Apply ICE (plastic bags with peas, gauze soaked in ice water, frozen gel packs or eye mask) to your surgical incisions for 15 minutes every hour while awake for 72 HOURS after your surgery. Icing is not necessary after 72 hours but can be continued a couple of times a day for a soothing sensation. Please do not exceed 15 minutes.

Use WARM COMPRESSES 4 times a day after the first 72 hours. They help increase blood and lymphatic flow. Do not microwave a damp cloth as this can cause burns on your skin. Instead, we recommend a cloth with warm water or heating pad as these are safer.

For TENDERNESS extra strength Tylenol per package instructions is recommended. For some procedures, you may be prescribed pain medication. Do not take Tylenol in addition to your pain medication, often the medication you are prescribed will also have Tylenol. Take your medication with food to minimize the risk of nausea.

BRUISING AND SWELLING is normal. This usually peaks at 48-72 hours after your procedure. One side may be more swollen and/or bruised. This may extend downward to your lower lids and cheeks due to gravity. The majority (around 80%) of swelling and bruising resolves in the first month and the residual resolves over the next few weeks. This time frame varies per patient.

Mild bloody OOZING is normal in the first few days. If there is brisk or persistent bleeding, hold pressure on the area with a cool gauze for 10 minutes. If it persists, call the office.

To protect against infection and provide hydration, apply a small amount of the TOPICAL OINTMENT to the incision twice a day with a Q-tip until the sutures are removed. Please do NOT use your finger. This may apply too much pressure and ‘pop’ your sutures.

*For Brow Lift patients only: You will have a tight sterile head bandage wrapped around your incisions that can be gently removed after 3-4 days. Please do not apply ointment until the bandages are removed.

You may also be prescribed eye drops after certain procedures. Otherwise, if your eye(s) feels dry or irritated, you may use over the counter ARTIFICIAL TEARS 3-4 times per day OR the ointment (if prescribed) in your eye(s) for comfort. Please note that the ointment will make your vision temporarily blurry.

SLEEP with extra 1-2 pillows and keep your head elevated during the day. Avoid sleeping on your face. Continue this until your follow up.

AVOID dusty or dirty environments and sun exposure (wear large sunglasses). AVOID any make-up close to the incisions for 3 weeks. Do NOT wear contact lenses for 2 weeks following surgery.

Do NOT touch, rub, or scratch your incisions. Take Benadryl if you have itching. If scabs form on the incisions, do not pick at them, they are the body’s natural band-aid and will fall off naturally.

You can SHOWER 24 hours after surgery but avoid soap/water directly on the incisions. It is okay to let water trickle down your face in the shower. But do not rub, scrub, or try to manually clean your incisions.

AVOID any activities that may increase blood flow or raise your heart rate for 2 weeks or until cleared by Dr. Cox: bending over, picking up heavy items, sports, exercising, and sexual relations. Light activities (a leisure walk) are fine after day 4.

If you have SUTURES that need to be removed, they will be at your follow up appointment. Otherwise, you may have dissolvable sutures.

You may resume DRIVING the day after surgery. However, we recommend resuming driving day 3 after your surgery to allow adherence to the icing protocol. This allows for healthy and safe healing. If you are prescribed pain medications, please avoid driving while taking these.

If you purchased a SKIN RECOVERY KIT, begin using when instructed by Dr. Cox.

Airline TRAVEL is restricted until 2 weeks after your surgery. You may notice an increase in swelling with airline travel which can happen even 6-8 weeks after your surgery due to pressure changes.


  • You develop a fever, extreme swelling (unable to open eye), and yellow/green discharge from the incision. 
  • There is a sudden loss of vision, double vision or rapidly forming hematoma that is firm and/or results in inability to open the eye. 
  • Bleeding persists despite 10 minutes of pressure with cold, wet gauze.

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