What to expect after surgery
Bruising and swelling are normal following surgery. It can get worse the first 2-3 days after surgery. They eyelids may swell closed in the mornings. Most of the bruising swelling is resolved by two weeks after surgery.
Mild bleeding can occur the first 48 hours from the incision line or from the tears. You can gently dab the area with a moist gauze or cloth to clean. Avoid bending or straining or rubbing the wound. For excessive bleeding, apply a cold compress to the area for 15 minutes with light pressure. IF bleeding persists, call your doctor.
Discomfort is generally most pronounced on the afternoon and evening of surgery and begins to improve the next day. Tylenol is usually sufficient to take as directed regularly the day of surgery, then as needed. Others may chose to use a prescription pain reliever prescribed at the time of your surgical procedure.
It is not unusual to experience a sandy or gritty sensation in the eyes following surgery, and this generally improves with the use of lubricant drops or ointment such as Refresh Genteal or Systane.
Apply cold compresses directly to the wound for the first two days following surgery to help with bruising, swelling, pain and itching. This can be prepared by placing crushed ice in a clean Ziplock™ sandwich bag. Alternatively, a bag of packaged frozen vegetables (i.e., peas, corn), which stay cold and conform easily to the contours of the eyelids may be successfully used. The compresses should be applied as often as tolerated, 15 minutes every half hour while awake. Children may not tolerate ice packs at all.
The prescribed ointment should be applied lightly to the stitches 3 times daily once the eye patch or bandaid is removed. The ointment may be spread with a cotton-tipped applicator. If instructed, the ointment should be applied directly to the eye, for these applications may blur vision.
If given an eye patch, remove the next morning. If it is more bothersome to the patient, you may remove it the day of surgery and keep it off. Start to apply the ointment once the patch is removed. Avoid sleeping with your face down into the pillow for the first week. There may be a bandaid called a steristrip over the wound. Keep in on until it peels or falls off, then remove gently when wet.
Keep the wounds dry for one day following surgery. The next day you may take a shower and let clean water run across the wounds avoiding direct impact of the water jet. You may also clean the surgical site gently with a clean washcloth or cotton ball saturated with warm water. Avoid rubbing the wound. Repeat daily.