Post-op Eyelid Surgery

The surgery is over and you are in the recovery room...

Ice Packs


Dr. Magauran operates at the Surgery Center of New England (SCNE), Baystate Hospital (BHS) and in his office. Most procedures performed at SCNE and BHS involve the use of sedatives which means you need to be observed post-operatively before going home. A typical stay in the post-op area is 30-60 minutes.

  • Recovery room = observation.
  • Assessment and treatment of discomfort.
  • Advancement back to a regular diet.
  • Application of ice packs.
  • Review post-op instructions prior to discharge.

Ice Packs

The repetitive application of ice is almost as important as the surgery itself. Follow the post-op instructions closely to recover as quickly as possible. The delicate eyelid skin does best with ice every hour for ten minutes while awake for two days. For those having surgery on all four eyelids or their forehead, we recommend three days of icing. Part of good healing is good sleep. Get as much sleep as you need, then restart the ice packs every hour on the hour. Do sleep in your own bed. Do not sleep in an armchair or stay up all night to apply the ice packs. Do not sleep at a funny angle. Sleep as you normally would. No driving for 24 hours and no alcohol for 24 hours. You will heal best when you sleep soundly, usually that is in your own bed, for as long as your body needs. Be sure to have some 4x4 gauzes handy to put between your eyelids and the ice packs - this keeps the ice pack clean and doesn't give you an excuse to not use the ice!

The First Week and Beyond

Typical Healing times post-eyelid surgery

More than half of my surgical patients will leave the OR without a bruise. Of these, half will still develop significant bruising. The bruising will resolve. Tylenol during the first day takes care of any discomfort for most patients. However, 100% of patients will swell. How much and for how long will vary, but the swelling is always less if you follow the icing regimen.

It is important to have a supply of 4x4 gauze pads at home to place between your eyelids and the ice pack, to keep it clean. I have found that patients are less likely to use the ice every hour for ten minutes, as prescribed, if the ice pack gets dirty. Since there will be a little oozing post-operatively, the gauze pads serve to keep the ice pack clean. We do not want there to be any reason to not use the ice. Have we said this a lot? That's how critical it is... The repetitive application of ice will keep new swelling to a minimum. This leads to faster recovery times, faster healing.

Remember too much ice will also cause a delay in healing. Never fall asleep while wearing the ice packs to prevent frost-bite. The eyelid skin is very delicate!

Download Post-op Instructions Form