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Recovery from Cosmetic Eyelid Surgery: What Patients Can Expect

By Dennis Hurwitz on April 24, 2015

A woman with gray hair smilingPatients who have issues with the appearance of their eyes can count on the team at The Hurwitz Center for Plastic Surgery. Based in Pittsburgh, we have routinely achieved excellent results with cosmetic eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty), which can rejuvenate your entire face.

We'd like to use this opportunity to go over the recovery process involved following cosmetic eyelid surgery so you have realistic expectations about the surgical process.

What to Expect Immediately After Your Eyelid Surgery

Immediately after you have undergone cosmetic eyelid surgery, it's not uncommon for you to feel groggy and uncomfortable. This is generally due to the effects of general anesthetic. Patients should rest after surgery and not engage in any kinds of activities that would lead to eyestrain, such as reading, using the computer, watching television, and so on. When resting, it's ideal to do so with your body propped up by a few pillows rather than laying flat on your back.

Common Side Effects After Cosmetic Eyelid Surgery

Some common side effects that people experience after undergoing cosmetic eyelid surgery include:

  • Discomfort and pain
  • Bruising
  • Swelling
  • Discoloration
  • Dry eye syndrome
  • Blurry vision

Activities to Avoid After Cosmetic Eyelid Surgery

As you are healing from cosmetic eyelid surgery, it's important that you avoid the following activities:

  • Strenuous exercise
  • Heavy lifting
  • Sexual activity
  • Rubbing your eyes
  • Using facial makeup
  • Wearing contact lenses
  • Sleep on your side
  • Using hot tubs
  • Swimming pools
  • Bending at the waist
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol consumption

As you are recovering from surgery, it's ideal to wear sunglasses or a hat with a brim while outdoors to protect the skin of the eyelids from the damaging effects of the sun.

Common Healing Experience in the First Days After Surgery

In the first few days of surgery, it's important for patients to get ample rest. Bruising and swelling are both common in the early days of recovery, and patients will notice these side effects start to diminish or begin to diminish by the end of the first week.

Eye irritation and dryness around the eyes is common after cosmetic eyelid surgery. Using recommended eye drops for the eyes themselves and specified medicated ointments for the skin around your eyes is ideal for addressing both of these issues.

Attend All Follow-up Visits with Your Cosmetic Surgeon

The first of several follow-up visits with your cosmetic surgeon typically take place by the end of the first week. These follow-ups are scheduled to ensure that you are healing properly and experiencing as few complications as possible. It's imperative that you attend all of these follow-ups in the weeks ahead.

Common Healing Experience in the Early Weeks After Surgery

By the end of two weeks, patients should notice significant improvements in the overall appearance of their eye area. They should be able to return to work and return to some basic activities by this time.

Patients should consult their surgeons about when they can resume wearing eye makeup and wearing contact lenses. The rate and nature of your healing experience will determine the optimal time for this to occur.

What to Expect Going Forward

In the months ahead, patients will resume normal activities that were prohibited after surgery. The incision sites will appear slightly discolored, but the scars will fade in the months ahead. Most people will not notice the scars since the incisions are well hidden.

Patients should continue to wear sunglasses and hats with brims in order to protect the eye are from sun damage.

Learn More About Cosmetic Eyelid Surgery

If you would like to learn more about cosmetic eyelid surgery and how it can help you look years and years younger, be sure to contact our cosmetic skin care and plastic surgery center today. The team here at The Hurwitz Center for Plastic Surgery will help you achieve all of your aesthetic goals.

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