Upper eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) aftercare | Q&A with a plastic surgeon Giedrius Stankevičius
Droopy upper eyelids are a very common problem that women and men of all ages turn to plastic surgeons for. Blepharoplasty is a great solution for a more youthful appearance – the eyes no longer look tired and sad. But every surgery requires aftercare which strongly affects your final result. We invited our plastic surgeon Giedrius Stankevičius for a Q&A – on how to take care of our eyes post-op.
First hours after the surgery till bedtime: what are the steps for the aftercare?
Firstly, I always recommend using ice bags because ice bags reduce pain, reduce hematoma occurrence and it is usually really fast and a good decision postoperative. You don’t need to fear if there is a little blood on an icebag, you don’t need to fear that still you a little bit swelled. You always need to put an ice bag for 15 minutes on the eyelids, 15 min 15 minutes in the fridge, and like this algorithmic stuff, you must continue for a whole evening and the best the next morning until noon.
How to reduce pain?
We always provide painkillers, but usually, if the person, is using ice bags, then it’s no need for any anesthetic and it’s no need for medication for the pain.
Why is it recommended to sleep on a higher pillow at night, to keep the body higher, instead of in the usual horizontal position?
It is best if the patient put extra pillow for the night because natural gravity works still and after surgery, all unnecessary fluids get down not on the operational field. So for this reason for the better visual effect, for better pain relief it’s better to put extra pillow.
2nd day post-op. What to expect?
All algorithms are the same. You’re putting ice for 15 minutes on the eyes, and 15 minutes in the fridge or freezer. If you have a freezer then put it in the freezer and like this, you continue until noon. You don’t need to be scared of bruises, it’s normal. You don’t need to be scared of a little bit of swelling around the eyes, it’s normal. And of course, there are blue spots, sometimes on the lower eyelids. Of course, we don’t operate in this area but still, it is possible to help those with ice bags.
Can food bags from a freezer be a good source to cool the operated area?
Actually, for the best result, I always recommend having ice bags with the gel inside which are normally used when you have some trauma and you put them on top of that to reduce their swelling. So same for the eyes, you can apply ice bags through a small tissue (like a napkin). Use it, change the napkin and that’s it. If you take something from your freezer, like, I don’t know, like a frozen meatloaf or something like this, then you must put it on your towel. Like a normal bath towel and then apply it on the eyes. Don’t apply this for more than 15 minutes. It makes a huge difference and the main point is that the patient feels less pain. Also, it helps with swelling and an appearance of a scar.
You do not operate the eyes themselves. Why should we pay attention to them anyways?
Of course, we’re operating the eyelids, not the eyeballs. But we always recommend eye drops for the eyes because naturally after surgery tears do not form so frequently and for the first two days it’s essential to have eye drops.
Is it ok to watch TV and use a mobile device post-op?
I always recommend not using mobile on the first days, like not for scrolling or texting. It’s much much better to watch TV or something where you don’t need to look down. Because when you’re looking down with your eyeballs in this position, you always press your eyelids a little bit and you can get more hematoma and more blue spots.
When is a good time to start using cosmetics post-surgery?
We always recommend using all cosmetics the next day, not on the same day. You can use cosmetic pads to clean your face, apply something like cream, etc. Just don’t go near to incision site or plaster, which is on the top. The plaster must be always dry.
When will the most visible post-op side effects go away?
Hematoma or bruises or swelling disappears in the first two weeks. It’s always individual for person to person, and normally for the vast majority, it disappears on the 10th day. And actually, there are some individuals for whom blue spots could stay for 2-3 weeks and it could be normal.
Why does eyelid asymmetry occur in some cases?
It‘s possible to have not symmetrical eyes at first. We don’t recommend evaluating them because it’s still a healing process and just after three months you have like 80% of your final result. So please be patient.
When can you really evaluate your final results?
Normally when I do plastic surgery, I always recommend for all of my patients check themselves after three months. Three months is the best time because normally all swelling is gone, the scar forming is already halfway and you at least can see 80% of the final result. And but it’s still not 100%, it’s just 80% for some people it could still be a little bit of swelling, a little bit of asymmetrical stuff because of the swelling. So keep it in mind that normally it is. OK check yourself after three months, but the final result after one year.