Eyelid incisions normally take 5 to 7 days to heal and become ready for the removal of sutures. The patient can start doing usual activities again within 7 to 10 days and wear contact lenses within 14 days.
Redness and bruising around the eyes can be concealed with cosmetics. It is important for patients who have received the procedure to put on sun protection and consistently use dark-tinted sunglasses for at least 21 days.
Healing After a Blepharoplasty
The majority of patients who consider having a blepharoplasty normally want to know about the recovery process after the procedure. The method and approach used by your surgeon will greatly influence the process of your recovery.
The skin sutures are removed five days after the procedure and two days following their removal, most of the swelling and bruising improve. Although patients heal at a different pace, most of them can resume work within 14 days.
Although the healing period after a blepharoplasty varies in people and can sometimes be worrying, the end result is the main concern. It can be a challenge to hide your eyes and face from being seen by other people, which is why it becomes one of the major issues regarding the recovery from an eyelid surgery. The visible changes make your loved ones notice the changes and also make the healing process appear to last longer.
After waking up on the morning following a blepharoplasty, you are likely to be discontented with your new look and regret your decision of having the operation.
Swelling can be so severe that at times, you may find it difficult to open your eyes. The good news is that most patients without any complications rapidly improve after an eyelid surgery. Just make sure that you maintain an upright posture most of the time to allow gravity to assist in partially draining down the swelling. Additionally, blinking assists in reducing the first swelling that accumulates as you lie down.
During the initial days after the operation, your cheeks may look like a chipmunk storing food in their mouth and your swollen cheeks and chin may discolor as a result of bruising. The bruising caused by the eyelid surgery is different from other typical bruises in the sense that the former requires less blood to be intensively colored as compared to the latter. A mixture of a few blood drops and tissue fluid can color the thin skin of the eyelid area.
The skin will be initially red in color, turn muddy purple for a few days, and then develop a yellow hue, which will completely disappear. The upper part of your cheeks will be the last region to clear. The white region of your eye may look red if the fluid is by any chance colored by a blood drop. This is like any other superficial bruising, which resolves similarly to skin bruises. You can apply an over-the-counter moisturizing eye drop to reduce the discomfort that might occur as result of the procedure. Moreover, the use of oral corticosteroids such as prednisone may not be necessary after an uncomplicated blepharoplasty.
Don’t allow your initial look to disappoint you. Keep in mind that the bruising and swelling will normally go away. You may start noticing some signs of improvement but then feel a bit worse in the following morning. However, you should not worry about it. The recovery period is normally characterized by improvement signs in the evening and worsened symptoms in the morning due to lying flat as you sleep.
You can start using cold compresses again if you are extremely bothered by itchiness.
Each patient has a distinct healing pace. Although it may be contrary to common sense, patients whose skin is damaged by the sun typically take a lesser recovery time and experience less scarring as compared to those having a “soothed” skin. Older patients usually take a longer time to heal as compared to younger patients. Non-Asian patients mostly heal more rapidly than Asian patients. Healing can be extended as a result of external factors such as premature or too much physical activity, excessive salt intake, and smoking, among others.
It is normal to experience “the blues” after a blepharoplasty. Such feelings normally occur during the first month following the procedure. Later on, you will finally come to terms with the fact that it is going to take several weeks to fully recover. Try to divert your attention from your eyelids and instead focus on something else to speed up the healing process.
Keep in mind that having unrealistic expectations of the healing process will only make you miserable.
Although major bruising following a blepharoplasty will disappear within 14 days, approximately 10-20 percent of it will remain for an extended duration. The swelling may cause slight imperfections. A small swelling may generate small imperfections such as slight unevenness, unwanted skin wrinkling, or a pouched lid away from the eye. The eyelids will keep on "thinning out" for not less than six months following the operation, and there is no way of hastening the process.
Maturation of the Scar
It is normal to concentrate on the noticeable scars on your skin after the disappearance of the major bruising and swelling. All initial scars go through certain stages.
Initially, the scars will look red or extremely red and a little thickened. In some cases, the thickening may remain for approximately a month following the operation and the scar may look a little bit shiny. Tiny cysts may come out from the cuts but nearly disappear in the absence of any exceptional treatment.
It is also normal to notice an increased bumpiness at the ends of the cut. However, the problem usually goes away within several months. Allow the tiny lumps or bumps to resolve by themselves before you consider having them removed.
Just like any other wound, the recovery from the procedure improves with time for 6 to 12 months. Your body continues to adapt to the new changes and the scars will smoothen throughout your life.
"Scars on top of scars" take more time to achieve the best look. You may apply over-the-counter eye gels or creams on your eyelids if they feel dry after several weeks. However, the application of pure vitamin E oil is not recommended.
The noticeable skin scars take a long time to become soft as well as the unnoticeable internal scars in your muscle, fat, tendons, and septum. Mostly, three or four internal layers of the eyelid are also involved in the healing process and scar maturation, although at a slower pace.
Your eyelids will appear excessively stiff and somewhat "rubbery”. They can also be very tight or unable to fully open until the time internal healing starts to take place. The skin that heals faster may irregularly drape over the faster-healing skin and may drape unevenly over the folds and at the incision ends.
It is difficult for your surgeon to try to assess the effectiveness of the procedure before significant healing has taken place.
Out of the Hideout
The majority of patients feel comfortable to face the public after 14 days. However, more time may be needed in cases where more procedures are involved, in patients with a slower healing rate, or those who are highly sensitive about their looks.
- You may start noticing some signs of improvement but then feel a bit worse in the following morning, which is quite normal.
- Although major bruising following a blepharoplasty will disappear within 14 days, approximately 10-20 percent of it will remain for an extended duration.
- Swelling can be so severe that at times, you may find it difficult to open your eyes.