Recovery After Eyelid Surgery

Most patients look and feel pretty well by 2 weeks after a blepharoplasty. The upper lid incision is hidden in the upper lid crease.

Occasionally a small amount of bruising or swelling has persisted up to two weeks, but the majority of issues can be disguised by makeup or glasses.

The lower lid incision is a bit more visible, but usually heals very quickly as well. In short, if one has a major event or appearance scheduled, I would suggest a much longer ‘lead time’ to ensure that there is no residual tell-tale signs (give yourself 2-3 months!).

If one can accept a minimal amount of residual swelling, incisional pinkness or resolving bruising, two weeks is usually an adequate amount of time to be able to return to work. (Janet Turkle, MD, Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon)

Eyelid recovery time

Typically 8-12 days is the standard recovery time following upper eyelid surgery. Sometimes even slightly quicker if the overall issue is merely heavy upper eyelid skin.

I typically suggest patients consider surgery on a Friday and then return to work the following 1 week after the upcoming Monday or a total of 10 days off from work (including the weekend days) followed by return to work on day 11 postoperatively.

This is about the shortest window of time you would like to alot for full healing in the initial phases. (Shepherd G. Pryor, MD, Scottsdale Facial Plastic Surgeon)

Eyelid surgery recovery

Recovery after eyelid surgery upper

Each person is different, but most people are back to their regular activities in a week. Eyelid surgery is not generally a painful procedure. So you feel good in 2-3 days. Most sutures come out in 5-7 days and most bruising is gone by this time. I would wait on exercise until after a month, though! (Angela Sturm, MD, Houston Facial Plastic Surgeon)

Post Op Blepharoplasty

Recovery after eyelid surgery after 2 weeks

If the surgery includes both upper and lower eyelid surgery without laser or chemical peel, it may take two weeks to look socially presentable. Of course, cover up may be necessary until the redness of the scar becomes less visible.It takes ~one month for a 50% resolution in swelling, 3 months for 80%, and one year for the final result.Everyone heals and recovers at their own individual rates and one side may heal faster than the other side. (George C. Peck, Jr, MD, West Orange Plastic Surgeon)

Returning to work after Eyelid Surgery

Recovery after eyelid surgery arnicare

Every patient is unique and recovery will vary, and each plastic surgeon has their own routine. Generally, patients are back to work/school in about 7-10 days. Pain is usually minimal and some patient don’t take any pain medications. Stitches normally dissolve or are removed about a week after surgery.

You may wash your face and eyes about 1-2 days after the procedure. Eye glasses may be worn immediately, but no contacts for a few weeks. Make-up is allowed about 1-2 weeks after surgery. Heavy activity, such as exercise or sex, is allowed after a couple weeks. Contact sports are permitted after about 2 months.

Patients are generally “restaurant ready” and socially acceptable within 2 weeks following eyelid surgery. Most swelling after eyelid surgery resolves within a month. The final 10% of swelling takes a much longer time to resolve.

Recovery after eyelid surgery asian

Fortunately, this final swelling is usually only evident to the surgeon and patient, but normally does not draw attention.Cosmetic surgery patients may help reduce post-treatment swelling via a variety of methods. Other potential helpful factors which may help with postop cosmetic surgery swelling include the following reduce salt intakereduce ingesting processed foods and focus on fresh fruits & vegetablesreduce spicy foodsoral diuretic to help urinate excess salt, only for a brief durationsteroid injection or pillshyaluronidasefacial massage or gentile compression dressing to the areaarnica montana tablets (Houtan Chaboki, MD, Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon)

Recovery Following Eyelid Surgery

Image recovery after eyelid surgery

Most upper eyelid patient surgeries have their sutures out by the 7th day. Your healing and swelling will be peaked at around 48 hours and by 7 to 10 days post-op you’re very well healed.

You will restrict working out for about two weeks. Most patients will have Wednesday or Thursday surgery and go to work the following Monday with just some eye drops. (Paul Vanek, MD, Cleveland Plastic Surgeon)

Bruisestick and recovery after eyelid surgery

It usually takes less than one week to recover from an upper eyelid surgery. Swelling varies from person to person and I advise patients to purchase a Bruisestick to minimize swelling. (Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS, Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon)

Eyelid Surgery Recovery

Eyelid surgery recovery varies depending on the extent of surgery you need. It is generally able to be masked with makeup between 1-3 weeks postop. If it is just a small procedure such as removing excess upper eyelid skin, you should have minimal bruising and be able to use makeup at 1 week and return to work.

