Eyelid Surgery Post-Operative Instructions
Saul Rajak Ophthalmology
You have had surgery to one or more eyelids. Below is some information about what to expect and what you should and should not do in the first few weeks after surgery.
Arrangements on the Day of Surgery
Immediately After Surgery
The nurses and I will go through the post-operative instructions. Please do ask questions if anything is unclear. One of the team will phone you the day after surgery to check if all is well and answer any questions you have and my contact details are at the bottom of this information sheet if you have any other concerns or complications.
You will need someone to drive you home – friend, family or taxi. We would suggest you do not use public transport unless you have had a very minor operation.
The vision may be a little smeary from the operation and the post-operative ointment, but you should not have any problems doing your usual activities at home. If you have had a local anaesthetic you do not need anyone else to be at home with you. If you have had a general anaesthetic or sedation you should have someone at home with you the first night after surgery.
You will be given an ointment or cream to use after the surgery. This should be applied to the wound twice a day for a week after surgery. It can also be put in the eye by pulling down the lower eyelid and putting a line of the ointment just inside the eyelid.
The post-operative appointment is usually one to two weeks after surgery, which will be made either before or soon after the surgery.
An eye patch is sometimes placed over the eye after surgery. You can remove it the next morning unless you are given different instructions by the nurse or me. If both eyes are patched after surgery, one of these will be removed before you go home.
What to Expect After Surgery
The local anaesthetic will wear off in the first 1-4 hours after surgery. At this time the eyelid can become quite painful. You can take simple painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen if you have no allergies or contraindications to these. If you are in pain after the surgery, please ask the nurses or me for painkillers.
It is very common to have bruising of the eyelid or the whole area around the eye after eyelid surgery. You may have a ‘black eye’. There also may be a scab along the suture line.
You may have a little bit of bleeding in the hours or even first few days after surgery. You can gently dab this with a clean tissue. Occasionally there is more bleeding at about five days after surgery, particularly in people who take blood thinners such as aspirin. If there is a lot of bleeding at any time please put some firm pressure on the bleeding area with a pad of tissues and if it does not stop please phone me or attend the Sussex Eye Hospital Casualty.
Infection is uncommon after eyelid surgery, although any wound can become infected. Infection will cause the eyelid to become increasingly red, swollen and tender a few days after surgery and there may be some discharge. If this occurs you should either contact me or attend the Sussex Eye Hospital Casualty department or your GP as you may need antibiotics.
Stitches are used in most eyelid operations. Although these are often dissolvable, we usually still remove skin stitches one to two weeks after surgery because they can take a long time to dissolve.
What You Can and Cannot Do After Surgery
You can bathe and shower as normal, except that you should avoid getting the eyelids very wet. It is fine for the area to get splashed or to gently dab it with clean water and a clean flannel, but avoid soaking the area in water.
Exercise and Swimming
You can do gentle exercise from the day after surgery. I would recommend that you do not do strenuous exercise or contact sports until at least two weeks after surgery. You should not go swimming until a few days after any stitches have been removed.
You should be able to drive from the day after surgery. However, the vision can still be a little smeary from the ointment and bruising, so you should take great care, and definitely not drive if the vision is not clear.
You can wear make-up from the day after the operation, although we would advise you not to put make-up on or very close to the wound or stiches.
You can watch television as normal after the surgery.
|Worthing Laser & Skin Clinic
01903 820 010 (9am – 5pm)
|Saul Rajak Ophthalmology
07847 462 030
01403 713 153 (private secretary and emergencies 8am to 6pm)
|The Sussex Eye Hospital
Eye Casualty/Pickford Ward
01273 664 881
(Out of hours emergencies)