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Patient information — Excessive, involuntary blinking — blepharospasm

View or save this information in PDF format

If you are being treated with botulinum toxin, please see Patient information – Botox.

Before the operation

Avoid aspirin or ibuprofen-type medication (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication) for approximately two weeks before surgery, as this can increase any tendency to bruise.

It is advisable to stop smoking at least three weeks before surgery and not to smoke until at least two weeks after wounds are fully healed. Nicotine closes the blood vessels responsible for bringing oxygenated blood – vital for healing – to the tissues. Oxygen also fights infection and helps to keep tissue alive, as well as being instrumental in delivering important medications like antibiotics. Smoking clogs the lungs and therefore increases risk of pulmonary infections, such as pneumonia.

On the day of surgery

If your operation is scheduled for the morning:

  • Do not eat or drink anything after 12 midnight the previous night – do not have breakfast.

If your operation is scheduled for the afternoon:

  • Have an early, light breakfast – do not eat or drink anything after 7.30am.

After surgery

  • Your vision may be blurred for a month, which may prevent you from driving – check that you can read a number plate at 20 metres, which is a legal requirement.
  • There will be bruising and swelling around the cheeks and eyelids – swelling usually reduces after a week, while bruising may persist for a month.
  • If you deal with the public, it’s wise to take 14 days off work until bruising and swelling have reduced considerably.
  • Incision lines often bleed a little in the first week.
  • You will need to use artificial tears to lubricate dry eyes – you can normally stop after two months, although some people need them for longer.
  • Your eyelids may look unbalanced and you may have some difficulty closing them completely for the first few weeks – this normally settles down within two months.
  • Avoid heavy work, lifting, running, gym work-outs or swimming for four weeks – check with Mr Malhotra before resuming any exercise schedule.
  • You may take walks in the first week after surgery and may fly after two days.

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