Eyelid surgery, also called blepharoplasty, is a common procedure where the skin around the eyelids is removed or altered. The surgery can be performed on the upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both.
There are two types of blepharoplasty: functional and cosmetic. Functional blepharoplasty is performed to improve vision by correcting eyelid deformities that interfere with vision such as drooping eyelids, eyelid tumors, or eyelid malposition. Cosmetic eyelid surgery is performed to improve the appearance of the eyelids.
Most people who have eyelid surgery are happy with the results. Understanding the eyelid surgery recovery process can help you set expectations and plan accordingly for a successful recovery post-operation.
First Day After Upper or Lower Eyelid Surgery
The first day after blepharoplasty is usually the most uncomfortable. After the surgery, you will likely have some swelling and bruising around your eyes, which is normal. Your eyelids may also feel tight and sore.
When you get home, remember to keep your head elevated. Consider using a few pillows to keep your head propped up while you sleep for the first few days after surgery.
You will have ice packs to use on your eyelids and an eye shield in place when you leave the surgical center. The ice packs help reduce swelling and the eye shield protects your eyes from accidental injury.
First Few Weeks After Eyelid Surgery
Plan on taking it easy for the first few weeks after your surgery. Avoid activities that increase your heart rate or blood pressure, such as exercise, bending over, or lifting heavy objects. These activities can increase swelling.
Most people take approximately one week off from work or their normal activities after blepharoplasty surgery. You may have some residual swelling and bruising for several weeks after surgery. However, this can vary depending on the type of eyelid surgery you had and your own individual healing process.
After 10 days, you can resume applying light makeup and contact lenses. However, you will need to wait until all of the swelling has resolved before using eyeliner, mascara, or other cosmetics near your eyelids. Avoid rubbing your eyes, as doing so can cause irritation and delay healing.
Follow-up appointments to remove the incision stitches are typically scheduled 6-10 days after surgery. At your follow-up appointments, we will check your incisions and remove any sutures. You will also be given specific instructions on how to care for your eyelids as they heal.
These instructions may include:
- Applying ointment to your eyelids
- Wearing an eye shield at night
- Using artificial tears to keep your eyes lubricated
- Avoiding makeup or contact lenses for a specific period of time
- Taking oral pain medication
- Wearing sunglasses when you are outdoors
- Drinking a lot of water and liquids, but avoiding alcohol
The Next Few Months After Eyelid Surgery
Most people see a significant improvement in the appearance of their eyelids within the first few weeks after surgery. However, it can take several months for the final results to be apparent. At this point, you will start to see your eyes in a new light.
Slight swelling may still be visible, but your eyelids will look rejuvenated with younger-looking skin around them. The process of adjusting can take some time so do not worry if you are unable to see the final results at this stage yet. Blepharoplasty is a very individualized procedure, and your recovery may vary depending on your specific case.
If you have any concerns about the healing process or the results of your blepharoplasty, be sure to contact us.
Factors That Affect the Duration of Recovery
There are a few factors that can affect the duration of your recovery after blepharoplasty, including:
- The type of blepharoplasty you had: Upper eyelid surgery recovery time is typically shorter (about one to two weeks) than lower blepharoplasty recovery time (up to four weeks) because the incisions are smaller.
- Your age and general health: Older patients or those with underlying health conditions may take a bit longer to recover from eyelid surgery than young, healthy patients.
- Whether you had any other procedures done at the same time: If you had blepharoplasty as part of a more comprehensive facial rejuvenation treatment plan, your recovery time may be longer.
- How well you follow your eyelid surgeon’s postoperative instructions: If you fail to take care of your eyelids during the recovery process, you may experience complications that could prolong your recovery.
Transform Your Appearance with Eyelid Surgery
Upper and lower blepharoplasty can rejuvenate your appearance and correct your vision. If you are considering blepharoplasty then schedule a consultation with Dr Nick Koutroumanos at London Ophthalmology and Ophthalmic Plastics. We are a London-based oculoplastic service with years of experience in eyelid care. While we specialize in cosmetic and functional eyelid surgery, we do also offer general ophthamology services, cataract surgery, and more. Contact us today to discuss your options.