Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, is a popular cosmetic procedure for those looking to reduce sagging eyelids, as well as a medical procedure sometimes selected for aging individuals whose field of vision has become impaired by their sagging lids. As with any medical procedure it is important to understand both how to plan for your blepharoplasty surgery as well as what to expect during the post-op, recovery process. A reputable cosmetic surgeon can guide you through the steps necessary to speed your recovery and ensure the greatest results for your unique circumstances, but in general, most eyelid procedures will follow a recovery timeline similar to what we’ve collected for you below.
Blepharoplasty Recovery Timeline:
Each patient is different. The eyes are a unique and sensitive area of the face, and it is highly important to schedule a consultation with a board-certified surgeon, who will evaluate your individual needs, and your desired results. Because each person is different, recovery times may vary slightly. However, the following timeline will help you prepare for what to expect post-surgery.
24-48 Hours into Blepharoplasty Recovery:
Depending on your particular eyelid surgery, you may be a candidate for outpatient surgery, or you may have an overnight stay in the hospital. Most patients will be able to return home the same day. Regardless, you will need to arrange transportation to and from the surgery, as you will not be able to drive until your eyes begin to heal. Initially, you should expect swelling and redness around the eyes, as well as a mild aching or burning. It is also normal for the eyes to continually tear up or, conversely, to become very dry. Temporary blurred vision and sensitivity to light are also common side effects of blepharoplasty.
To ease symptoms, be sure to have cold compresses to reduce swelling, as well as eyedrops to keep the eyes moist and ointments to keep incisions lubricated (your doctor will likely prescribe both of these to you). You should keep the head elevated to minimize swelling, and avoid any activities that may strain or dry up the eyes, including watching television, reading, or using a computer. It is an excellent time to check out audio books from the library, or select a few new albums you’ve been wanting to listen to.
Your doctor will remove your stitches anywhere from 2-7 days after the surgery. Rest is very important during this period and the entire week after surgery.
1-2 Weeks into Blepharoplasty Recovery:
After about ten days, most patients are able to resume usual activities. You should wear dark sunglasses to shield the eyes from sunlight for the first few weeks after surgery, as they will have higher sensitivity. If possible, frequent naps are recommended during the first few weeks, as your eyes will tire more quickly than usual. You should not resume any activities that may increase blood flow to the eyes for 3-4 weeks after eyelid surgery. This includes bending, rigorous forms of exercise, and even crying. Discuss with your doctor any regular exercise in which you participate, and how quickly you will be able to resume the activity.
1 Month into Blepharoplasty Recovery:
Most eyelid surgery patients will have fully recovered one month after surgery. Typically, after four weeks, the desired results of the surgery are achieved, and all bruising, redness, or puffiness will have subsided entirely. Your doctor will advise you if you need to refrain from additional activities at this time, or may return to your usual routine.
Planning Your Blepharoplasty Recovery:
Before you can consider recovery or other post-op issues, you must take the most important step—-selecting a reputable surgeon with the experience and expertise to leave your eyes both beautiful and healthy. A consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon is vital to gaining the information you’ll need to plan your surgery, and to understand the risks and side effects of eyelid surgery, as well as the factors that affect blepharoplasty from one individual to another (ie., age, skin condition, and medical history). To find a blepharoplasty surgeon in your area, contact us online or call today!