The Seattle

Plastic Surgery Center

William A. Portuese, M.D.

Recovery Period For Eyelid Surgery

Eyelid surgery, also known as blepharoplasty, is a procedure that can be performed to improve the appearance of the upper and/or lower eyelids. This procedure can help to reduce sagging skin, remove fat, and create a more youthful look around the eyes. While the recovery period for this type of surgery is typically short and uncomplicated, it is important to understand what to expect during the process in order to ensure optimal outcomes.

This article will provide an overview of the recovery period following eyelid surgery. It will discuss expectations regarding recovery time, potential complications that may arise, and tips on how to optimize healing after the procedure. Additionally, information on when follow-up care should be scheduled will be provided.

By understanding what to expect after eyelid surgery and taking steps to promote healing, patients can optimize their outcomes and experience a smooth recovery process.

Overview Of Procedure

Eyelid surgery, also known as blepharoplasty, is a surgical procedure that removes excess skin and fat from the upper and/or lower eyelids. The goal of eyelid surgery is to improve the appearance of the eyes by reducing wrinkles and sagging in the lids. This cosmetic procedure can be performed on both men and women of all ages.

The procedure is usually performed on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia or intravenous sedation. During the surgery, incisions are made along the natural line of the eyelids. Through these incisions, excess skin and fat are removed, muscles can be tightened, and fatty deposits repositioned. After performing any necessary repairs or adjustments to surrounding tissues, such as tightening lax muscles, sutures are used to close the incisions.

Once complete, recovery time for eyelid surgery is typically between one to three weeks with some minor bruising and swelling expected during this period. Depending on the patient’s healing process, it may take up to several months for all signs of recovery to completely disappear.

Preparation Before Surgery

Patients should begin preparation for eyelid surgery before the actual procedure. This includes scheduling a physical examination if necessary, and obtaining pre-operative instructions from the surgeon. In addition, patients may need to adjust their medications or stop taking certain drugs that can affect healing or increase bleeding risk. It is also important to arrange for transportation home after the procedure and ensure any necessary post-operative care is in place.

The evening prior to surgery, patients should not eat or drink anything after midnight. In some cases, they may be asked to take a shower with an antibacterial soap such as chlorhexidine gluconate (CHG). They should also wear loose-fitting clothing and comfortable shoes so they do not have to change clothes after surgery.

On the day of surgery, it is important for patients to arrive at least an hour before their scheduled time. This will allow adequate time for paperwork and pre-operative assessment by the operating room staff. They should bring all necessary documents such as a list of current medications, identification cards and insurance information. Patients must avoid wearing any jewelry or makeup that day as well.

What To Expect During The Operation

Having prepared for eyelid surgery, the patient can expect certain protocols to be followed during the operation. First, anesthesia will be administered. Depending on the type of procedure being performed, either local or general anesthesia may be used. Local anesthesia is typically used for minor procedures and involves numbing the area around the eye with an injection. For more complex surgeries, general anesthesia is utilized which renders the patient unconscious during the procedure.

After anesthesia has been administered, an incision will be made in order to access the tissue that needs to be operated on. The exact location of this incision depends on what kind of surgery is being performed; however it is usually made along the natural lines and folds of the skin so that it will not be noticeable once healed. Once opened, surgeons may need to move muscles or fat tissue around in order to achieve a desired aesthetic outcome.

Once all necessary adjustments have been made, sutures are put into place to close up any incisions and keep everything held together while healing occurs. After this point, patients are taken out of surgery and sent home with instructions on how to care for their eyes while they heal. The recovery period from eyelid surgery can vary from person-to-person but typically lasts between two weeks and one month depending on how quickly each individual heals from their particular procedure.

Aftercare Instructions

Following eyelid surgery, patients are advised to take appropriate steps to ensure a successful recovery. Aftercare instructions should be reviewed and followed closely to minimize the risks of complications.

It is important to keep the incision area clean and dry. Patients should cleanse the affected area with warm water or saline solution twice daily, using a cotton swab or soft cloth. It is recommended that the patient keep the eyes closed while cleansing and gently pat the area dry after washing. Application of an antibiotic ointment may also help reduce infection risk and should be done as directed by the physician.

Strenuous activities, such as lifting heavy objects or exercise, should be avoided for at least two weeks following surgery. Additionally, patients are encouraged to apply cold compresses to reduce swelling in the treatment area several times throughout the day for up to one week post-surgery. It is advised that contact lenses not be worn for at least one week after surgery or until any swelling has subsided. Patients should attend all follow-up appointments with their physician as recommended and report any signs of infection or excessive pain immediately.

By following these aftercare instructions, patients can help ensure a safe and successful recovery from eyelid surgery.

Swelling And Bruising

Swelling and bruising are common after eyelid surgery. Swelling generally peaks at two to three days post-surgery. It then gradually resolves over the coming weeks. Ice packs or cold compresses can be used to reduce swelling in the delicate eyelid area. To minimize discomfort, patients should keep their head elevated while sleeping and avoid salty foods that may lead to fluid retention.

The discoloration around the eyes from bruising usually occurs during the first few days following surgery and can last for up to two weeks. Makeup may be used to cover up some of the bruising if desired. However, it is important that makeup does not come into contact with any incisions as this could lead to an infection. In addition, strenuous activities should be avoided during the recovery period due to risk of bleeding or other complications.

