Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty) Instructions


  • If possible, avoid medications and supplements that may thin your blood. This includes aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, Vitamin E, and fish oil for 2 weeks before surgery. 
  • Do not smoke for 4 weeks prior to and 4 weeks after surgery. Nicotine and tobacco smoke delay healing and can adversely affect fat survival
  • Arrange to have someone drive you home from the procedure if you are having any oral or IV sedation. If you are having local anesthesia or numbing you will not need a driver.
  • Plan to take 7-10 days off work and at least 3 weeks before any major social events. You will look swollen for 7-10 days.

Shopping List

  • Vaseline or Aquaphor ointment
  • Eye drops/ointment for moisture
  • Optional: makeup to cover any bruising


  • Do not eat or drink anything, including water, the morning of surgery. Essential medications may be taken with a sip of water.
  • Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes that button or zip. Avoid slipover clothing.
  • Leave your valuables at home; do not wear jewelry or piercings.
  • Avoid all makeup, hairspray, and nail polish.
  • Do not wear contacts, you may wear glasses if needed.
  • Bring your ID with you.


  • You must protect your eyes from the sun and wind. Wear dark sunglasses with frames that provide plenty of coverage whenever you go outdoors.
  • Do not wear contacts for 4 weeks, you may wear light weight glasses that don’t rest on the lower eyelid skin.
  • Ice your eyes to help with swelling in the first 48 hours. Bags of frozen peas tend to work best.
  • Minor swelling and bruising largely resolves within the first week. There may be some mild residual swelling that can take longer to resolve, but generally does not preclude returning to work or social events.
  • Sutures will be removed 5-6 days after surgery at your first post-op appointment.
  • This procedure is tolerated well and very few patients have issues with controlling pain/discomfort after surgery.
  • You may start wearing makeup 5 days after surgery, but do not apply to incisions.
  • Sunscreen should be applied to the external scars starting 2-3 weeks after surgery. It is important to protect your scars for AT LEAST  1 year to prevent discoloration from the sun. Sunscreen with SPF 30 and above is always recommended to prevent skin cancer and signs of aging/sun damage.
  • Resuming physical activities:
    • Light activity (preparing meals, walking around the house) is encouraged immediately to prevent blood clots but no heavy lifting greater than 10 pounds, bending over, or straining until cleared by Dr. Harbison.
    • Driving: once you are no longer taking pain medications
    • Sports: 6 weeks
    • Swimming, sauna, hot tub: 3-4 weeks or as directed by Dr. Harbison
    • Scuba diving: 12 weeks

    Please call our office at 402.739.8144 at any time with questions or concerns. After hours, you may call our office and follow the prompts to speak to the on call nurse. If you are experiencing a life-threating emergency, please go to the nearest emergency department.