How long does it take to recover from eyelid surgery? Eyelid surgery recovery time can take several months. Help speed up recovery time with these tips.
Facial plastic surgery requests have increased by 6% between 2018 and 2019. One of the most common surgical procedures is blepharoplasty (eyelid bag removal surgery).
Are you thinking of scheduling eyelid surgery soon? Before you do, it helps to set the right expectations about the recovery process. You will need to take a little time off from your usual daily activities in order to recover.
Want to learn more about the eyelid surgery recovery process? Keep reading to learn about the process and a few tips that can speed up your eyelid surgery recovery time!
Expectations After Your Procedure
After your blepharoplasty procedure, you will remain in the recovery room to ensure you are stable. Temporary side effects, soon after the surgery, can include:
- Sensitivity to light
- Blurred vision (caused by the lubricating ointment you are given)
- Watery eyes
- Numb, puffy eyelids
- Double vision
- Slight pain or discomfort
- Swelling or bruising (often compared to having a black eye)
After your eyelid surgery, you will need to have someone come and pick you up. Plan to have someone stay with you the first night of your eyelid surgery.
Recovery can be broken down into 3 parts: bruising, swelling, and the maturation of the incision/scar. Bruising goes away first, taking about 2 to 3 weeks. Next is swelling that is much more variable, lasting upwards of 8 weeks or more. It is a slow gradual diminution. Going back to work or out in public will begin in 5 to 10 days after your surgery and will be determined by your comfort level rather than a medical reason.
It is important to note that you will have scars from surgical incisions after your eyelid surgery. It can take a up to a year or more for those scars to reach their maximum improvement. Using proper eyelid surgery recovery methods can ensure your skin heals properly during this time.
Tips for Recovery
Now that you know what to expect from your blepharoplasty, here are a few eyelid surgery recovery tips. With these tips, you can improve your recovery time and make sure you heal properly.
Please follow your doctor’s specific instructions! Do NOT under any circumstances decide on your own to make changes in those instructions without clearing it with the doctor or his/her staff first.
1. Take Time Off
Remember, your eyelid surgery recovery time mentioned earlier. It is important to prepare to take time off from work, school, or daily activities. You will need this time to heal properly.
If you need to, ask someone to cover your primary responsibilities for you. For example, you might need someone to take your kids to school and pick them up. You might need someone at work to handle your responsibilities as well.
Make sure to stock up the fridge and pantry with foods that are easy to prepare before the day of your surgery.
Otherwise, keep your schedule clear and give yourself time to heal.
2. Follow Self-Care
To help the eyelid surgery recovery process, your doctor will suggest that you:
- Use ice packs on your eyes. The constant use of ice during the first 3 days is crucial.
- Clean your eyelids gently.
- Use the eye drops or ointments you are prescribed.
- Avoid rubbing your eyes.
- Not wear contact lenses for about two weeks after your procedure.
- Sleep with your head raised above your chest the first few days after your procedure.
- Stop smoking
You might also need to return to your doctor’s office to have your stitches removed. Make sure to discuss these next steps with your doctor before leaving their offices after your procedure.
In the meantime, make sure to avoid using:
- Ibuprofen (such as Motrin IB or Advil)
- Naproxen sodium (such as Aleve)
You should also avoid any medications or supplements (fish oil, vitamin E, cranberry extract, etc.) that might increase bleeding. Instead, get approval from your doctor to use Tylenol or other acetaminophen products to ease your pain.
Make sure to review these self-care instructions with your doctor before the day of your blepharoplasty. That way, you will have everything you need to prepare for your eyelid surgery recovery.
3. Stay Patient
It is important to have realistic expectations about your baggy eyelid surgery beforehand. Understanding the recovery process ahead of time can help you remain patient and keep your eyes on the end-goal.
Your eyelids will probably look puffy after surgery. The incisions will probably look red, too. The swelling and bruising involved with blepharoplasty recovery tend to resemble a black eye.
That is all normal. Remain patient and you will see the results of your procedure in no time.
4. Protect Your Eyes
It is important to protect your eyes from wind, sunlight, and other elements during your recovery.
If you must go out, make sure to wear dark sunglasses and a hat for protection. You should also apply sunscreen and follow any other instructions you were given.
5. Don’t Strain or Stress
It is important to avoid straining your eyes during the recovery process. Try to avoid reading, watching TV, or checking your email the week following your blepharoplasty. Instead, give your eyes a chance to rest.
Avoid any other activities that can cause your eyes to dry up, too.
6. Sleep Soundly
Sleep will give your body a chance to heal. Try to get a good night’s sleep each night to speed up the recovery process.
If you feel tired, take a nap. Do not push yourself. Instead, relax and focus on your recovery.
7. Avoid Strenuous Activity
Make sure to avoid any strenuous activity or stress for the first few weeks after your surgery. Too much activity can increase blood flow to your eyes and cause bleeding. These activities include lifting heavy items, aerobics, intensive exercise, and sports.
Prep for Surgery: How to Get Ready for Your Eyelid Surgery Recovery
Learning how to prepare for your eyelid surgery recovery can help improve your recovery time. Take a break from the world, close your eyes, and relax. In a week or two, you will begin to see the results of your blepharoplasty in the mirror!
Discover a younger-looking you with cosmetic and reconstructive surgery today! Eager to get started? Call Dr. Popp at (402) 391-4558 to schedule your appointment.