“You look tired.” Those might be three of the worst words in the English language, but it’s likely that everyone has heard them at one time or another. In some cases, a sleepy look is because you simply didn’t get enough shuteye the night before. In other cases, that tired look can persist, even if you’re getting your full eight hours each night.
For some, the eye area is the most susceptible to signs of aging. The under-eye area might develop bags and dark circles while the upper lids might start to sag and droop. Fortunately, an eyelid lift, or blepharoplasty, can often correct those signs of aging, giving you a refreshed, well-rested look. If you’re considering an eyelid lift, here’s what to expect afterward.
Total Recovery Time
Generally speaking, the initial recovery after an eyelid lift typically takes about two weeks. During that time, you’ll want to take it easy and stay home from work or school. While you won’t have to stay in bed for the full two weeks, you’ll definitely want to cut down on your everyday activities. That means no vigorous workouts or other physically strenuous activities. In fact, it’s usually recommended that you put off vigorous exercise for at least a full month after eyelid surgery.
One of the reasons it’s usually recommended that you stay home for about two weeks after the surgery is because of swelling. You’re likely to have some swelling and bruising around the surgical area. You might not want to be seen in public while your face and eyes are swollen and bruised.
How to Care for the Eyes After Blepharoplasty
After the surgery, your surgeon will give you some care tips and advice to help your eyes heal and to increase your comfort during recovery. For example, he might recommend applying a cold compress to the eyes for about 10 minutes at a time. On the day of your surgery, it’s a good idea to use the compress every hour or so. The next few days after that, you’ll want to use the cold compress or ice packs on the eyes several times a day.
On the first day in particular, you might notice that your eyes are very sensitive and that they tear up easily. Some people have blurry vision because of a cream used during the surgery. The best thing to do during that first day and on subsequent days is let your eyes rest. Don’t feel that you need to watch TV, use a computer or read a book. Activities that required you to keep your eyes open for long periods of time can make them feel dry and uncomfortable. Use those first few days of recovery as an opportunity to really rest and relax your eyes.
When you go outside during the first two weeks after your surgery, it’s a good idea to wear sunglasses. Dark glasses will help you feel more comfortable and will protect your eyes from wind and sun damage.
You can use eye drops to soothe your eyes after blepharoplasty. Ask your surgeon if he recommends a particular brand.
What to Avoid During Recovery
A few things are likely to be “off limits” to you during the recovery after an eyelid lift. For example, if you use contact lenses, it’s usually recommended that you switch to glasses for the first two weeks after your surgery. It’s also usually recommended that you avoid wearing certain types of eye makeup for a few weeks afterward. You can wear other facial makeup, such as foundation and lipstick, immediately.
Along with avoiding exercise, you’ll want to steer clear of anything that could cause you to strain. That can include picking objects up off of the floor or anything that would require you to bend down and lower your head.
For your comfort, you might want to stick to soft foods for a few days after blepharoplasty. Chewy or crunchy foods that require you to move your mouth a lot can be uncomfortable to eat right away.
Your surgeon might also recommend avoiding certain types of medicine, such as pain relievers that increase your risk for bleeding. You’ll also most likely be asked to avoid tobacco or smoking for at least a few weeks after the surgery.
Interested in learning more about what you can expect after blepharoplasty? Dr. Paul Vitenas is a board certified plastic surgeon in Houston, Texas, with nearly three decades of experience performing eyelid surgery and other plastic surgery procedures. To schedule a consultation with him, cal 281-484-0088 today.