For full upper and lower eyelid rejuvenation, you will be able to mask with makeup from 2-3 weeks postop. (Kevin Ho, MBBS, FRACS, Sydney Plastic Surgeon)

Eyelid Surgery Recovery Time

I usually recommend taking 1 week off of work to recover from blepharoplasty surgery however these guidelines will vary from surgeon to surgeon.

Initial swelling or bruising should be gone after this time but differs with each individual patient. Be sure to discuss what to expect following surgery with your surgeon (Frank Lista, MD, Toronto Plastic Surgeon)

An upper blepharoplasty takes less than a week to recover from and look pretty normal. Sutures are removed at day 6 or 7 and it should be noted that most patients are doing regular activities in two or three days at home or at work if desired.

Recovery from eyelid surgery lower

A lower blepharoplasty tends to have a bit more swelling and take somewhat longer to heal but all patients are back to work at 1 week easy. Simple local anesthesia and perhaps some oral valium are all the anesthesia needed for this surgery easily performed in the office operating room. A touch of make-up or concealer will hide any residual black and blue present after 6 days. Hard work-outs and running may need to be put off for 10-14 days (Richard Galitz, MD, FACS, Miami Facial Plastic Surgeon)

A Significant Amount of Swelling Following Blepharoplasty Subsides in 2 Weeks; However, Recovery is Not Complete at 2 Weeks

Recovery from eyelid surgery black eyes

The swelling associated with eyelid surgery varies from patient to patient. In general, one would expect that after two weeks a significant amount of the swelling should be gone. Also, one would expect that the bruising should be gone or minimal at this time.

Most of the time, whatever residual bruising is present at two weeks can be covered by makeup. At two weeks however, the recovery is not complete. Several more weeks are required for all of the swelling to subside and for the patient to be released to all types of exertional activity. (John J. Edney, MD, Omaha Plastic Surgeon)

Expected Recovery Time for Blepharoplasty

Recovery from eyelid surgery bruises and swelling

There are a number of factors that determine how long bruising and swelling lasts following blepharoplasty, but the main factors are:

  1. The amount of trauma the surgeon creates with their technique;
  2. The thoroughness with which the surgeon stops all points of bleeding;
  3. How soon after the surgery the patient starts using and moving their eyes around.

There are a number of techniques used routinely by various surgeons, some more traumatic than others. For instance, removing fat, which make up the lower eyelid “bulge” can be done with much less trauma by taking it out from inside the eyelid rather than from outside the lid. Removing it from the outside requires an incision through the muscle that surrounds the eye – which creates much more trauma, bleeding, swelling and bruising. Finding and stopping every single bleeding point, not matter how small, makes a big difference in the amount of bruising following blepharoplasty, and the amount of bruising delays getting back to your usual social and work activities.

Recovery from eyelid surgery arnica

Moving your eyes around to much within the first day or two following surgery puts stretch on the incision lines and tugs at the fragile attachments starting to form under the surface of the skin. This can stir up various degrees of bleeding, which again will cause more bruising and swelling. So keeping the eyelids closed as much as possible (get some books-on-CD to listen to) and keeping them fixated on something directly in front of you when you need to open them, can make a world of difference in how fast you recover.

I also have my patients apply cold compresses and keep their head elevated for the first 2 or 3 days, which helps to keep the eyes at rest and minimize bruising as well. If the above surgical and post-operative care is taken, about 80% of my patients are able to get back to their social activities and work activities within a week of surgery. (Richard Parfitt, MD, Madison Facial Plastic Surgeon)

Eyelid surgery recovery

Recovery from eyelid surgery arnica montana

The major cosmetic component of healing post op for the eyelids is bruising. The more bruising the longer the recovery. It could be a few days to 4 weeks. Most eyelids heal in 3-5 days or basically when the sutures are out. (Kurtis Martin, MD, Cincinnati Plastic Surgeon)

Eyelid Surgery Recovery

The time of eye lid surgery recovery for our patients is no more than one week. One week time is enough for recovery for this type of procedure. (Jhonny Salomon, MD, Miami Plastic Surgeon)

2 weeks is standard eye surgery blepharoplasty time

Although I tell patients to plan a two week recovery time after blepharoplasty, many patients recover earlier. I use the laser to make all blepharoplasty incisions which greaty reduces bleeding and thus bruising.

