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Blepharoplasty: Reduce Eyelid Swelling

Ice to eyes after cosmetic eyelid surgery is most useful during the first 48 hours. I advise cosmetic patients to keep fresh, clean ice pack over surgical wounds while they are awake only for the first 2 days. After the first 2 days, ice does help control swelling but is much less effective. I still recommend using ice for the first week, as tolerated. Each DC facial plastic surgeon has a preference based on the procedure and each specific patient.

Keep your head elevated at all times, and avoid bending over. Sleeping on top several pillows or in a chair also helps reduce facial swelling after cosmetic surgery.

I advise patients to strictly avoid lifting, straining, or any strenuous activity (including sex) for at least 2 weeks following facial plastic surgery. This activity restriction helps healing during the recovery period.

Some plastic surgeons also prescribe a steroid pill, such as prednisone, to control post-procedure swelling and help in recovery.

Although, most swelling after eyelid surgery resolves in a couple weeks, it really takes longer for the final swelling to go away. Four days after eyelid surgery is still very early.

Speak with your eyelid surgeon, and ask when you should stop the ice packs.

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    Houtan Chaboki, M.D.