Blepharoplasty Recovery Time

Blepharoplasty surgery, or eyelid surgery, is a technique used to change the appearance of the upper and lower eyelids. If successful, the procedure can result in eyes that look more alert, youthful and rejuvenated. As with any surgery, there will be a recovery time where doctors will advise you to rest and heal. For those considering laser blepharoplasty, know the recovery timeline so you can make plans with work and family.

Laser blepharoplasty surgery requires the patient to be put under general anesthesia. A small incision is made in the natural folds of the eyelid, and muscles and skin are tightened and any excess is removed. Any fat deposits can also be removed at this time by the blepharoplasty surgeon. The entire procedure generally takes one to two hours. The incision is closed with either sutures or surgical tape, depending on the invasiveness of the procedure.

When the patient is out of surgery, she will be removed to a recovery room for several hours. Compresses may be placed on the eyes to keep swelling down and bandages will be loosely placed over the eyes. After several hours of observation, the patient will be allowed to go home with a family member or friend escorting them home. Some surgeries may require an overnight stay.

The First Few Days
Over the first few days post surgery, the eyes will swell and the patient may experience redness, soreness or dryness. Pain medication and lubrication drops can help alleviate these symptoms. Continuing cold compresses will ease the discomfort of swelling and tightness in the incision area. Patients will also be advised to sleep with their heads elevated.

The First Week
Patients of should avoid doing anything to strain the eyes, including reading, watching TV, driving, wearing contact lenses and computer work. Dark sunglasses should be worn whenever the patient goes outside. Doctors advise no exercising, bending, lifting, crying or other activities that might strain the face.

The Second Week
After the first week, the patient will need to return to the doctor for a follow up visit and to get the stitches removed from the incision. The patient should engage in minimal activity, and exercise and continue to rest, including naps to reduce eye strain. Patients that are progressing well may be allowed to return to work after seven to ten days.

Subsequent Weeks
Depending on the progress of recovery, the doctor may give the go ahead to resume moderate activity around three to four weeks post surgery. Patients will still be cautioned to minimize activities that require exertion and increased blood flow to the eyes, but most swelling, redness and irritation should be completely gone and the eyes will feel nearly normal. 

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