Plastic Surgery Blog

San francisco - East bay


Recovering From Eyelid (Blepharoplasty) Surgery: What to Expect

The results of a blepharoplasty are often satisfactory to many people. Patients have a more youthful and rested appearance that improves their confidence. Others are happy that the procedure improved their symmetry. Besides having a picture of the results, knowing what to expect post-op makes it easier to get on with the procedure.

Before the surgery, get to know all about the recovery process, including the proper care steps to take for a fast and comfortable recovery.

After the Procedure

Although blepharoplasty occurs in an outpatient setting, you still need to rest in the recovery room as you wait for the anesthesia to wear off. The doctor also monitors your progress and looks out for signs of complications. Some hours later, the doctor may release you to recuperate from your home.

Unusual Vision

When you first open your eyes after the surgery, your vision will be blurry. The blur is an effect of a lubricating ointment the doctor applies to your eyes to keep them from drying. The eyes may also water, eyelids feel puffy and numb, and you may experience discomfort or pain. Some people also have double vision, and their eyes become sensitive to light. Bruising and swelling like that of a black eye is also common. These signs should not worry you or make you doubt the success of your surgery.

Once you get home, continue to apply the antibiotic ointment for a week, smearing it inside the eyes and on the incision areas. The doctor may also prescribe artificial teardrops. To bring down the swelling, patients should place ice packs on the eyes. Place several pillows under you when sleeping to achieve a ‘sitting position’ that elevates your head. Elevation prevents fluid buildup in the eye area, which would cause swelling. Also, to reduce light sensitivity and irritability put on some sunglasses. These steps are most critical in the first 24 to 48 hours.

Cautious Washing

Most people often worry about washing up after the procedure. The good news is that you can, even on the first-day post-op. On day 1-2, you may take a shower or a bath and ensure that your eyes remain dry. If washing hair, let someone else help you, and do it over a sink. In the shower, lower the showerhead to a level below your head. If bits of water get to the eyes, do not worry much, but avoid exposure at all costs. On days 3 to 7, you may wash your eyes gently, and when drying, only pat lightly. If there are scabs, let them fall off on their own; do not pick. Once the doctor takes out the sutures on day 7, you may resume normal washing, and by day 14, you may even use eye makeup.

Slight Pain

Although there is no pain during the procedure itself, expect some pain after the surgery. The pain is slight and simple to manage with some oral pain relievers. The doctor may give you a week’s dosage or advise you on where to buy. Avoid ibuprofen (Motrin IB, Advil), aspirin, or naproxen because they may add to the bleeding. Instead, take acetaminophen like Tylenol.

Seek Help

People rarely have a negative outcome from blepharoplasty. However, seek urgent medical attention if you experience the following signs: chest pain, severe unexpected pain in the eyes, and bleeding. An infrequent heart rate and shortness of breath should also raise your concern.

Bouncing back from blepharoplasty is relatively simple because there are no severe side effects. The quick recovery and lasting results make the surgery worthwhile. For more information on getting a blepharoplasty, visit East Bay Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in Oakland, California. You can also call 510-451-6950 to book your appointment.