are used to check your heart, blood pressure, pulse and the amount of oxygen circulating in your blood.

When surgery is completed, you will be taken into a recovery area where you will continue to be closely monitored. Your vision will be blurry as a result of ointment used to soothe and protect the eye during surgery as well as from the swelling that is a normal aftermath of eyelid procedures. There is surprisingly little discomfort, however, from the surgery.

You probably will be permitted to go home after a few hours, although some patients may stay overnight in the hospital or surgical facility.

How will I look and feel initially?

It is important to realize that the amount of time it takes for recovery varies greatly among individuals.

The first evening after surgery, you should rest quietly with your head elevated. Your surgeon may instruct you to apply cold compresses to your eyelids. Remember, you must not take aspirin or certain anti-inflammatory medications.

Initially, you may feel a "tight" sensation around the eyes and some mild discomfort that can be controlled with oral medication. During the first 48 hours following surgery, patients experience varying degrees of swelling and bruising. Some patients find that mild swelling persist for several weeks, while others may see swelling resolve in as little as one week. Bruising typically disappears within seven to ten days. Within the first week you will be permitted to use makeup, if desired, to conceal any discoloration. Stitches are usually removed within a week of surgery.

Your vision may continue to be somewhat blurry for a few days or longer. Your eyes may be temporarily sensitive to light, and you may experience excess tearing or dryness. Some plastic surgeons recommend eye drops to help relieve any burning or itching. You may want to wear dark sunglasses for a couple of weeks to protect your eyes from wind and sun irritation.

When can I resume my normal activities?

Straining, bending and lifting should be avoided during the early postoperative period. In many instances, you will be able to resume most of your normal activities within ten days or less. Although you might feel like going back to work just a few days after surgery, your vision may still be slightly blurry which could make reading or other paperwork more difficult. You should not wear contact lenses for a week or two.

back        next