It is normal for patients to experience some degree of swelling and bruising after eyelid surgery; however, if these symptoms become more severe or persist beyond a reasonable time frame, medical attention should be sought as soon as possible.

Pain Management

Following the recovery period for eyelid surgery, pain management is a crucial aspect of recovery. Pain medications can be prescribed by the surgeon, and there are also various non-medical approaches to managing pain.

Pain medications prescribed after eyelid surgery typically include opioids such as codeine or hydrocodone, and over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Taking more than the recommended dose of these drugs can cause serious harm, so following dosing instructions carefully is important.

In addition to taking medications, other measures for managing pain can include using cold compresses on the affected area, elevating the head while sleeping, and avoiding strenuous activities that may cause discomfort. Limiting activities such as lifting heavy objects or doing any type of physical labor may help reduce postoperative pain. Additionally, engaging in relaxation techniques such as meditation and deep breathing can help to reduce stress levels which can also lead to an overall reduction in postoperative pain levels.

It is important to discuss any concerns or questions with the surgeon prior to beginning any medication regimen or other forms of treatment for managing postoperative pain. Following their instructions carefully will ensure that recovery progresses smoothly and without complications.

Activity Restrictions

Patients undergoing eyelid surgery should be aware of the activity restrictions that come with the procedure. These restrictions are necessary for proper healing and recovery. First, strenuous activities should be avoided for at least two weeks after surgery. This includes any activity which causes sweating or an increase in heart rate. Second, patients must avoid direct sun exposure to the incision site for at least six weeks following surgery. Sunscreen may be used to protect the area; however, it is important to cover the area from direct sunlight. Finally, it is recommended that patients do not lift heavy objects or engage in contact sports for at least four weeks post-surgery. It is essential that these restrictions are followed in order to ensure a successful recovery process and avoid potential complications.

Potential Complications

Potential complications associated with eyelid surgery can include infection, excessive bleeding, and scarring. Infection of the eyelid area is a potential risk that patients should be aware of. Signs of infection may include redness and swelling, eye pain, or discharge from the surgical area. If any signs of infection occur after surgery, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.

Excessive bleeding may also occur following eyelid surgery. This can lead to bruising and swelling in the affected area. Applying pressure to the wound may help stop bleeding. Ice packs are also recommended to reduce swelling and bruising in the area.

Scarring is a common complication following any type of surgical procedure on the eyes. The risk of scarring can be decreased by avoiding direct sun exposure to the surgical site for at least one month after surgery and by carefully following any post-operative instructions given by your doctor or surgeon. It is also important to keep the surgical area clean and dry during recovery as this will help reduce scar formation.

It is essential for anyone considering eyelid surgery to understand both the benefits and risks associated with any type of cosmetic or reconstructive surgery. Patients should discuss all potential risks with their doctor prior to undergoing any form of eyelid operation or procedure.

Follow-Up Appointments

After any eyelid surgery, follow-up appointments are essential to ensure proper healing and to monitor the patient’s progress. Such appointments may include a review of the patient’s medical history, physical examination and evaluation of previously conducted tests. During these appointments, the doctor will assess the healing process, evaluate any potential risks or complications, and suggest any necessary treatments.

The recovery period for eyelid surgery can vary depending on the type of surgery performed and the individual’s overall health. Generally, it is recommended that patients return for follow-up examinations at least once per week during the first month after surgery. During this time period, regular checkups help ensure that any complications or risks have been addressed properly. After one month post-surgery, follow-up visits should be scheduled every two weeks until full recovery has been achieved.

Patients should always keep their doctor informed about any changes in their condition or any symptoms they experience throughout the recovery period. It is also important for them to promptly attend all scheduled follow-up appointments so that their progress can be closely monitored and appropriate treatments can be provided if required.

Final Results

Eyelid surgery is known to be a safe and effective procedure with minimal risks and complications. The recovery period following the surgery varies depending on the individual patient, but most patients experience significant results in a few weeks. The healing process typically involves swelling, bruising, and redness, which usually fades away within two weeks post-surgery.

In some cases, discomfort in the eyelid area may last for up to four weeks after surgery. Patients should avoid activities that could cause pressure or strain on the eyes during this time. Depending on the severity of the condition being treated, vision may also be affected temporarily. It is important to follow any instructions provided by the doctor regarding activity restrictions and medications to reduce inflammation and promote healing.

The final results of eyelid surgery often become visible several months after the procedure has been completed. In some cases, patients may require a touch-up or revision procedure if they are not satisfied with their results. With proper care and maintenance, most patients report seeing a noticeable difference in their eyelids within six months post-surgery.


Eyelid surgery, medically known as blepharoplasty, can minimize sagging or drooping of the upper and lower eyelids. It can also reduce puffiness and dark circles around the eyes. This procedure is generally performed on an outpatient basis and requires a recovery period of up to two weeks. During this time, patients should follow aftercare instructions carefully in order to ensure optimal results.

In order to maximize healing, it is important that patients limit their physical activity during the initial recovery period. This includes avoiding exercise and refraining from lifting heavy objects or straining the eyes with excessive computer use. Additionally, patients should take steps to minimize swelling and bruising by applying cold compresses as instructed by their physician.

It is also important for patients to attend all recommended follow-up appointments with their doctor in order to ensure optimal results from the procedure. Through diligent care of the surgical site during the recovery period, most people are able to achieve desired results from eyelid surgery without any major complications.

The Seattle

Plastic Surgery Center


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