After your eye surgery

  • You will need to have someone stay with you for the first 24 to 48 hours.
  • You may experience a gritty sensation in the eyes in the first few days. Occasionally, what appears to be a transparent sack of fluid develops and covers part of the eye (chemosis). This looks quite frightening but you should not be alarmed as it will settle on its own.  Anti-inflammatory eye drops can be prescribed if this persists.
  • Remember to recommence any regular medication that you take (ie. blood pressure tablets) as soon as you are able to drink, unless specifically instructed not to.
  • Try to sit upright as much as possible to help reduce the swelling. At night use an extra pillow to ensure that your head is above the level of the heart and avoid any straining.
  • Keep the wound and dressing as dry as possible for at least 48 hours. However, it may be necessary for you to bathe the eyes, particularly in the morning.
  • Remember to apply the antibiotic ointment or eye drops as instructed (usually for five days).

Food and drink advice

  • Salty foods can contribute to fluid retention and swelling so reduce these in the first seven to ten days. In order to avoid constipation, eat plenty of fresh vegetables and dried fruits. Eat a well-balanced diet to ensure your body is getting all the important nutrients it needs in the immediate post-operative healing period.
  • Drink plenty of fluids in the form of water and fresh juices for the first few days after surgery.
  • Reduce caffeine and carbonated drink intake in the first few days.
  • You should abstain from alcohol during the first week following surgery.

Further advice

  • Wear comfortable front opening and loose clothing at night and in the day. Ideally wear garments that do not need to be pulled over your head.
  • There is likely to be some degree of soiling or staining from the surgical incision sites so it is advisable to use older bed and pillow linen.
  • Do not pull on the operated eyelid. If the lower eyelid is operated on, do not pull this down while applying drops / ointment, or while wiping your face. This may undo the stiches.
  • The bruising and swelling will start to subside after about ten to 14 days and most of the obvious swelling will be gone within three weeks.
  • Avoid sunlight as much as possible for three months after surgery and then use a high filter sun block (Factor 50 or higher).

With lower eyelid surgery, lowering or irregularities of the lower eyelid can sometimes occur as a result of the pulling effects of scar tissue with changes of the shape and size of the eye. If this is very noticeable it can be a little distressing. We will instruct you on how to massage the eye area and ask that you undertake this very early on. Do not start local massage until instructed to do so.

It is advised that you purchase a freezable eye mask (available from Boots or The Body Shop) or alternatively use something cold from the freezer (such as a bag of frozen peas) and apply this over closed eyes for as long as comfortable, around five minutes every hour for the first 24 to 48 hours. You should apply a cold compresses to the eyelid area intermittently for 48 hours. Never apply ice packs directly on the skin. Wrap them in a clean towel or linen before applying them.


You may drive after 72 hours if your vision is not altered through swelling.


Should you experience any pain, you may take one or two pain relieving tablets (such as paracetamol). Do not take Aspirin or any medication containing aspirin


Your stitches, if present, will be removed one week after surgery.  If glue is used, do not try to peel it off or remove it yourself. It usually falls off on its own once the wound has healed.

Seek medical advice as soon as possible if you experience:

  • A severe pain in or around your eye not relieved by painrelief
  • Excessive swelling, particularly of the lower lids
  • Prolonged bleeding from the incision
  • A sudden deterioration or change in vision. Or the feeling of something sticking in your eye
  • A fever greater than 100 F or 38.5 C
  • Any discharge from the incision sites after 48 hours.

Contact us

If you have any questions or concerns please contact the following:

  • Eye Clinic at Yeovil Hospital
    8am – 5pm Monday – Thursday
    8am – 1pm on Fridays
    01935 606 198
  • Mobile Triage team
    07584 312 399
  • Out of hours
    Contact the Emergency Department at Yeovil Hospital
    01935 384 802

Review: 05/20
Ref: 08-18-120