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How Long Is Recovery After Blepharoplasty?

The length of recovery time from blepharoplasty depends on what you consider “recovered.” If by recovery, you’re referring to how long it will take for swelling and bruising to go down, then the answer is about one week, but if you’re wondering how long until the final result can be seen, then that can take about four months. 

What’s the fastest way to recover after blepharoplasty?

The fastest way to recover from blepharoplasty is to rest your eyes and ice them as much as you can during the first 48 hours. To get the best result and fastest recovery time requires judgment on my part, and I’m somebody who’s done several thousand blepharoplastiesHowever, there can be a fair amount of swelling and bruising due to the surgery being superficial and the skin being so thin, but that swelling and bruising is short lived and goes away within a few days.

I send my patients home after Blepharoplasty sitting at a 45 degree angle, not supine, not flat and not sitting upright. If they’re flat, they swell more. If they’re sitting upright, they swell less, but it’s hard to keep ice on the eyes when you sit upright. At a 45 degree angle, ice can easily be applied, which minimizes swelling and bruising. 

How long will an individual’s eyes feel tight after blepharoplasty?

Usually it takes about a week after blepharoplasty for a patient’s eyes to stop feeling tight. However, a patient’s history can greatly affect that timing. If a patient has been very photophobic, light sensitive, or if they’ve had a propensity for dry eyes before surgery, then these symptoms may be accentuated following the surgery. Because they will have less skin and not much of a complete eyelid closure afterwards, their eyes may feel a little tight, they may be a little dry and they may be photophobic.

If a patient is using eye drops before blepharoplasty, they’ll probably need to use the drops a little more after the surgery. 

What can one expect after eyelid surgery?

You can expect some swelling and bruising, but this is minimized by frequently applying ice during the first 48 hours. I recommend that my patients refrain from using their eyes too much after surgery and I advise them not to read, to limit TV watching and to spend less time, if at all, on a computer, for a couple of days. I also advise my patients to take it slow when resuming these activities and to not overdo it. Staring at a computer for any long length of time tends to keep our eyes open longer, making them dry in the best of situations. Following surgery, screen time can make eyes even more dry. Obviously, use your best judgement and limit your time. A little TV is okay but a movie may be too long during the first two to three days.

How long before an individual can drive after eyelid surgery?

I advise my patients to wait about four days after surgery before driving because the swelling and bruising can impair vision a little bit. A short drive around the neighborhood or down to the market is fine, but I really prefer that you stay away from driving if you can. This is a very, very low pain operation, so I don’t recommend using pain as a guide as to how much activity can be sustained.

If you have questions about this surgery or any facial surgery, call me, email me, or call my office. I would love to see you for a consultation. 

About Dr. Jonathan Sykes

Dr. Jonathan Sykes is a world-famous expert plastic surgeon who performs all cosmetic and functional plastic surgery procedures on the face and neck. He is a past president of The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and served on their Board of Directors for over 10 years. He is also a Professor Emeritus in Facial Plastic Surgery from UC Davis Medical Center, and the former Director of Facial Plastic Surgery at that institution.

He is known as the expert’s expert, and is often called to consult and advise other plastic surgeons in both Northern California and Beverly Hills. He has a special interest in eyelid and browlift surgery, facial rejuvenation surgery including facelifts, and rhinoplasty. He also has a particular interest in facial feminization surgery. Have questions? Email Dr.Sykes at: [email protected]