It's been one month since my double eyelid surgery and I have gathered a few tips on how to care for your eyes for optimal results. Let's jump right into it, shall we?
Day 1: Day of Surgery
You won't feel much pain/ discomfort during surgery and a few hours following surgery. However, as the anesthesia wears off you will start to feel miserable due to the fresh wounds and swelling. During this time it is CRUCIAL to ice your eyes. Ice as frequently as possible. I cannot stress this enough, if you are diligent with icing, your eyes/ face will thank you. Trust me on this one. Also, try to elevate your head at all times, lift up or pillows and sleep in a semi-upward position ( I know it sounds super uncomfortable but for the sake of healing, try to stay up right as much as you can). Secondly, make sure you use the antibiotic ointment and pills your surgeon gives you. This will prevent infections since you have fresh wounds. You don't want to develop an infection and have to deal with that, on top of your already wounded eyes. And try to stay away from salty food, salt will retain water in your body, causing more swelling.
Day 2-5: Post-Op
For a few days following surgery, you will be VERY swollen. Especially the second and third. During this time, again, it's very crucial to ice your eyes. Ice as frequently as possible and make sure to continue to take your antibiotics and apply antibiotic ointment. Have lots of rest as well as you do not want to strain your eyes.
After 5 days:
Your swelling should be subsiding rapidly and your eyes should look a lot better already by this time. You can start using warm compress during this time for bruising. You may find that the skin around your eyes will look yellowish or reddish due to lack of circulation and bruising. Warm compresses will stimulate circulation thus breaking down the discoloration. Also try to look up as frequently as you can (even if you feel like it's hard to do so at this point), this will help with the overall shape of the crease.
After removal of stitches:
By day 7, your surgeon should have removed your stitches. You may find that along the incision line you find little bumps and a lot of redness. This is normal. Don't freak out or panic and complain to your surgeon as all of this is normal and will subside with time. You may also find that that scarring is very apparent in the inner corners. This is also normal. This will also subside with time. Fresh scars usually look reddish, overtime they will turn white. When they eventually turn white they will look minimal and can usually be covered with makeup (concealer, foundation etc). After your stitches are removed make sure you are still doing the "lifting" motion of your eyelids by staring straight up into the sky as frequently as possible. Continue to use warm compresses and at this time you can start using a scar gel (although it is not crucial). Your swelling should subside rapidly after the stitches are removed and you should see a drastic improvement within the next few days. Also, you can start wearing makeup a few days after the removal of stitches, although I would recommend holding off as long as you can.
After 2 weeks:
By this time most of your swelling should have subsided and scarring should have improved quite a bit. However, you won't look perfectly normal just yet. You may notice some residual swelling and some scarring, but again, this is totally normal. Have patience and over time they will go away. You may start "massaging" the areas where you see excessive scarring. This may be along the incision line as well as the inner corners (if you had epicanthoplasty). Apply something so that you are not creating too much friction on the skin (some kind of ointment, scar gel, or oil). Gently press along the incision line and also the inner corners. Do this for about 10 minutes, and a few times a day. This will help keep the scar tissue flat and soft. Your doctor may also administer a cortico-steroid (Kenalog) shot to help soften the scar tissue as well. Prolonged usage of cortico-steroids may cause skin atrophy (thinning of the skin due to loss of collagen/ elastin). So I wouldn't recommend doing this frequently. Short term usage of this should be alright if administered carefully and any "damage" done should be temporary and should revert itself with time. Definitely massage the scars though, it really helps!
By one month your eyes should start to look really good. Continue to massage them and always keep them clean. As the days go on they will look better and better. I hope this post can help some of you during the depressing times post surgery. Good luck!