How long does it take to recover from eyelid surgery?
It typically takes about two weeks to recover from eyelid surgery. Your surgeon will discuss how long it will be before you can return to your normal level of activity and work. After surgery, you and your caregiver will receive detailed instructions about your post-operative care, including information about:
- Incision care
- Typical symptoms you will experience
- Potential signs of complications
It is vital that you follow all the patient care instructions your surgeon provides. It is also important to know that the amount of time it takes for recovery varies greatly among individuals.
What can I expect in the first 24 hours of my eyelid surgery recovery?
- Although you will not have to rest in bed following surgery, you should plan to relax and stay home.
- For the first 48 hours, you should apply cold packs to your eyelids to reduce any swelling.
- Use small gauze pads to stop any bleeding.
- Apply eye drops or artificial tears to help keep eyes from drying (ask your surgeon for a recommendation).
- Clean your wounds with clean washcloths and towels.
- After upper and lower blepharoplasty surgery, your eyelids will typically feel tight. You can take over-the-counter painkillers to help with any pain, which your surgeon can recommend. Avoid Advil, Motrin, Naproxen, Aleve, and aspirin due to the increased risk of bleeding.
- Sleep with your head raised higher than your chest. You can use regular pillows, wedge pillows, or sleep on a recliner. Minimize swelling and bruising by keeping your head elevated as much as possible during the first few days of recovery. Significant bruising can occur, but will resolve within two weeks.
What can I expect in my first few weeks of recovery?
- Avoid straining, heavy lifting, swimming, and strenuous activities, such as aerobics and jogging, for ten to fourteen days. Specifically, you should avoid activities in which you move your head abruptly or movement that increases the blood pressure in your head. This restriction includes, but is not limited to, bending over, which causes your head to be lower than your heart, and lifting objects heavy enough to cause you to strain. This restriction may apply for three to four weeks depending on your specific type of procedure.
- You may notice that your eyes tire easily for the first several weeks of your blepharoplasty recovery period. Take frequent naps. Avoid activities that may dry the eyes, including reading, watching television, wearing contacts, and using a computer.
- For the first two weeks after your surgery, wear dark sunglasses to protect the eyes from irritation caused by sun and wind.
- Your aesthetic plastic surgeon will remove the stitches between two and seven days after your eyelid surgery.
- You should feel well enough to resume normal activities around the tenth day of recovery.
- Seek medical attention immediately if you experience new pain, bleeding, or visual disturbance.