You had an eyelid surgery. The doctor made small cuts in an eyelid to do the surgery.
After surgery, your eyelid may feel tight and sore. Your eye may be watery, dry, sticky, itchy, or sensitive to light. Your vision may be blurry for a few days. Your doctor will give you medicines to help with pain and discomfort.
It's important to keep your eyelid clean and to avoid rubbing it. Follow your doctor's instructions on how to clean and care for your eye.
If your doctor closed your incisions with removable stitches, the stitches will be taken out in 5 to 10 days. Your eyelid may be swollen and bruised for 1 to 3 weeks after surgery. The appearance of your eye may continue to get better for 1 to 3 months.
Most people feel ready to go out in public and back to work in about 10 to 14 days. This may depend on your job and how you feel about people knowing about your surgery. Even after 2 weeks, you may still have some bruising around your eyes.
After surgery for a droopy eyelid, or ptosis (say "TOH-sus"), you may find that your lid doesn't lower as much when you look down. Or you may find that your lid doesn't close fully when you sleep. If this occurs, tell your doctor. You may be able to put drops or gels in the eye to keep it moist.
For the first few weeks, your eye will be swollen. When the swelling is gone, you'll be able to see the changes in how it looks.
This care sheet gives you a general idea about how long it will take for you to recover. But each person recovers at a different pace. Follow the steps below to get better as quickly as possible.
How can you care for yourself at home?
- Rest when you feel tired. Getting enough sleep will help you recover.
- Keep your head raised for several days after surgery. Sleep with your head up by using 2 or 3 pillows.
- Drink plenty of fluids (unless your doctor tells you not to).
- Ask your doctor when it is okay to drive.
- Your eyes will get tired easily. Limit reading, computer work, and TV for the first few days.
- Do not wear contact lenses for about 2 weeks or until your doctor says it is okay.
- Do not wear eye makeup for 2 weeks. You may also want to avoid face cream or lotion.
- You can shower or wash your hair the day after surgery. Keep water, soap, shampoo, hair spray, and shaving lotion out of your eye, especially for the first week.
- Do not rub or put pressure on your eye for at least 2 weeks.
- Do not get your hair colored or permed for 10 days after surgery.
- Do not bend over or do any strenuous activities, such as biking, jogging, weight lifting, or aerobic exercise, for 2 weeks or until your doctor says it is okay.
- Avoid swimming, hot tubs, gardening, and dusting for 1 to 2 weeks.
- Wear sunglasses on bright days for 1 year after surgery.
- Your doctor will tell you if and when you can restart your medicines. Your doctor will also give you instructions about taking any new medicines.
- If you stopped taking aspirin or some other blood thinner, your doctor will tell you when to start taking it again.
- Follow your doctor's instructions for when to use eye drops and antibiotic ointment. Always wash your hands before you put your drops in. To put in eye drops:
- Tilt your head back, and pull your lower eyelid down with one finger.
- Drop or squirt the medicine inside the lower lid.
- Close your eye for 30 to 60 seconds to let the drops or ointment move around.
- Do not touch the ointment or dropper tip to your eyelashes or any other surface.
- Follow your doctor's instructions for taking pain medicines.
- If you have a bandage on your eye, wear it for as long as your doctor recommends.
- Keep the area clean and dry.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
When should you call for help?
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
- You passed out (lost consciousness).
- You have severe trouble breathing.
- You have sudden chest pain and shortness of breath, or you cough up blood.
Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:
- You have pain that does not get better after you take pain medicine.
- You have loose stitches, or your incision comes open.
- You are bleeding from the incision.
- You have signs of infection, such as:
- Increased pain, swelling, warmth, or redness.
- Red streaks leading from the incision.
- Pus draining from the incision.
- A fever.
- You have signs of a blood clot in your leg, such as:
- Pain in your calf, back of the knee, thigh, or groin.
- Redness and swelling in your leg or groin.
- You have vision changes.
Watch closely for any changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:
- You do not get better as expected.
Where can you learn more?
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