POST OPERATIVE SURGICAL INSTRUCTIONS
After surgery, the recovery process begins. It is important to recognize several steps can help you in your road to recovery. Immediately after surgery, there will be bruising and swelling. It is no different than getting hit in the eye or face with a baseball bat. Expect bruising and discoloration of the skin along with swelling of the surrounding tissue. There are several steps that can be done to reduce swelling and improve your postoperative healing.
1. No heavy lifting, bending, exertion
After surgery there is an increased risk of bleeding as blood vessels and tissues are healing. Exertion, lifting and bending can cause blood vessels to break open and bleed. Excessive bleeding can lead to vision loss, blindness and tissue damage. This includes exercise such as weightlifting, running or sports. In fact, lifting anything over 10 pounds is not a very good idea.
It is recommended to ice the eyelids twenty minutes on and twenty off while awake. Patients often use a bag of peas and keep one on the freezer while using the other bag. Immediately after surgery, there will be bruising and swelling. It is no different than getting hit in the eye or face with a baseball bat. Expect bruising and discoloration of the skin along with swelling of the surrounding tissue. Icing will help but the swelling and bruising take time to recover. It may be several weeks before things are completely back to normal. Most patients can use cover-up after 7-10 days for most eyelid surgeries. More involved surgeries tend to have a longer recovery. The good news is that 99% of the time the swelling and bruising completely resolve.
3. Sleeping with head elevated Sleeping on a couple of pillows and keeping your head above your heart will drain fluid and help reduce swelling.
4. Antibiotic use
Please use your antibiotic ointment and/or pills as instructed unless Dr Thiagarajah has told you otherwise. For antibiotic ointment apply a small amount on any stitches or wounds twice a day. If some gets into the eye it is ok though it can make the vision temporarily blurry as the ointment distorts the vision. Most patients are able to use tylenol after surgery for pain but a pain prescription is usually provided. However if there is breakthrough pain, the pain prescription that is given is to be used as needed. Depending on the type of surgery, Dr Thiagarajah may or may not give an oral antibiotic. Please finish taking all the prescribed medicine unless otherwise instructed.
A light amount of blood, bloody tears is to be expected and can be controlled with a light pressure with a washcloth. Excessive bleeding, pain out of proportion or vision loss indicates you may be having a hemorrhage or excessive bleed. It is important to call Dr Thiagarajah at the Denver office or on his phone immediately if that is the case.
A certain level of pain or discomfort is to be expected after surgery. Most patients use Tylenol to control the pain. If you have breakthrough pain, you can use the prescribed pain pills. Any excessive pain especially associated with vision loss should alert you to contact Dr Thiagarajah immediately.
7. Followup Appointment
Please call Dr Thiagarajah’s office at 303 468 8844 for your followup appointment which should be roughly 5-10 days after surgery.
8. Wound/Stitch Care
After surgery it is best to leave the stitches alone as much as possible. A q-tip with hydrogen peroxide can be used to clean the stitches once or twice a day. This can clear the dried blood. Do not manipulate the stitches and try to sleep on your back with several pillows to keep the stitches from being inadvertently stretched or pulled.
Patients can shower but not put a direct spray of water on the surgical site for the first week. After the first week, showering is ok. Pool water should not come in any contact with the wound or surgical site for two weeks after surgery.
10. Nose Blowing
Especially for tear duct surgery but also in other surgeries as well it is important to not blow your nose after surgery for 1 week. This can increase blood pressure in the head and break a blood vessel. For tear duct surgery there is no nose blowing for three months after surgery because the tear duct stent can be accidentally blown out that way.