Before Surgery

Do not take aspirin for one week before surgery unless you have been told that you should keep taking it. You should stop ibuprofen, naproxen, Motrin®, Nuprin®, Aleve® and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs for one week before surgery. These medicines increase the risk of bleeding.

Arrange to have someone drive you to and from the hospital.

Please read and follow all instructions carefully. If you have any questions, please call your doctor.

After Surgery


Rest quietly for 24 to 48 hours. Too much activity may cause bleeding. Avoid bending, lifting, or straining for one week. Avoid intense exercise for at least two weeks. After that, you can slowly increase exercise.

For the first 48 hours, do not drive a car or do activities that require coordination. Medicines and from surgery may affect your judgment and make you sleepy.

You may shower and wash your hair after 48 hours. Gently blot your face dry, avoid rubbing.

Do not blow your nose in the first 7 days after tear duct surgery. If you need to sneeze, please sneeze with your mouth open.


Start with clear liquids. Add more food to your diet as you feel ready. Avoid hot drinks for 48 hours after tear duct surgery.


Expect to have swelling. Sometimes there may be a lot of swelling. To help reduce the swelling, use cold, wet compresses. Use a cold compress as often as you can the first 2 days.

To make a cold compress, place ice cubes into a bowl and add a quart of water. Soak a washcloth in the ice water. Wring about half of the water out, fold washcloth in half, and gently place it on your eyelids. Repeat the process when the washcloth becomes warm.

Sleep with 2-3 pillows under your head. Keep your head up to help reduce the swelling. Some patients spend the first 2-3 nights in a recliner.


You can expect a small amount of bleeding. A little bleeding from the nose is common after tear duct surgery. In most cases, you can control the bleeding using a cold, wet compress. Keep your head up with extra pillows when you lie down to reduce bleeding.


Bruising or a change in the color of the skin, will take 2 to 3 weeks to clear. Use a cold compress for the first 36 to 48 hours to help limit the bruising. After 48 hours, you may use a warm compress to improve bruising.


If you have pain, take Tylenol® as instructed on the package. If needed, we can prescribe a stronger medicine for you. This, along with a cold compress, should help with pain.


You will need to use ointment on the stitches several times a day for two weeks. The ointment may be put on with a Q-tip or with your finger after your hands are washed. Keep using your regular medicines and eye drops, unless told to do otherwise.


Your stitches may absorb. To absorb, they must be kept moist with ointment. Stitches that don’t absorb will be removed in the clinic in 1-2 weeks.

When to Call

  • If you have any questions or concerns.

  • If pain does not improve with pain medicine.

  • If you have increased bleeding.

Who to Call

University Station Eye Clinic, 8 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday at:
(608) 263-7171.

When the clinic is closed, your call will be sent to the paging operator. Ask for the “eye resident on call.” Give your name and phone number with area code. The doctor will call you back.

The toll-free number is:
1-800-323-8942. Ask to be transferred to the above number.