Eyelid surgery is a minimally invasive cosmetic procedure that millions of people turn to improve the appearance and function of their eyes. It’s one of the most popular antiaging treatments available. Dr. Hershcovitch, MD offers the following insight into factors that affect the time it takes patients to recover from blepharoplasty.
Eyelid Surgery Recovery and Results
On average, the complete timeframe for eyelid surgery recovery is several months. However, individual results will vary. It is necessary to maintain realistic expectations about the eyelid surgery recovery process. Some improvements in appearance may appear before the recovery period is over. However, the most noticeable and dramatic benefits of blepharoplasty are usually not apparent until six months after surgery. Patients should consider the following precautions to prevent healing delays and achieve their desired effects.
Rest often. Immediately after surgery, patients should rest as much as possible. Rest optimizes the body’s healing functions and eyelid surgery recovery process.
Apply cold compresses frequently. Facial swelling, bruising, and discoloration are common after surgery. The eyelids may also seem desensitized. These temporary effects are a normal part of the body’s immune response to the trauma of surgical incisions and tissue and muscle manipulations. Most patients experience a gradual reduction in symptoms after several days. Patients can minimize swelling and discomfort with cold compresses and gauze pads. They may also use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce puffiness and inflammation.
Maintain exceptional post-operative blepharoplasty hygiene. To aid the recovery process, patients should routinely clean their eyes and lashes with a special medical solution to promote healing and soothe discomfort. Proper care to the eye area is essential, especially after surgery. Patients should also use proper hygiene and wash their hands with antibacterial soap before cleaning their eyes or touching their faces.
Return for blepharoplasty stitch removal. Sutures are left in place during the first week to allow the altered tissues and muscles to knit and repair. Suture removal is necessary within a timely manner to prevent infection, damage, and complications at the surgical site.
Adhere to activity restrictions. By the second to fourth week of recovery, patients may resume most activities. Caution is advised for strenuous activities, such as heavy lifting, and rapid or frequent twisting and bending movements. These actions can boost blood flow to the eyes and impede the healing process. Patients should also avoid positions where their heads are lower than their shoulders.
Rest with proper elevation. To prevent circulation issues, promote proper healing, and facilitate comfort to improve sleep quality, patients should use pillows or sleep in a recliner that allows them to maintain an elevation of 45 degrees. Sleeping in an inclined position also helps to prevent accidental trauma and damage to the face and minimize the risks of complications and failure.
Avoid bright lights. Patients may experience increased sensitivity to light. To prevent skin and eye irritation and vision disturbances, such as blurriness and double vision, avoid direct exposure to the sun and bright lights. To protect the eyes, we suggest sunglasses.
Keep the eyes moisturized. Eye dryness is extremely common. Throughout the healing process, the eyes will go through many microscopic changes on a cellular level that can lead to minor irritations and vision concerns. Dryness is one of them. Eye drops are highly effective at restoring moisture to the eyes. Dr. Hershcovitch may provide specific recommendations that may include a special ointment to help patients achieve their goals.
Avoid eye strain. Dryness is also a side effect of certain activities and habits that cause eye strain. Eyelid surgery patients should exercise caution when using staring at smartphones, tablets, and television and computer screens. Patients should also avoid reading or looking at anything longer than 20 minutes at a time without blinking and glancing at an object that’s at least 20 feet away for a minimum of 20 seconds.
Refrain from wearing contacts and makeup. Placing foreign objects like contacts and makeup in the eyes and on the surgical area can lead to infection. These areas are still sensitive and fragile from surgery and extremely vulnerable to infection from bacteria, dirt, and germs. Patients may wear eyeglasses until Dr. Hershcovitch clears them for contact lenses and makeup use.
Drink plenty of water and clear fluids. Water makes up 99 percent of the eyes. Proper hydration is key in restoring proper eye function, structure, and health. Avoid alcohol and caffeinated beverages, they can lead to dehydration and affect the overall results of the procedure. Limit sodium intake as well. Good nutrition also counts.
Adhere to all follow-up care recommendations and appointments. Dr. Hershcovitch has the skill and experience to help patients achieve their cosmetic and functional eye goals. The outcome is highly dependent on each patient’s commitment to the post-operative care process. Medical supervision is necessary to minimize procedure and recovery risks to facilitate favorable results.
Most patients achieve their eye appearance goals within six months. For others, the process can take longer. The outcome is highly dependent on each patient’s health, treatment plan, and other factors. Anyone interested in the procedure should consider adjusting their work and personal schedules for a minimum of two weeks to reduce stress and other issues that could impede their progress. They can modify their activities as necessary throughout the recovery process with Dr. Hershcovitch’s recommendations.
Schedule an Appointment
Eyelid surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that provides a youthful and more alert appearance. Call (818) 206-2539 to discuss your cosmetic and function eye concerns with our double-board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Matt Hershcovitch, MD to discover custom options for your situation.