Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) is a popular procedure that can rejuvenate and refresh your appearance. The recovery period after eyelid surgery is different for every patient. The expert plastic surgeons at Cassileth Plastic Surgery in Beverly Hills have put together some helpful information about what can be expected after blepharoplasty, as well as tips to help make recovery easier.
1. Swelling and bruising are common
It is common to experience swelling and bruising after eyelid surgery—this is part of your body’s healing response. This part of the healing process should subside over the week or two after surgery. Applying cold compresses to the area can help reduce swelling and bruising.
It is also normal to feel some discomfort after eyelid surgery, and your eyes may feel irritated or dry. Your surgeon will recommend eye drops to help with this, and these symptoms should resolve quickly.
2. You’ll need to take time off from work
Most of our blepharoplasty patients take at least one week off from work after their eyelid surgery. Your surgeon will let you know when you are cleared to return to work, but some patients prefer to wait a bit longer until bruising and swelling are less noticeable.
3. You should skip strenuous activities and exercise
You can get back to many day-to-day activities, but you will need to avoid physical work and heavy workouts such as running, aerobics, and strength training for about two weeks after surgery or until your surgeon says you are ready. Strenuous activities can cause sutures to strain and may increase the risk of bleeding and infection.
4. Plan to stay out of the sun
You don’t need to hide inside for two weeks, but you should not plan your recovery to coincide with a beach vacation. It is very important that you protect the surgical area from the sun. Sun exposure can slow the healing process and may also cause scarring to be more pronounced. During your recovery, you should always wear UV-rated sunglasses and a hat while outside (this is good skin care practice all the time too!)
5. You’ll also have to give up contact lenses for a little bit
You should avoid wearing contact lenses for at least two weeks after eyelid surgery. This is to prevent eye irritation and infection; your surgeon will let you know when you are clear to wear them again.
6. Pay attention to your surgeon’s post-op instructions
The key to a smooth recovery is following your surgeon’s instructions! This includes taking any prescribed medication, keeping the area clean and dry, and avoiding certain activities or behaviors that could interfere with healing. Some patients find hanging the written instructions on their bathroom mirror helpful.
7. Follow-up appointments are important
We really want to see you after your surgery! The follow-up appointments that your surgeon schedules with you are important to ensure proper healing and the best results possible. You’ll also have the opportunity to ask any questions about your recovery. Plan to have follow-up appointments 1 week, 6 weeks, and 6 months after surgery.
8. Final results may take a month or more
While you may notice some differences immediately, swelling and bruising will obscure your initial results. Everyone heals at a different rate, so patience is key. It may take several weeks to months for the underlying swelling to subside and for your final results to be visible.