Too much fat and skin folds on the level of the upper or lower eyelid can make a person look old beyond the actual age, not to mention tired or upset. Blepharoplasty surgery is often performed to rejuventate the upper face and eyes as well as to correct imperfections in the area. The procedure is commonly performed in patients over 30 years old, sometimes even younger. Before undergoing the procedure, many patients want to know what they can expect during the recovery period.

Considering the fact that the procedure addresses the soft tissue around the eyes, a long recovery period is undesirable. So, how long does it take to recover after blepharoplasty?

The ABCs of the recovery period after eyelid surgery

Generally speaking, the recovery period after eyelid surgery can take 2 to 3 weeks. But the duration of the recovery period depends on the type of intervention performed and the particular characteristics of the patient. Also, it's worth mentioning that certain post-operative behaviours can speed up or slow down the healing process.

After the procedure is performed, the patient should keep the eyes shut for as long as possible. This means that having someone to help you around the house is essential for at least a day or two post-op. More than this, you should know that the vision might be blurred for a while after blepharoplasty. This is a normal side effect of the intervention and nothing to worry about as it is only temporary.

Your main concern during the first few days post-op should be get enough rest to allow the body to heal and restore.

Factors that can affect the length of the recovery period

It is very rare for patients to suffer complications after blepharoplasty surgery when the procedure is performed by an experienced surgeon in an accredited medical facility. However, other factors contribute to a smooth recovery, such as:

- The patient's age – younger patients often heal faster compared to senior patients.

- The technique used for the procedure – blepharoplasty can be performed on the upper eyelid, on the lower eyelid, or on both. Depending on the complexity of the procedure, the recovery times can vary. Upper eyelid alone tends to settle much faster.

- The amount of subcutaneous fat deposit – when the fat deposits are considerable, the healing process might take longer.

Tips & tricks to have a shorter recovery period
  • Apply cold compresses on the eyes

It is important not to touch the eyes or rub them after such an intervention. You can apply cold compresses to reduce the oedema and alleviate discomfort and pain. Cold compress application should not exceed twenty minutes every 2 hours. You should avoid using ice directly on the skin, as this can cause skin damage.

  • Wear eye protection

Wearing sunglasses is mandatory for several weeks to protect the eyes from the sun's rays and wind. And to help keep that safe, you should apply sunscreen around the incisions for about six months to prevent discoloration of the scar. Applying sunscreen is mandatory even if you wear sunglasses.

  • Keep your eyes moist

Due to the lack of tear production induced by the procedure, the patient will experience uncomfortable dryness in the eyes. It can cause irritation which often leads to rubbing of the eyes. To prevent this, the doctor will prescribe drops to keep the eyes moist. Certain activities such as reading, watching TV, playing on your smartphone or laptop can cause even more eye dryness, so better avoid them as much as possible.

  • Keep the head up

To reduce bruising, oedema, and pain, it is recommended to keep your head up at least 30degress. This position can help you avoid a build-up of fluid in the affected area.

  • Don't wear makeup

While you might be tempted to wear makeup to mask the scars, it is not a good idea, at least not before the recovery process is complete. Wait at least 2 weeks before applying foundation, eye shadow, or other products directly on the areas treated during the surgery.

Realistic expectations after eyelid surgery

One of the most important things you should do before resorting to plastic surgery to enhance your appearance is having realistic expectations from the surgery. And this isn't just about the results but also about the recovery period. We all wish to get back to work and resume daily activities as soon as possible after undergoing an intervention. But keep in mind that a simple paper cut on your finger can trigger pain and discomfort for several days, so it's only natural to give your body some time to heal after surgery.

Make sure to take time off from work for the recovery period and discuss things in detail with your family and friends as you might need help upon your return home for at least a few days. And, most importantly, give it time and think how much you've achieved by undergoing this intervention.

It is often the case that results don't show up immediately after undergoing a plastic surgery intervention. This is true not only when it comes to procedures of the face, but the body too, and even to less invasive procedures, such as dermal fillers or Botox. It's the same with the blepharoplasty intervention – the results will start showing after the swelling and bruising subside and get better and better over the following days and weeks.

Final words

Eyelid surgery is a popular plastic surgery intervention performed to lift and refresh the area around the eyes. The procedure can be performed on the upper, lower, or both eyelids and has a recovery period of two to four weeks in a vast majority of cases. The recovery period can be shorter or longer, depending on the technique used, the patient's age, pre-existing medical conditions, and the patient's commitment to follow the plastic surgeon's post-op indications.