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Dr. Lloyd Van Wyck

What to Expect during Eyelid Surgery Recovery

By Lloyd G. Van Wyck, M.D. on February 07, 2017

An upper eyelid and a lower eyelidDroopy eyelids can make the face look older and tired, and for some, can even obstruct vision. Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, offers a solution to creating a rejuvenated, more youthful appearance by lifting sagging eyelids. However, before undergoing eyelid surgery, it's important to be aware of what to expect during recovery. In this blog post, we will focus on the recovery phase of eyelid surgery. For answers to your specific questions about eyelid surgery recovery, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Ottawa, ON plastic surgeon Lloyd Van Wyck.

What to Expect during Eyelid Surgery Recovery

Eyelid surgery is a relatively minor plastic surgery procedure and has a fairly quick recovery time of about three to four weeks. Most patients are recovered enough to return to work after ten days.

Following eyelid surgery, patients should expect some swelling and bruising. Keeping the head elevated as much as possible during the first few days after surgery can help reduce swelling. Patients should also take steps to avoid activities that may cause the eyes to dry out. Some activities to avoid include watching television, using a computer, staring at a smartphone, reading, or wearing contacts.

It is recommended that patients wear dark sunglasses for at least the first couple weeks of recovery to protect the eyes, which may feel sensitive, from the sun and wind.

Throughout recovery, patients should take precautions to avoid activities that may increase blood flow to the eyes, as this may cause incisions to reopen and lead to complications. Heavy lifting, bending, and sports should be avoided for at least three to four weeks and not resumed until approved by a physician.

Possible Side Effects of Eyelid Surgery

Patients should be prepared to experience some side effects as they recover from eyelid surgery. Some common side effects include:

  • Redness: Redness may occur around the eyes after eyelid surgery and should lessen within a week of surgery. 
  • Swelling: Swelling is the body's natural response to an injury and is to be expected after eyelid surgery. Sitting upright during the first few days of recovery can help reduce swelling.
  • Bruising: Bruising may develop around the eyes after blepharoplasty as a result of the tissues being manipulated during surgery. Bruising should fade as the body recovers.
  • Pain: Patients may feel some pain or discomfort in the first few days of recovery. Pain medication may be prescribed to help alleviate discomfort as the body heals.
  • Dry eye: Some patients may experience eye dryness as they recover. Taking frequent naps to rest the eyes and avoiding activities that strain the eyes can help reduce dryness during recovery. Eye drops may also be used if approved by a physician.
  • Teary eyes: The eyes may tear excessively after eyelid surgery. Tear production generally returns to normal within a few days of recovery.
  • Temporarily blurred vision: After blepharoplasty, some patients may experience blurred vision. In most cases, vision will return to normal within a few days.

Learn More about Eyelid Surgery

For more information about eyelid surgery, including answers to your questions about what to expect during recovery, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Van Wyck.

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