Eyelid surgery—called blepharoplasty—can tighten droopy eyelids and freshen your appearance. If you're having this type of cosmetic surgery, it's time to start thinking about more than the benefits. Start thinking now about your recovery. There are things you can do before your surgery to help you heal quickly afterward. Taking these steps ahead of time can help make your recovery go more smoothly. Pre-Surgery Prep Preparation for your surgery and your recovery should start weeks in advance. You'll have an appointment with your doctor to go over your medical history. This includes any eye problems you've had and any health conditions you're managing. Going over this information can help reduce the risk of surgery complications that can slow your healing. If you smoke, it's important to quit at least a few weeks before your surgery day. Smoking can slow down the healing process. If you live with a smoker, you'll need to make arrangements to avoid being around secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke exposure can cause serious delays in healing. Another advance step involves medications and supplements you take. You may need to stop taking some of them. This would include any that thin your blood, like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), aspirin, and even some herbal supplements. You might have to stop two weeks before surgery and for a while after your surgery. Your doctor will let you know what to stop taking, when to stop, and when it's safe to start taking them again. This reduces the risk of bleeding, which can affect your healing. Enlist the Help You'll Need Blepharoplasty is usually an outpatient procedure. This means you won't have to stay in the hospital overnight. You won't be able to drive, so you'll need someone to take you home. Make those plans ahead of time. You also should plan to have someone spend at least the first night with you at your home. You may have trouble seeing at first. You also may still be a bit groggy. That's why this is important. It's best to have someone stay with you for one to two days after your surgery. You won't be able to drive as long as you are taking narcotic pain medication. Make plans for someone to drive you for at least a few days. Among other things, you may need to pick up prescription medicines. Also find people who can help you with strenuous household chores and any lifting for two to three weeks after surgery. More for Your Checklist Before your surgery, buy items you should have on hand during your recovery. This includes: Cold packs Clean gauze Gentle cleanser Over-the-counter medicines If you wear contacts, make sure you have a pair of glasses with your current prescription. You won't be able to wear your contacts for a while after your surgery. If you work, don't forget to arrange for time off after your surgery. You may need 10 to 14 days to heal from surgery. When you can go back to work will depend on your job. Talk with your doctor about this. What to Expect During Recovery Your doctor will explain how to care for your eyes after your procedure. You'll probably need to: Carefully and gently clean your eyelids. Be sure to ask your doctor what to use and how to do this. Sleep upright for a few days. You want your head higher than your chest. Use a cool, damp cloth on your eyes to ease swelling and pain. Use eye drops or other prescription medicine to help your eyes heal. Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes and the skin around them. There's also a list of things you'll probably need to avoid. Ask your doctor how long these bans will last. Do not do any vigorous activity. Do not lift anything heavy. Do not swim. Do not take any medication that could make you more likely to bleed. Do not touch or rub your eyes. Do not wear contact lenses. Recovering from eyelid surgery varies from person to person. It's normal to have: Bruising and swelling around your eyes Eyelids that are numb and swollen Mild pain or discomfort, dryness, and itching Problems with vision including double or blurry vision Sensitivity to light Red skin at the site of your incisions Watery eyes Call your doctor right away if you have unusual eye symptoms, like sudden or severe eye pain or vision trouble. Also call if you have any pain in your chest, changes in your heart rate, or trouble breathing. Your eyes will probably heal very quickly after surgery. You may have some scars, but they'll typically be tiny and difficult to see.