Immediately after surgery, the doctors at Matossian Eye Associates typically recommend that patients use cold compresses for at least the first 48 hours. The easiest way this can be done is with a towel dipped into a bowl of ice water. The towel is then wrung out and applied over the surgical site. Cold compresses are wonderful during the first two days after surgery because the cold can help relieve discomfort as well as reduce swelling and bruising. The cold constricts blood vessels, some of which are incised during surgery. By reducing the blood flow through these vessels, swelling and bruising can be minimized.
Following a few days of cold compresses, we typically recommend warm compresses. Warm compresses increase blood and lymphatic flow which can help to break down the bruise as well as to decrease the swelling from the fluid that has accumulated within your soft tissues. The increased blood flow can also aid with healing.
Of course each surgery (in addition to each patient) is different, so the above recommendations may be modified as needed. It is important to follow the specific instructions given to you following surgery and to ask questions whenever there are any concerns or issues.
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