A simple upper blepharoplasty done with the laser often creates no bruising and sutures are removed usually by day 5, thus you will look fairly normal at a week.

Following the transconjunctival (inside the lower eyelid – no visible scar) blepharoplasty some patients have minimal bruising and also look fairly normal at a week.

Of course some people bruise more than others and it is very difficult to predict who will bruise and who will not. Swelling is another variable factor. The MOST IMPORTANT part of recovery is that you rest and keep your head elevatred above your heart. Sleeping in a recliner or with a few pillows is crucial to reduce swelling as is ice packs for the first 24 hours. The main issue that can delay recovery is bleeding.

This should not happen post op if you rest. Anything that elevates your blood pressure such as vigorous exercise should be avoided the first two to three weeks. The only patient I have seen who developed bleeding was a young medical student who went for a 3 mile run the day after surgery! She was lucky, simple finger pressure on the eyelid stopped the bleeding, but her bruise lasted 10 days. Just use common sense. Two weeks should be plenty if you consult an experienced board certified plastic surgeon who does a lot of eyelid surgery. (Brooke R. Seckel, MD, FACS, Boston Plastic Surgeon)

Recovery time after eye surgery blepharoplasty

Eye surgery blepharoplasty recovery day 4 post op

Two weeks should give you plenty of time to recover after eyelid surgery to return to a deskjob. As long as you don’t have a huge amount of eye strain and are not lifting greater than 5 lbs. in the first month, that should be fine.

You may still be swollen and a little bruised at two weeks, but your sutures should be removed/dissolved by then and you should be well on your way to recovery by that point. (Adam J. Oppenheimer, MD, Orlando Plastic Surgeon)

2 weeks is definitely enough for recovery from upper eyelid surgery.

Eye surgery blepharoplasty recovery bruising

Most of the bruising and swelling resolves after 1 week. Please make sure you are really resting (no exercise or heavy lifting) in the first week. This ensures minimal bruising.

Any bruising that remains in the second week can easily be covered with a concealer. Glasses are also helpful in camouflaging residual bruising and swelling in the second week. But definitely 2 weeks is enough. (Leila Kasrai, MD, FRCSC, Toronto Plastic Surgeon)

Eye surgery blepharoplasty Recovery

Eye surgery blepharoplasty recovery bromelain arnica montana

In general healing from cosmetic eyelid surgery is quick and painless. Lower eyelid surgery can often be done without sutures (transconjunctival blepharoplasty). Upper eyelid surgery usually require sutures which are removed after 5-7 days.

With proper post-operative care most patients are back to their normal routine within a week. It is important that the patient understands how to take care of their eyelids in the post-operative period.

Patients that smoke or have medical problems may experience longer healing times. (David Schlessinger, MD, Long Island Oculoplastic Surgeon)

Recovery time after eye surgery blepharoplasty

Men eye surgery blepharoplasty recovery

The upper eyelid is very different than the lower eyelid. If you are having an upper blepharoplasty alone, I would agree that a two week recovery is adequate. On the contrary, it is rare to have complete recovery for the LOWER eyelid at 2 weeks.

The lower eyelid is very stubborn and swelling can persist sometimes for 6 to 12 weeks after surgery. Although a majority of the swelling dissipates after 3 weeks, some blurred vision, corneal irritation or redness can intermmitently persist for many weeks.

You must plan the time off accordingly. This is serious surgery and I would be cautious of any provider who downplays the extent of recovery.  (Salvatore Pacella, MD, MBA, FACS, San Diego Plastic Surgeon)

Post op recovery for eyelid surgery

Eye surgery blepharoplasty recovery after month

In general, 2-3 weeks is the typical recovery for most patients. Sutures and bandages are removed the first week. You will have swelling that may take several more weeks to a few months to completely resolve but 85% of the swelling is decreased by 2-3 weeks.

