What to generally expect in terms of recovery after undergoing eyelid or orbital surgery?
Most eyelid surgeries are performed under sedation or light general anesthesia. Most orbital surgeries or eye socket surgeries are performed under general anesthesia. Most people don’t remember their experience in the operating room because of the amnesia effects of the sedatives.
After your surgery, you will spend some time in the Recovery Room of the surgical facility. When you wake up, you will have a cold compress gauze dressing over your eyes. Don’t be alarmed if your eyes are covered and you can not see. There is always a nurse available to assist you.
Depending on the type of surgery you undergo, your eye may or may not be patched. Generally speaking though, there is no patching for standard cosmetic eyelid surgeries.
Have someone reliable, preferably a family member or close friend bring you to surgery and from surgery. This person should be available to stay and assist you the night after surgery. If you don’t have such a person, please let us know in advance so that we can recommend several available after-care facilities or caretakers to you.
The recovery from eyelid or eye socket surgery is usually well tolerated by most patients. Most patients end up going home the same day of the surgery. Those that do go home can do if they are stable, have no evidence of active bleeding and pain, and so long as they have someone to help care for them.
ABOUT EYEDROPS: You will be given eyedrops to place in the eyes after surgery but please be EXTREMELY gentle in instilling them. If your lids are swollen shut, allow the drops to dribble in where your lids meet. Continue using the drops until several days after your first postoperative visit, or as per Dr. Zoumalan’s instructions.
ABOUT SLEEPING: Sleep on your back with your head elevated (on pillows, or in a recliner). DO NOT sleep face-down or on your side. Continue sleeping this way until a day or two after all of your sutures are removed. note for parents: some parents find that it is easiest to have babies and small children sleep in a stroller
ABOUT YOUR SURGICAL SITE: It is important that you keep the surgical site clean. To clean crusts from your eyelashes, dip a Q-tip in warm water and GENTLY remove the crusts by brushing with the Q-tip. When the crusts are gone, you should be able to open your eyes, but if your lids do not open, DO NOT force them open. DO NOT scrub at your sutures or attempt to cut the sutures.
ABOUT PHYSICAL ACTIVITY: No strenuous activity (exercise, sports, etc.) for two weeks following surgery. Do not bend at the waist or perform any lifting. Keep your head upright; do not let your head hang down.
ABOUT BATHING/SHOWERING: You may bathe immediately, but when showering, keep your head away from the water. You may wash your face and hair, but DO NOT get your stitches very wet! A little water or soap won’t hurt, but rubbing with a hand or towel should be avoided. To avoid possible eye irritation from shampoo, use a “no-tears” baby shampoo. If possible, have someone assist you in washing your hair while you lie back over a sink (as in a salon). It is extremely important that whoever washes your hair is VERY gentle in order to avoid pulling of the skin and/or sutures.
DIET: You may return to your regular diet the afternoon/night of surgery based on your level of comfort.