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Pre and Post-Operative Instructions for Your Eyelid Surgery

Please read these instructions before and after your surgery. Carefully following these guidelines will help you obtain the best possible result. Take this information with you on the day of surgery so you can begin following the instructions that day. If you have questions, do not hesitate to contact our office. We want you to have a pleasant and enjoyable experience.

Preparing for Eyelid Surgery

  • Avoid aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications), Vitamin E, herbal supplements or any medications containing these compounds for two weeks before surgery. Acetaminophen (Tylenol or generic equivalent) and daily multivitamin are fine.
  • Refrain from smoking two weeks before and two weeks after surgery. Nicotine and tobacco smoke delay healing and can result in scarring. This is the perfect time to give up the habit.
  • Avoid sun damage two weeks before surgery. While we recommend wearing a SPF 30 or higher, our physicians and staff wear a SPF 50 every day.
  • Your prescriptions for after surgery (typically an antibiotic and pain med) will be given to you the day of surgery.
  • Purchase the following non-prescription items:
    • Sinecch – herbal supplement which helps reduce swelling and bruising. This is only available through our office and is optional.
  • Do not eat or drink anything, including water, after midnight the night before your surgery.
  • Arrange for someone to take you home from the hospital. You will not be allowed to drive or leave alone. Arrange for someone to stay with you for the first 24 hours after surgery
  • Make arrangements to stay in the Kansas City area on the night of your surgery if you live more than an hour’s drive away.

On the day before Surgery

You may be given an approximate arrival time for your surgery at your clinic visit. On the day before surgery you will receive a phone call informing you of the exact time to report to the surgery center.

If your surgery is scheduled at KU MedWest, you can expect a phone call from the Pre-op nurse several days in advance of surgery. If you have not received a call by noon on the day before surgery, you may reach him/her by calling (913) 588-2279.

If your surgery is scheduled at KU Hospital, you will receive a call from the Otolaryngology and Facial Plastic Surgery Coordinator on the day before surgery. If you have not received a call by noon on the day before surgery, please call her at (913) 588-6522.

Day of Surgery

  • Do not eat or drink anything, including water, the morning of surgery. Essential meds may be taken with a sip of water.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes that fasten in front or back. Avoid slipover clothing.
  • Leave all valuables at home; do not wear jewelry.
  • Do not wear any facial or eye make-up. Avoid nail polish.
  • You may wear glasses but do not wear contact lenses.
  • If you wear dentures, keep them in.
  • Bring ID and insurance card with you

Post-Operative Care

  • Iced gauze pads (gauze pads dipped in ice water and wrung out) should be applied to the eyes and cheek for the first 48 hours to minimize swelling and discoloration.
  • Keep your head elevated to minimize swelling. A recliner works well or adding an extra pillow on your bed is adequate.
  • You may wash your face. You may shower and wash your hair.
  • If you have external eyelid incisions, they may be gently cleaned with a Q-tip and half-strength hydrogen peroxide (dilute with water). We will prescribe an antibiotic ointment formulated for eyelid use which should be then applied to the incision 3 times a day after cleaning. Avoid over-the-counter ointments.
  • You may wear contact lenses two to three weeks after surgery.
  • Avoid extreme physical activity including athletic activities and intercourse. You may resume light walking three days after surgery. Aerobic exercise, weight training, heavy lifting, and straining may be gradually resumed three weeks after surgery.
  • Absolutely avoid sun exposure, sun lamps, or tanning beds for six weeks after surgery. Heat may cause your face to swell. While we recommend wearing a SPF 30 or higher, our physicians and staff wear a SPF 50 every day.
  • Don’t be concerned if the eyes show some swelling – this usually resolves within 2 weeks. In certain patients, it may require six months for all swelling to completely subside.
  • Take only medications prescribed by your doctor.
  • Makeup may be used 7-10 days after surgery.
  • DON’T TAKE CHANCES! If you are concerned about anything you consider significant, call us at our 24 hour number (913) 588-6701.