Eyelid surgery, also known as blepharoplasty, is a popular cosmetic procedure that can improve your appearance and reduce signs of aging. While patients understand how this procedure works, some are confused about how long the healing process takes. Dr. Tantisira of True Vision Center in Honolulu provides a clearer view of recovery timelines after eyelid surgery.

Eyelid Surgery Overview

As your skin loses its elasticity over time, gravity can cause your upper and lower eyelids to sag. Lower blepharoplasty reduces under-eye bagginess, while upper blepharoplasty corrects drooping upper eyelids by removing excess skin, muscle, or fatty tissue. These surgeries won’t eliminate dark undereye circles or reduce wrinkles, but they can help to improve vision in patients whose upper eyelids obstruct their field of view.

You can have a blepharoplasty on your upper or lower eyelids, or both sets of eyelids at once. An upper blepharoplasty involves cutting into the natural crease of your upper eyelid, removing excess skin and fat, and then closing the incisions.

During a lower blepharoplasty, Dr. Tantisira creates incisions below your lower eyelashes or makes hidden transconjunctival incisions inside your lower eyelids. Then they remove excess skin as needed while they redistribute or remove excess fat.

A Typical Recovery Process Following Eyelid Surgery

Every patient’s recovery experience is different, but if you get surgery on your upper eyelids only, the initial healing period will generally take two to three weeks. If you only have surgery on your lower eyelids, you can usually expect to recover in two weeks. If you get an upper and lower blepharoplasty at the same time, recovery may take two to three weeks or a bit longer.

After your eyelid surgery, any stitches you have will remain there for five to ten days. If Dr. Tantisira made incisions on the inside of your lower lids only, you wouldn’t have any stitches.

Eyelid surgery is typically painless, but Dr. Tantisira may give you medicine to manage any post-operative effects. Your eyelids may feel tight, sore, dry, itchy, or sticky after surgery. You may also experience sensitivity to light and have blurry vision for a few days.

Following your procedure, it’s common to have swelling and bruising around your eyes that lasts for one to three weeks. After these conditions subside, you’ll notice changes in your appearance. It may take one to three months to see a significant improvement, but most people feel comfortable being seen in public after ten to fourteen days.

Expected Downtime

Recovering from eyelid surgery can make you feel very tired for the first few days. You should get as much sleep as you feel you need to during this period of blepharoplasty downtime. Dr. Tantisira recommends resting your eyes, limiting your activity, and staying home from work for several days while your eyelids heal.

After eight days, you should be feeling well enough to resume most of your usual daily activities. Most patients will need to take five to ten days off from work, depending on their job and how they feel about being seen. Many people go back to work a week after surgery, even if they still have some bruising around their eyes.

If your bruising and swelling are extensive, you may feel that you need more time to recover.

Post-operative Care Instructions

  1. Proper post-operative care for eyelid surgery is an extremely important part of recovery. Here are some tips from Dr. Tantisira:
  2. Keep your eyelids clean and avoid touching them until your incisions heal.
  3. Rest your eyes as much as possible and get plenty of sleep.
  4. Drink enough water per day and eat nutritious, vitamin C- and protein-rich foods that will promote healing.
  5. Limit exercise and abstain from smoking, drinking alcohol, and exposing yourself to the sun, wind, and excessive heat.

Specific aftercare instructions may include:

  • Staying indoors to avoid harsh sun exposure
  • Wearing UV-rated sunglasses, a billed hat, and doctor-approved, high SPF UVC-blocking sunscreen if you do go outside in the daytime
  • Using antibiotic ointment and cold compresses to ease swelling
  • Using oral or topical medicines to reduce the potential for infection and promote healing

When Can Patients Expect to See Final Results?

Every patient’s eyelid surgery recovery timeline is different, but after the initial two- to three-week recovery period, it can take three to six months to see your final results. If you get upper and lower eyelid surgery at the same time, your total recovery time may be a bit longer than average.

Consult with Dr. Tantisira today

With Dr. Tantisira’s expertise, you can achieve a more youthful and vibrant look, all while addressing functional concerns like vision obstruction. Our team is dedicated to providing you with a smooth, informative consultation process to ensure eyelid surgery is the right choice for you. Book a consultation today to schedule your consultation and take the first step towards rejuvenating your appearance.