How Long Does It Take to Heal After Eyelid Surgery

After booking your Virginia eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty), you’re probably feeling a mix of excitement and impatience. You’re excited to finally see a fresher, younger-looking reflection that matches how you feel and you can’t wait to show off your results. The time will come to do exactly that — but first comes one of the most important steps of the procedure: your recovery.

Knowing what to expect after eyelid surgery is just as important as knowing what to expect during the surgery. At New Image Plastic Surgery, Dr. Gartside makes sure every patient is educated about what they might experience as they heal, as well as the steps they can take to facilitate a smooth recovery and a beautiful outcome. Preparing for your eyelid surgery recovery will go far in ensuring your experience is safe, comfortable and rewarding.

What Factors Influence Eyelid Surgery Recovery Time?

Blepharoplasty recovery varies from person to person. While we can provide a general eyelid surgery recovery timeline, the extent of your recovery period and what you experience during it will depend on a range of factors unique to you, including:

  • Your age
  • Your general health
  • The quality of your skin
  • Your body’s tendency to swell or bruise
  • Your pain tolerance
  • How closely you follow Dr. Gartside’s postoperative instructions
  • Which types of eyelid surgery are done (upper blepharoplasty and/or lower blepharoplasty)
  • If you have additional procedures at the same time as your eyelid surgery

The description below will give you a general idea of what eyelid surgery recovery involves. Dr. Gartside will discuss your personalized recovery timeline before your surgery.

What to Expect Immediately After Eyelid Surgery

Your blepharoplasty procedure will take approximately two hours if Dr. Gartside operates on both of your eyes. You will be able to return home when it is finished, but because you will have been anesthetized, you will need to arrange for a friend or family member to drive you. Dr. Gartside and the New Image Plastic Surgery staff will ensure you have thorough aftercare instructions and any appropriate pain medications before you leave.

Like most surgical procedures, blepharoplasty will involve some bruising, swelling and discomfort. These effects are temporary and mostly mild. Other post-blepharoplasty side effects may include sensitivity to light, blurred vision, itchiness, watery eyes or dry, sticky eyes. Keep your eye area clean and avoid rubbing it. Sleep on your back with your head elevated to minimize swelling. Use eye drops to prevent your eyes from drying out and a cold compress to help alleviate swelling and discomfort.

What to Expect in the First Week After Eyelid Surgery

Continue making rest a priority for the first week of your eyelid surgery recovery. Your eyes will still be swollen and puffy, and the incision lines will be pink and conspicuous. Your eyes may also still be watery, dry, sensitive to light, tender and bruised. These are completely normal parts of the post-op healing process. You’ll be able to see improvements once these effects start to subside.

Your stitches may dissolve on their own, or Dr. Gartside may remove them during this week. Avoid activities that can lead to dry eyes, such as wearing contacts and spending too much time in front of digital screens, and keep your eye area free of cosmetics. Do not drive or participate in activities that require uncompromised vision until Dr. Gartside has given you clearance. When you go outside, wear dark sunglasses to protect your eyes from irritation caused by sun and wind. You may find that your eyes tire easily during this period. Give them plenty of rest and take naps if necessary.

What to Expect Two Weeks After Eyelid Surgery

When you are ready to reveal the results of your blepharoplasty depends on how quickly your body heals and how you feel about people knowing about your surgery. Most patients are ready to go out in public and return to work within two weeks. You may still have some swelling or bruising around your eyes, but these effects have subsided considerably by the two-week mark. Ideally, you will take all the time you need to get back into your routine at your own pace and avoid unnecessary stress.

Dr. Gartside will let you know when you can resume driving, wearing makeup, working out and other activities. Patients can usually resume use of contact lenses and light makeup after two weeks. Continue wearing sunglasses outdoors to shield your eyes from the elements.

When to Expect Full Recovery After Blepharoplasty

Around six weeks, you will start to see the final result of your eyelid surgery. Mild residual swelling may still be present as the delicate tissues around your eyes continue to adjust, but your eyes will be noticeably refreshed, alert and younger-looking. Incision lines can remain slightly pink for six months or more. Eventually, they will fade to a thin, nearly invisible white scar.

Blepharoplasty results can last for many years — perhaps even a lifetime. Your eye area will continue to age naturally after surgery and you may find that the effects of your eyelid surgery diminish with time. Some patients choose to repeat the procedure to address sagging that reappears as they age. Whether you go this route or not, you will always benefit from the years your blepharoplasty has taken off your appearance.

Dr. Gartside’s Eyelid Surgery Recovery Tips

In addition to explaining what to expect while you heal, Dr. Gartside will share eyelid surgery recovery tips to help make that process as quick and comfortable as possible:

  • Prepare ahead of time by purchasing cold compresses and eye drops and fulfilling any necessary prescriptions
  • Take care of basic necessities (groceries, laundry, errands, etc.) beforehand so you can focus on rest and relaxation
  • Do not smoke as it can interfere with wound healing and increase your risk of complications
  • Eat a nutritious diet and stay well-hydrated
  • Keep entertainment handy that doesn’t require use of your eyes
  • Wear loose-fitting or button-front tops that do not have to be squeezed over your head
  • Arrange for someone to help you for at least the first 24 hours after surgery
  • Diligently follow your home care instructions
  • Contact our office if you are experiencing any concerning changes in your health
  • Be sure to attend all scheduled follow-up appointments

Schedule Your Eyelid Surgery Consultation Today

Blepharoplasty is sought out by women and men alike who want an effective and long-lasting solution to signs of aging around the eyes. To find out more about the procedure or eyelid surgery recovery, call (703) 742-8004 to schedule a consultation at New Image Plastic Surgery. Dr. Gartside serves patients in Reston and McLean, Virginia, as well as patients in Washington, DC.