Postoperative Instructions

Eyelid and Facial plastic surgery postoperative instructions

  1. Swelling and bruising. After surgery there should be some swelling and bruising. This is to be expected and varies from patient to patient, and depending on the procedure. Ice packs are usually used to prevent the swelling during the first 48-72 hours after surgery. Ice packs can be made using frozen peas or crushed ice in a plastic bag (Apply packs to the operative site 20 minutes on and 20 minutes off, while awake). After 72 hours, warm compresses can often help the swelling a bruising to dissipate faster. If the swelling and bruising becomes painful or if your vision becomes impaired because of it, call Dr. Sanderson’s office immediately!
  2. Bleeding and oozing. A small amount of bleeding or oozing is normal from any incision site, including those around the eyes. The ice packs will help diminish this postoperatively. If any bleeding becomes brisk, immediately apply pressure and ice packs. If this does not stop the bleeding after 15 minutes, or if it is overwhelming the bandage, call Dr. Sanderson’s office or 911 immediately!
  3. Blurry vision. Blurred vision is to be expected after any surgery in the vicinity of the eyes. The swelling, along with tearing and ointment getting in the eyes, play a part in making it difficult to see. Please do not try to do any fine reading during your first week postoperatively. If you experience anything other than some mild blurriness of vision, in either eye, contact Dr. Sanderson’s office immediately!
  4. Double vision. Double vision also occurs frequently when surgery is performed around the eyes. The muscles which move the eyes can be swollen from the anesthetic or from the surgery. This double vision usually only lasts for a few days. Please try to close one or both eyes in the mean time, until it resolves.
  5. Pain. There should not be much pain with your surgery. Swelling of the tissues can cause some discomfort and pressure sensations. You will have pain medications prescribed or you may take extra strength Tylenol if you experience discomfort. Many patients never need the medication. However, if you have significant pain, or a sudden onset of a significant pain, this is not usual and you should call Dr. Sanderson’s office immediately, day or night!
  6. Antibiotic ointment. Apply a thin coat of the ointment to the incisions twice daily, using a cotton-tipped applicator.
  7. Stitches and Staples. Ointments are used to coat the stitches and staples during the early recovery period. Dr. Sanderson will determine when they should be removed, and this is usually between 7 – 14 days postoperatively. Do not attempt to remove or trim them in any way yourself! If you are experiencing any problems, contact Dr. Sanderson’s office.
  8. Bandages. Leave all bandages in place until Dr. Sanderson or his staff removes them at your postoperative visit. Do not apply ice packs on top of any bandages.
  9. Healing. A great deal of healing will occur over the first 14 days after surgery. Some patients take longer, and full healing from any surgery takes several months. Please be patient during this period.
  10. Activity. It is important that you refrain from any lifting, straining or vigorous exercise for the first few weeks after surgery. Sleeping elevated and on your back will help decrease the amount of swelling you will experience. Avoid the sun upon your surgical area by staying indoors as much as possible for the first few weeks. When you do go outside, be sure to cover up with sunblock and wear a hat.
  11. Showering/Bathing. When showering during the first two weeks of surgery, please be very careful to keep the incisions as dry as possible. This can be accomplished by shielding the operative areas with a dry washcloth. If the incisions do get wet, just dry them off as soon as possible.
  12. Follow Up. You will have your first postoperative appointment with Dr. Sanderson scheduled prior to your surgery. He will determine at that visit when the next visit will be needed. Please call the office anytime with any questions regarding your surgery: 813-925-FACE (3223)