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Blepharoplasty Recovery: Healing After Eyelid Surgery

Written by aesthetic content writer Catherine. Reviewed by Medical Director Dr. Sabrina Shah-Desai
Published on: July 5, 2024
Blepharoplasty Eyelid Surgery Recovery

Blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures. Most people undergo blepharoplasty to improve the symmetry of their eyes and enhance the look of the eye area, or just look less tired, from removing the overhanging skin and bulging eye bags.

Knowing what to anticipate from the treatment can help reduce the feeling of overwhelm. Like any surgery, it can also cause bruising and swelling. Since the skin surrounding the eyelids is thin and delicate, swelling and bruises may appear more widely and remain for up to 1-2 weeks following the procedure. 

Suppose you don’t want people to notice your surgery. In that case, you must plan the treatment strategically, as the stitches, bruising, and swelling will all be noticeable during the initial period. If you get the treatment from an expert, they position the scar within the skin’s natural creases and folds. In a few weeks, they will disappear so fast that they are no longer noticeable.

This is just the beginning; keep reading to learn everything about the blepharoplasty recovery time, including what to do after the procedure, whether scarring is normal, and whether you’ll need more procedures.

Understanding the Blepharoplasty Procedure

Understanding the blepharoplasty procedure is crucial before diving into the recovery phase. This surgery focuses on the upper eyelids and lower eyelids. Patients can do it as an outpatient procedure and go home the same day. 

During the procedure, precise incisions are made along the natural lines of the eyelids to reduce visible scarring. The incisions are closed with sutures after removing or repositioning any excess skin, muscle, or fat. The aim is to give the eyes a more youthful and rejuvenated appearance. Dr Sabrina Shah-Desai also performs a “no-scar” lower eyelid blepharoplasty, where the scar is hidden inside the eyelid.

Preparation for the blepharoplasty process involves general health screening and eye examinations. Comprehensive pre-operative instructions will be given, including restrictions about smoking/vaping, what to eat, drink, and take medicines. Adhering to these instructions is essential for the success of the procedure and to ensure a quick recovery.

Pre-operative Consultation

Here’s where the groundwork gets set up. All consultations take place with Dr Sabrina Shah-Desai, and a specialist Oculoplastic surgeon to go over your goals and concerns in further detail. Look out for the following:

  • Open Communication: This is a chance to fully disclose to the surgeon your intended results, medical history, and any medicines you are currently taking. The surgeon will also perform a comprehensive evaluation of your eyelids to choose the optimal surgical strategy for you.
  • Managing Expectations: Acknowledge the limitations of blepharoplasty while being clear about what you want to achieve. The surgeon will discuss with you what the treatment can accomplish, considering your age and skin type.
  • Visualising Results: Pictures of your eyes from different perspectives will be taken to record your starting point and monitor the surgical process. Dr Shah-Desai is also able to simulate the result of surgery in some patients.
  • Anaesthesia Options: Dr Shah-Desai will discuss local anaesthesia with oral or intravenous sedation or short general anaesthesia, depending on the intricacy of the procedure and your preferences.

Surgical Procedure: Addressing the Tissues

Whether you’re considering the lower eyelid, upper eyelid, or both, blepharoplasty will determine the parameters of the procedure. Here’s a broad overview:

  • Placement of the Incision: The surgeon takes great care to leave as minimal of a scar as possible.
  • Upper eyelid: Once healed, incisions are barely noticeable since they are usually made inside the eyelid’s natural crease.
  • Lower eyelid: Transcutaneous incisions are done right below the lash line, while transconjunctival incisions (no-scar) are made inside the lower eyelid. The decision is based on whether fat or skin needs to be addressed.
  • Addressing Tissues: The surgeon removes extra skin and fat that makes you appear weary or drooping. This procedure helps reduce puffiness under the eyes and reposition or remove fat deposits. The underlying muscles are sometimes tightened for better eyelid support and a more youthful appearance.
  • Closure Techniques: After making the required corrections, the surgeon will carefully use tiny sutures to close the incisions.

Understanding Recovery After Blepharoplasty 

It is important to understand the recovery process, whether you just had eyelid surgery or are thinking about having one. Below are key points to remember as you navigate the blepharoplasty recovery time.

