Eyelid Surgery Recovery: What to Expect

By AOO on February 26, 2024 under Blepharoplasty

Eyelid Surgery Recovery: What to Expect

Eyelid Surgery Recovery: What to Expect

Our eyes do much more than help us to see; they can also be used to communicate feelings to others. If you are bothered by aging skin around the eyes that causes you to appear tired, eyelid surgery, also called blepharoplasty, may be an effective option. This post will seek to provide a basic understanding of the average blepharoplasty recovery timeline.

What is Eyelid Surgery?

Blepharoplasty, also known as “eyelid surgery” or an eyelid lift, is a highly individualized, minimally invasive procedure designed to reduce puffiness, sagging skin or folds, drooping eyelid skin, or wrinkles in the eyelid. It consists of a combination of small maneuvers to improve the eyelids and is also often combined with other aesthetic treatments for improved results.

This procedure can be performed in the office under local anesthesia, though other anesthesia options are also available. An eyelid surgery candidate may choose to have an upper blepharoplasty, lower blepharoplasty, or a combination of upper and lower blepharoplasty depending on their preferences and needs. The incision lines for eyelid surgery are designed so the resultant scars will be well concealed within the natural structures of the eyelid region.

Upper Blepharoplasty

The upper eyelid can be corrected through an incision within the natural crease on the eyelid. This allows for the removal or repositioning of fat deposits, tightening of muscles, and removal of excess skin. Laser (CO2 fractionated laser) can also be used as a tool to create incisions or to tighten the skin as well.

Lower Blepharoplasty

Conditions of the lower eyelid may be corrected with an incision just below the lower lash line (transcutaneous). Through this incision, excess skin in the lower eyelid is removed. Again, the excess fat can be repositioned or removed. Fat transfer/fat transposition may also be used to improve the appearance of the eyelid.

A transconjunctival incision, created on the inside of the lower eyelid, is an alternate technique to correct lower eyelid conditions and redistribute or remove excess fat. With this technique, no skin is removed.

Minimally Invasive Add-Ons

Some patients may also be able to benefit from additional minimally or non-invasive procedures such as filler and laser tightening procedures to further improve their eyelid surgery results.

What to Expect Immediately After Surgery

Immediately after surgery, you will have blurry vision. A thick ophthalmic ointment will keep the eyelids free from dryness and infection. You will need to reapply this ointment throughout the first couple of weeks to moisturize and protect the eyes and incisions. After-surgery side effects are temporary and may include numbness around the eyes, watery eyes, double vision, and sensitivity to light.

Our team will call you the day after surgery to ensure that you are healing well and answer any questions that you may have.

Recovery Milestones

2-3 days

The eyes may feel tight or tender during this period. Gauze or protective bandages will cover any incision sites. Mild pain and discomfort are to be expected, which can be controlled with over-the-counter pain medication. Side effects such as blurry vision, swelling, and bruising may occur, which will improve over time.

Patients can feel free to shower 48 hours after their procedure but should avoid soaking incisions, bathing, or swimming. Individuals should also take care to avoid rubbing or itching the eyelids during their recovery period.

1 week

Continued bruising and swelling are to be expected. Patients may have blurry vision depending on the invasiveness of the procedure, though sight should become clearer with time.  After 1-2 weeks pain and discomfort levels should be minimal.

One week after surgery stitches will be removed by the surgeon. Patients can feel free to wear certain forms of makeup to cover redness or bruising. At our practice, we carry post-procedural makeup brand Oxygenetix, which is safe to use on post-procedural skin.

10 days

Most people can return to work and resume normal activities including extended time watching TV or reading. Strenuous activities should still be avoided. Light bruising and swelling may remain.

2-3 weeks

Most patients can return to wearing their contacts at this point. More strenuous exercise can be resumed (except for contact sports). Patients should also avoid wearing swim goggles and ski goggles, as these may put pressure on the eye area. One month after surgery, patients can expect to meet with their surgeon again to assess healing progress.

4-6 weeks

Patients can see the beginning stages of their final results as most or all swelling dissipates. Most forms of exercise can be resumed. Makeup can be used to cover up any pink scarring.

Schedule a Consultation

At our practice, our board-certified facial plastic surgeons are highly skilled in performing an array of facial procedures. Dr. Christopher Cote and Dr. Nicolette Picerno specialize in facial plastic surgery procedures including eyelid surgery. To learn more about eyelid surgery and if it is right for you, please contact AOO|ENT Specialist of the Rockies with locations in Lone Tree, Castle Rock, and Denver.