Eyelid surgery is one of the most common plastic surgery procedures performed in the human body. Eyelid plastic surgery can be performed to achieve eyelid rejuvenation or to correct an eyelid problem, such as ptosis (droopy eyelid) or excess skin over the lashes. When patients opt for plastic surgery to rejuvenate their eyes or address an eyelid problem, recovery time is one of the first issues raised. Most patients cannot take too much time off from work and would like to resume their daily activities as soon as possible after their surgery.
When people talk about recovery after surgery, they usually mean the time it takes for swelling and bruising to disappear and the amount of time needed off from work and exercise.
What factors determine the amount of swelling and bruising after eyelid surgery?
Every surgical procedure carries its complexities, and the way it affects the eyelid tissues varies between patients. Some operations are more invasive than others, and tissues require a longer time to heal. It is important not to compare recovery times of patients who have had eyelid plastic surgery since procedures may vary, and this affects their recovery time.
Having said this, most eyelid surgeries cause swelling for about one week. The amount of swelling varies between patients and depends on the operation. Avoiding heavy lifting and bending after surgery decreases the amount of swelling. It is also important to avoid exercise the first two weeks after most eyelid surgeries and to try to sleep with the head elevated the first week. Swelling is usually worse in the morning due to swelling pooling on the eyelids from gravity.
Bruising is also present after eyelid surgery and generally lasts for about two weeks. However, the amount of bruising depends on several factors. Age, health status, and diet all influence how much bruising appears after surgery, and the time it takes to disappear. Additionally, a patient’s propensity to bruise determines how much and how long the bruising lasts. Some patients have little bruising the day after surgery, while in others, the bruising is severe and takes many weeks to disappear.
Every patient heals differently
Not all patients heal the same, and no two eyelids heal uniformly in the same person! It is crucial not to expect that your healing process is the same as your friend or family member’s who underwent a similar procedure. Your eyelids will heal at their own pace. As long as you are following your surgeon’s instructions you can be sure that your tissues will recover their normal state. Remember, regardless of how fast others have healed, recovery time is generally about two weeks.
Follow your surgeon’s instructions to heal faster
You can only expect to heal quickly and well if you follow the pre- and postoperative instructions designed to achieve a faster recovery. Your surgeon will provide you with specific instructions, and they must be followed if you expect a speedy recovery.
Before the operation, you must suspend all medications and supplements that prolong bruising. Your surgeon will provide you with this list. You should also follow a healthy diet and avoid smoking tobacco three weeks before the operation.
After the surgery, you should apply cold compresses to the operated sites as indicated by your doctor. Avoid lifting heavy objects and stay away from the gym for at least 10 days after the operation. Ask your surgeon when you can resume these activities. It is essential to eat a healthy diet, avoid sun exposure on the incisions and wait for one to two weeks to resume exercise.
Taking care of yourself after surgery is vital for your outcome
In summary, recovery time after eyelid plastic surgery is about one to two weeks. This time frame is a general rule that varies between patients and the type of operation. Remember that every procedure is different, and every person heals at a different pace. Finally, follow your doctor’s instructions carefully to avoid postoperative complications and to ensure the best outcome.