Bruising is also resolved in that period of time. Eye drops (wetting drops) are usually used for the first month. Head elevation is also key to swelling resolution. Most patients can wear glasses which will decrease the noticeability of the surgery. Find a board certified surgeon for evaluation. (Donald Nunn, MD, Atlanta Plastic Surgeon)

Eyelid surgery recovery

Usually 2 weeks is ample time for blepharoplasty. In general, lower eyelids bruise much more than upper eyelid surgery. The first week, you are on restrictions so no working out.

The second week, the stitiches will be removed and you’ll be allowed to resume normal activities; however, you will have bruising and swelling usually under the lower lids.

This usually takes 12-14 days to subside to a level that can be easily covered with makeup. The incisions can stay red for a few weeks but again this is coverable with makeup.

Most people that I work on who are in front of TV cameras, return in front of the camera at 14 days but all of them still need makeup. Hopefully, that gives you a visual. (Mike Majmundar, MD, Atlanta Facial Plastic Surgeon)

Normally blepharoplasty can be done in the office with local anesthesia. I usually remove the sutures around 5 days post op.

You should be able to recover within 2 weeks. It is possible to still have some bruising for a few weeks. (Jon E. Rast, MD, Kansas City Plastic Surgeon)

Recovering from blepharoplasty is pretty short compared to many operations. Him ever, there will likely get some bruising for up to two weeks.

Most people can cover it with makeup at about one week and return to non strenuous work. (Ronald J. Edelson, MD, San Diego Plastic Surgeon)

Recovery after eyelid surgery

Picture recovery after blepharoplasty

Eyelid surgery will take two weeks to recover from. There may be some brusing which may take longer, but the results are seen fairly quickly. (Jose E. Barrera, MD, FACS, San Antonio Facial Plastic Surgeon)

First of all thank you for the question. Recovering from blepharoplasty is dependent upon the patient. Typically you may have mild discomfort. Anticipate 3 days of pain medication. Bruising and swelling improves within 2 weeks.

Can last up to 4 weeks. Minimize swelling and bruising with constant head elevation and frequent ice application. Sutures will be removed at one week.

Recovery after blepharoplasty upper eyelid surgery

You may feel capable of returning to work within 3 days, but your appearance will be the limiting factor. (Heather Rocheford, MD, Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon)

I tell my patients that they can expect to be “black and blue” for 7-10 days. They all return to the office after one week to have the stitches removed, and their bruising, if still present, is generally very mild. They can return to work within a week as long as they’re not in the public eye, but they can certainly return to work after stitches have been removed. (Michael Loeffler, MD, Pompano Beach Oculoplastic Surgeon)

Recovery after blepharoplasty

Recovery after blepharoplasty arnica montana

Recovery after blepharoplasty involves several variables, and there is not an absolute answer to this question, but in general there are 2 to 4 days with notable swelling, and after the swelling resolves there is generally some residual bruising that takes anywhere from 1 to 4 weeks to go away. Stitches for an upper blepharoplasty are usually out within one week, and the way many of us perform lower blepharoplasty involves no stitches.

Most of my patients return to work within one week, but there may be some residual bruising that needs to be covered with makeup or a tinted sunscreen. This is, of course, all for the majority of patients and there are definitely outliers occasionally. I recently had a day where I performed two upper and lower blepharoplasties on the same day, one patient had no bruising and a very quick recovery, the next had bruising that lasted almost 3 weeks. Same procedure, same day, different patients and different amounts of recovery time.

Recovery after blepharoplasty eyelid surgery

Your recovery time will depend on the exact procedure that you need, your overall health, your age, the medications you take, whether you smoke, and any bleeding tendencies.

To guarantee you’re receiving the highest level of care, seek out a dermatologic surgeon, oculoplastic surgeon, facial plastic surgeon or plastic surgeon who is board certified and fellowship trained in one of these “core four” cosmetic specialties. (Cameron Chesnut, MD, FAAD, FACMS, FASDS, Spokane Dermatologic Surgeon)