  • Surgical incisions will be present on your eyelids after blepharoplasty.
  • Manage the incisions carefully and avoid any unnecessary touching or rubbing.
  • Your eye area may feel tight, sensitive, or painful.
  • You may experience symptoms such as stickiness, tearing, itching, or dryness in your eyes.
  • During the healing process, your eyes become more sensitive.
  • Discomfort, slight pain, or blurry vision may occur temporarily after the surgery. Your surgeon will prescribe medicines to help manage pain.
  • Clean the area around your eyes as instructed by your surgeon, but avoid massaging your eyes. Eye drops may be recommended to maintain moisture in your eyes.
  • Expect puffiness and discolouration around your eyes, which will fade within two weeks.
  • Stitches on your eyelids will be typically removed within 6-10 days.
  • Your eyes will gradually improve over the next 3 months, and you can usually return to your normal work schedule within 10 to 14 days.

Blepharoplasty Recovery Time

Blepharoplasty healing time consists of three phases: initial swelling and bruises, healing, and maturity of the incisions made during eyelid surgery. The first symptom that fades away is bruises, which usually take one to three weeks. In certain situations, swelling may persist for up to 6 weeks or longer. It takes time for swelling to subside progressively, but this can be speeded up by undergoing a weekly course of facial lymphatic drainage with Dr Shah-Desai’s team. Within 5-10 days following the treatment, most patients can resume their jobs or go outside. You are allowed to go sooner if you don’t mind looking a bit bruised/swollen in public.

Making surgical incisions is a necessary part of eyelid surgery, and this leaves scars. Developing blepharoplasty scars into a thin white line may take up to a year. After eyelid surgery, the best chance of having almost undetectable scars is to follow your surgeon’s aftercare suggestions for recovering.

Comprehending how the healing process unfolds is essential to guaranteeing a seamless recovery following eyelid surgery. Here is an overview of what to expect: 

First 24 Hours Post-Operation

  • The area surrounding your eyes may swell and bruise. This is normal and will gradually improve over the next few days.
  • Your doctor will provide you with cold compresses to help reduce swelling. Apply them gently to your closed eyelids for 15-20 minutes at a time, following their specific instructions.
  • You may experience some discomfort or tightness around your eyes. Your doctor will prescribe pain medication if needed. You will also get lubricant eye drops and an antibiotic ointment to apply.
  • It’s critical to get enough sleep and stay away from strenuous activities.
  • Your vision may be blurry for the first day or two, but this should improve quickly.

1-2 Weeks Post-Operation

  • The swelling and bruising should start to subside noticeably.
  • You may still feel tightness around your eyes, but this should gradually decrease.
  • Sutures (stitches) are typically removed during this time at a follow-up appointment with your doctor.
  • You can usually resume most light activities, but avoid anything that could strain your eyes or put pressure on your incision sites.
  • Given the heightened light sensitivity of your eyes, minimise screen exposure.
  • Depending on personal responses, your eyes may feel very dry, or they may water excessively.
  • It’s still important to avoid wearing eye makeup during this time.
  • Generally, at 6-10 days, you will have an appointment for review and suture removal.
  • By the end of the first week, you can start to undertake light tasks, such as short walks or basic housework. However, always get advice from your doctor before beginning any strenuous activity again.

From the 2nd Week Onwards

  • Most of the swelling and bruising should be gone by now.
  • You can start with some activities, like exercise.
  • Your doctor will advise you when it’s safe to start wearing eye makeup and contact lenses again.
  • After 10 days, your surgeon will usually give the go-ahead for a light makeup application. During the first stages of healing, it is advisable to avoid using cosmetics like thick glitter eyeshadows or waterproof mascaras.
  • It can take several months for the final results of your lower eyelid or upper eyelid blepharoplasty to become fully visible as the swelling completely disappears and the skin settles.

What Factors Can Affect Blepharoplasty Recovery?

Every person’s blepharoplasty healing time is different. However, most will have specific common experiences during their recovery from eyelid surgery. Below are several factors that can impact the recovery process after blepharoplasty. 

