The Eyelid Surgery Recovery Timeline

March 16, 2016 — by Stephen Hardy M.D.
Tags: Eyelid Surgery Plastic Surgery

Woman with smooth, tight skin around the eyesThe skin and tissues around the eyes are some of the most delicate on the body. Combine this with the fact that the face is almost constantly exposed to UV rays and other harsh environmental elements, and it should be no surprise that the eyes are often one of the first areas of the body to show signs of aging. Loose, saggy skin around the eyes, fine lines and wrinkles, hooded upper eyelids, and dark circles beneath the lower eyelids can make people look worn down and aged beyond their years. Eyelid surgery smooths and tightens the skin around the upper or lower eyelids to eliminate signs of aging and leave patients with a more refreshed and youthful appearance. While eyelid surgery has a fairly short recovery period compared to many other cosmetic procedures, patients should still be prepared for what to expect following treatment. Dr. Stephen Hardy discusses the eyelid surgery recovery timeline with our Missoula, MT patients so that they are well prepared in the days and weeks following eyelid surgery.

The Day of Treatment

Eyelid surgery is typically performed as an outpatient procedure, so patients will need to prepare in advance and have a friend or family member who can drive them home and stay with them during the first 24 hours of recovery. During this initial recovery period, patients may still be feeling some effects of the anesthesia that was used during surgery. Some of the side effects of anesthesia include nausea, itching, chills, and general confusion. It is best for a patient to rest as much as possible during the first 24 hours of recovery. However, to reduce swelling from eyelid surgery, it is important to rest with the head slightly elevated.

The First Week of Recovery

The side effects of eyelid surgery will be most prevalent during the first week of recovery. Some of the side effects commonly experienced following this procedure include the following:

  • Red eyes
  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Blurry vision
  • Dry, itchy eyes
  • Pain/discomfort
  • Difficulty closing the eyes all the way

To manage these side effects, patients should take prescribed medication as directed, get plenty of rest while keeping the head elevated, and use ice packs as necessary around the treatment site. It is also important to avoid overexerting the eyes or drying the eyes out. For this reason, reading and computer use should be limited, and sunglasses should be worn whenever outdoors. Strenuous physical activities should also be avoided during this stage of recovery.

Two Weeks after Surgery

Typically, within two weeks after surgery, many of the initial side effects of treatment have begun to dissipate. It is common for there to be some swelling remaining, and possibly minor bruising, but these should be much less severe at this point. Between seven and ten days after treatment, most patients feel well enough to return to work. Patients should still avoid strenuous activities and should be careful not to overwork the eyes.

Three to Four Weeks after Surgery

Between three and four weeks after surgery, most side effects should be gone. With most of the swelling down, patients should now be able to see the results of their surgery. The skin around the eyes should be smoother, tighter, and more youthful looking. As a precaution, patients should refrain from strenuous exercise for another week or two.

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Eyelid surgery can address some of the most common signs of aging and give patients back a more refreshed and youthful appearance. If you are troubled by loose saggy skin, wrinkles, or bags around the eyes and would like to learn more about eyelid surgery, contact us at your earliest convenience.

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