Before you embark on a journey with plastic surgery to rejuvenate your eyes or correct an eyelid condition, you may want to know what the recovery is like and how much downtime you will need. This is important for obvious reasons. You need to plan ahead in order to take time off from work and have support from family and friends. However, you must keep in mind that recovery after eyelid surgery is not the same for everyone and for every operation.
Factors that determine length of recovery after eyelid surgery
Recovery after eyelid surgery depends on several factors, such as the type of procedure performed, the patient’s age and health, and how well the patient follows the doctor’s instructions. The type of procedure will determine the amount of bruising and the length of the recovery. For example, recovery after an upper eyelid blepharoplasty (eyelid lift) may take a few days, while lower eyelid surgery with midface lift may take up to three weeks of recovery. The longer the surgery, the more bruising and swelling after the operation. Also, some surgeries are more prone to postoperative swelling; eyelid retraction surgery and ptosis repair, for example, have longer recovery times due to swelling and tissue inflammation.
Certain health conditions will prolong recovery time after eyelid surgery. Smoking and heart disease will reduce oxygen to the operated site and will prolong the healing process. Therefore, it is very important to stop tobacco use two to three weeks before plastic surgery. Patients with hypertension and heart disease must have a preoperative evaluation to make sure they are fit for surgery. Uncontrolled diabetes may put the patient at risk of postoperative complications such as wound infection and delayed healing. These patients will do better if their blood sugar levels are controlled before the operation.
The patient’s willingness and ability to follow the surgeon’s pre- and post- operative instructions is another important element that will speed up the recovery. It is important to avoid certain medications before the operation that will increase bleeding and prolong bruising. After surgery, the patient must rest and allow the tissues to heal before resuming normal physical activity. Following the doctor’s orders will almost always guarantee a safer and quicker recovery.
Be willing to take care of yourself, and your recovery will be quick
Every skin is different, and tissues will heal at different rates in every person. However, you have the power to speed up your recovery if you follow some important instructions. Eat a healthy diet before and after the surgery; try to eat vegetables, fish and avoid fatty foods and sugar. Keep well hydrated after your surgery; drinks lots of water, but avoid sugary drinks and sodas. Take care of yourself after your operation. Rest is very important to allow the tissues to heal and avoid complications. The more you take care of yourself, the faster your recovery will be.