  • Your age
  • Your overall health like diabetes
  • Smoking habits
  • Sun exposure
  • Surgical technique
  • Post-operative care
  • Individual healing responses

Blepharoplasty Recovery: Aftercare Instructions

Recovery after blepharoplasty surgery is usually simple if you follow your surgeon’s instructions. This will help you heal well and reduce the risk of complications. Not following the instructions may increase the risk of developing wound complications and excessive scarring after surgery. Below are some key aftercare instructions that you need to follow:

Diet and Dehydration

  • Stay Hydrated: Drink lots of water to promote healing and reduce swelling in your body. Avoid sugary drinks and excessive amounts of caffeine, which can dehydrate you.
  • Maintain a Balanced Diet: Eat a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. These foods give essential nutrients that promote recovery.
  • Avoid Certain Foods: Limit your intake of salty foods and alcohol, as they can contribute to swelling.

Eye Care

  • Avoid Rubbing Your Eyes: This can irritate the incision sites and slow healing.
  • Don’t Wear Eye Makeup: Wait until your doctor gives you the green light, usually after a week or two, to avoid introducing bacteria into the healing area.
  • Use Eye Drops: If your eyes feel dry or irritated, use eye drops as your doctor recommends.
  • Eye Protection: Wear sunglasses outdoors, especially during the first few months, to protect your eyes from the sun and wind.

Follow-up Appointments

Attend all scheduled follow-up appointments with your doctor. This allows them to monitor your progress, remove stitches, and address any concerns you may have.

Maintain Good Hygiene

  • Gently Cleanse Incision Sites: Once your doctor instructs you to do so, generally the day after surgery, gently clean the incision sites using a mild cleanser and water as directed. 
  • Avoid Harsh Products: Don’t use harsh soaps, lotions, or cosmetics around your eyes until your doctor suggests it.

Get Enough Sleep

  • Take Proper Rest: Your body needs time to heal. Get plenty of sleep, especially during the first few days after surgery. Keep your head up with extra pillows to minimise swelling.
  • Avoid Strenuous Activities: For at least the first two weeks, take it easy and avoid strenuous activities that could raise your blood pressure or strain your eyes.

By following these aftercare instructions and listening to your doctor’s guidance, you can promote optimal healing and achieve the best possible results from your blepharoplasty surgery.

Conclusion

Blepharoplasty can be a transformative procedure, restoring a youthful and refreshed appearance to the eyes and potentially improving vision. If you’re considering blepharoplasty, research and consult a qualified plastic surgeon to discuss your needs and determine if this procedure is right for you.

Blepharoplasty Surgery at Perfect Eyes Limited

If you’re considering getting an eyelid lift, the first step is to arrange an in-person consultation with Dr Shah-Desai at Perfect Eyes Limited. Our approachable and well-informed patient coordinators are there to support you and make sure you feel confident about your decision to undergo blepharoplasty surgery. 

During the consultation, the surgeon will assess your suitability and recommend the most suitable type of eyelid surgery based on a thorough clinical evaluation. We understand that each patient’s eyelid anatomy is unique; therefore, the surgery is always tailored to your needs and preferences. 

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions: –

1. What should I do about the scars after the eyelid surgery?

There are several scar treatments available; make sure you and your surgeon talk about the best possibilities.

2. How soon can someone recover from a blepharoplasty?

After a blepharoplasty, keeping your head up as much as possible for the first two to three days following the procedure is the fastest way to recovery. This includes avoiding activities that could irritate the eyes and sleeping upright. Using an ice pack can speed up the healing process as well.A person’s recovery period may vary based on a variety of factors. Avoid anything that could dry up your eyes, such as spending too much time on screens, and don’t go back to work until you’ve fully recovered.

3. When are stitches usually taken out after a blepharoplasty?

Stitches are generally removed between 6-10  days after the treatment.

4. When can I start wearing makeup again after surgery?

It’s advisable to avoid makeup during the first two weeks, particularly eye makeup. Always get your surgeon’s approval before resuming makeup application.

5. How long will my eyelids be red after surgery?

Redness around the eyes is common after blepharoplasty and usually goes away in two -six weeks.

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