For those undergoing eyelid surgery, what to expect during recovery is a common question. While every recovery is slightly different, there is some standard advice that most patients receive.
Eyelid surgery, also known as blepharoplasty, reduced excess eyelid skin that leads to bagginess and an aged, tired appearance. Severe forms of drooping can even start to affect the patient’s vision, which is when surgery is essential.
Patients with severe under-eye bags and puffiness can also undergo lower blepharoplasty.
According to Dr Anh plastic surgery clinic from Perth, both procedures take about an hour to 90 minutes to perform and an overnight hospital stay is not necessary. While blepharoplasty doesn’t produce any major scarring, taking the necessary steps during recovery will keep scarring to a minimum.
Having a positive surgical experience and recovery starts with choosing the right surgeon. A surgeon without the necessary experience can cause complications and an unsatisfactory appearance. Along with reviewing a surgeon’s qualifications, search for patient reviews and browse before and after photos. This will give you a good idea of what you can expect as a prospective patient.
Following your surgery, it’s important to follow your surgeon’s specific instructions. However, these tips will give you some standard guidelines that can help improve your recovery.
Eyelid Surgery Recovery: Essential 9 Tips for a Positive Experience
1. Avoid Overly Strenuous Activities
A week after blepharoplasty surgery is when you need to rest the most. This means avoiding any activities that are overly strenuous or could place unnecessary pressure on your face. It’s also important not to strain your eyes, especially when the skin still feels tight. Staying inside as much as possible is also best during the first week to give your eyes a chance to heal.
2. Apply a Cold Compress to Minimise Side Effects
It’s possible to use a cold compress to minimize any swelling and bruising after blepharoplasty if your surgeon advises it. Your surgeon has an understanding of your specific circumstances, so only apply a compress if it’s recommended. The coolness is also soothing for nerve endings during the recovery process. Never apply the cold compress directly to the skin as it could cause burns.
3. Keep Your Head Elevated While Sleeping
Sleep may be slightly uncomfortable directly after eyelid surgery. It’s recommended that you keep your head elevated using at least 2 to 3 pillows when sleeping. This is only for a few days until most of the swelling subsides. A foam wedge is always nice to have after a procedure of this nature. Even better is if your bed has an elevation function, but pillows work just as well.
4. Protect Your Eyes Using Sunglasses
If you need to be outside before your eyes have completely healed, wear dark UV protective sunglasses. Even if you’re driving in a car or sitting near the water with a hat on, the sun can still affect your eye area. The skin of the eye area is very sensitive to sunlight, particularly after blepharoplasty. Along with wearing sunglasses, sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 is also recommended. It’s best not to apply your usual skincare products to the eye area until its healed.
5. Keep Your Eyelid Skin Clean
Following surgery, patients receive instructions on how to clean their eyelid skin. It’s essential that you follow these instructions if you want a positive recovery experience. Your surgeon may provide you with a solution for wounds to avoid infections and eye drops to stop burning and itching.
Whatever you do, avoid touching, scratching or rubbing your incisions lines as this could cause an infection.
6. Keep Television Time to a Minimum
You want to keep busy during recovery but it’s best not to watch TV too often. Straining your eyes can lead to dryness and could extend your recovery. Try switching up television time with music and general relaxation. There’s never been a better excuse to sit back and relax. If you’re going to take time off, you might as well make it count.
7. Don’t Bend Over If You Don’t Need To
During the healing phase, your head should remain elevated, mainly to avoid unnecessary swelling. If you have small children at home, get some assistance to avoid having to bend over. Rather ask for help instead of prolonging your recovery. If there is no one to help you, rather bend at your knees to pick something up instead of bending your head down.
8. Focus on Nutrition
The more protein and nutrient-rich foods you consume during recovery, the easier it is for your body to heal. Prior to surgery, stock up on lean meat, eggs, nuts, and beans. Not only does protein aid the body’s recovery process but it helps with sleep too. Staying hydrated is another simple way to support your body during blepharoplasty recovery. Stocking your kitchen before surgery ensures you can rest and relax right away.
9. Look for Signs of Complications
While complications following blepharoplasty are rare, it’s still important to know what signs to look out for. Your surgeon will explain what abnormalities to look out for during recovery. If at any point you become concerned, it’s best to get in touch with your surgeon instead of leaving it too late. Some of the concerns to look out for include excessive bleeding, pus drainage, and vision problems. By adhering to your surgeon’s specific aftercare instructions, there’s no reason why you need to worry about complications.
Most patients feel ready to return to work 7 to 10 days after surgery. There is a chance that some minor swelling and bruising remains after this period. However, this can easily be covered with makeup.
Should you choose to combine blepharoplasty with additional surgeries such as a facelift or rhinoplasty, aftercare and recovery times may vary. If you have other aesthetic goals, bring them up during your surgical consultation to get a professional opinion. You may be able to save time and money by combining your procedures.