Post-Operative Instructions


You must arrange to have a driver take you home after surgery. You may NOT drive yourself or take public transportation. Anesthesia requires that you have someone stay with you the night of surgery. You may NOT spend the night alone after surgery. The doctor and/or the facility may opt to cancel your surgery if you do not have suitable assistance arranged.


Antibiotic-steroid ointments, eye drops and/or painkillers are often prescribed following surgery. If you do not already have these, you will be given a prescription and you can pick them up at the pharmacy on your way home from the surgery center. You may want to get these ahead of time so after surgery you can go straight home and relax.

Start with a small (bb sized) bead of ointment. Gently dab it onto the wound, and also along the edge of the eyelid(s) so that it gets inside the eye(s). It is very important to get the ointment into the eye(s). It is also extremely helpful to get the ointment into the eye(s) before bed so it can work while you sleep. Continue four (4) times per day until your Post-Op appointment.

Follow directions on the prescription(s) and from the Doctor if these medications are prescribed to you.

Apply cold compresses to surgical sites as much as possible for the first 48 - 72 hours following surgery to minimize post-operative swelling. We recommend a small handful of frozen peas or corn in a small baggie. Make 4-6 baggies of the frozen peas and leave them in the freezer for easy rotation. Place a gauze pad or thin handkerchief on the eyelid(s), then place one baggie on top of that. Keep the wound(s) cool as much as possible while awake for the first 48-72 hours. Beginning on day 3 or 4, you may begin using warm compresses 2-5 times per day for 5-10 minutes each to help improve circulation and healing. If the cold compress is soothing, feel free to continue using these indefinitely. The cold often helps with itching as well.


Avoid heavy lifting (nothing heavier than a gallon of milk), straining, lowering the head below the waist, or ANY strenuous exercise for 10-14 days following surgery. Light walking is good and in fact, you should get up and stretch your legs every 30-60 minutes during the day.


Bruising, swelling, slight bleeding, a clear or mucus discharge, and/or crusting around the lashes are all common after surgery, especially for the first few days. In fact, swelling and bruising often get worse for the first two days after surgery. Blurry vision is also common due to the effects of swelling and the ointment that is used. Any bleeding can almost always be stopped by applying direct pressure with a clean washcloth or gauze pad.

Typically, 5-10 minutes of continuous pressure is all that is needed to stop the bleeding. Occasionally, if there is still bleeding, 30 minutes of continuous pressure (no peeking or checking) is required. If the wound is still bleeding after 30 minutes of continuous pressure, please call the doctor immediately.


Pain is usually mild to moderate on the first day and should resolve with the use of the prescribed pain medicine. Most patients use the pain medicine on the day of surgery and some use it for a day or two after surgery. The cold compresses will also help to make you more comfortable.


Aspirin, Ibuprofen (Motrin®, Advil®, etc.) or ANY blood thinners from the list you were given for one week after surgery, unless otherwise directed.

Tylenol (acetaminophen) may be used, but do NOT use with the pain medicine (Norco) prescribed because it may also contain acetaminophen. Tylenol may be used with Ultram (Tramadol).

URGENT *If you experience worsening pain, decreased vision, or diminished color vision, purulent discharge (pus), or if the eye seems to be moving forward or “bulging,” call Dr. McInnes right away AND go to the emergency room IMMEDIATELY.


Sleep with the head elevated on 1-2 extra pillows at night (if possible), or sleep in a recliner-type chair with the head elevated. Place a towel over the pillowcase to protect it in the event you have some bleeding after surgery. This is most important for the first 1-2 nights after surgery.

You may begin to shower/bathe the day after surgery. It is fine to get the wound(s) wet briefly, but do NOT soak the wound(s). Dry the surgical area with a gentle “patting” motion but avoid any rubbing.

Stay home and relax/sleep as much as possible for the first two days after surgery. Do get up and stretch your legs to improve circulation every 30-60 minutes. You may do light activities such as short walks, brief trips to the store, etc. beginning on day 3 after surgery. NO make-up should be applied for 10-14 days after surgery. You will want to be sure to wear dark sunglasses; both for comfort, but also to cover the bruising and swelling that will be present for the first 3 weeks after surgery.

Finally, you will be seen in the office about a week after surgery to have any permanent sutures removed and to begin tapering down on any ointments and/or drops. Additionally, you will be instructed to begin/continue using artificial tears and warm compresses. A second visit usually occurs about 6 weeks after surgery to be sure everything is healing as expected.

If you have any questions, or would like to see the doctor at any time, please give us a call at (208) 939-2939. For after hour concerns or emergencies, please call Dr. McInnes on his cell (208) 995-4490.