People experience a mix of excitement and anxiety when preparing for blepharoplasty. At my Manhattan (NYC) practice, I reassure my patients that these feelings are normal. After all, blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure, and the uncertainty of surgery often leaves patients feeling a bit apprehensive. I want to take the opportunity to reduce some of that uncertainty with this blog post. By reviewing what you can expect both before and after your blepharoplasty, I hope that you’ll feel thoroughly prepared and confident.
By preparing at home as much as you can, you can ensure your recuperation is likely to be smooth, comfortable, and low-stress. One of the simplest preparations you can make is picking up your prescriptions early. Blepharoplasty is an outpatient procedure, and by having your prescription pain medicine ready for you at home, you can avoid an uncomfortable stop at the pharmacy after surgery. Perhaps more important is ensuring that your family or caregiver understands the surgery and the anticipated details of your recovery. Although blepharoplasty is not a significantly invasive procedure, it’s still important that you spend some time resting after surgery. It may be up to 1 week before you feel comfortable going out in public, so it’s imperative that you have help from your spouse, partner, children, or a friend when it comes to daily obligations such as errands, housekeeping, and more. You’ll need to spend more time away from strenuous activities, too.
Prior to your surgery, you will need to discontinue the use of some medications, such as blood thinners, and certain vitamins and supplements. You may need to coordinate this medication break with your primary care physician. If you are a smoker, it is vitally important that you quit at least several weeks before surgery. Of course, the sooner you quit smoking, the better.
If you wear contact lenses, be advised that you will need to avoid wearing them for several weeks after surgery. Be sure you have a backup pair of glasses on hand to use while your eyelids heal. My blepharoplasty patients in Manhattan have also noticed that wearing eyeglasses can also help conceal bruising, swelling, and discoloration caused by the surgery.
You’ll need to have a trustworthy adult accompany you home after surgery since your vision will likely be temporarily impaired. Additionally, you may feel a bit groggy, depending on the type of anesthesia used during your surgery. I provide each blepharoplasty patient with a document that details the activities you will need to avoid, as well as how you can best care for your incisions. It’s best to sleep with your head slightly elevated for the first few nights after your surgery, as this can reduce discomfort and unnecessary swelling.
Pay attention to your incisions, and be on the lookout for undesirable symptoms including excessive redness, pain, or oozing. Although infections are unlikely, it’s best that your surgeon evaluate these symptoms in person. You will also be scheduled for several follow-up appointments; the first is a day or so after surgery, and the second several days later for suture removal. By keeping these appointments, you can ensure you’re healing in a timely and healthy way.
If you’re interested in finding out more about this procedure, I’ve written another blog post that details what blepharoplasty can address.