Lower Eyelid Blepharoplasty Recovery
Recovery from lower eyelid blepharoplasty usually takes 10-14 days. It is more of a social recovery, i.e., most of my patients feel fine but might avoid certain social situations because they “look rough.”
Knowing what to expect after blepharoplasty is important so you don’t feel overwhelmed. This blog explains what you should understand about lower eyelid blepharoplasty recovery.
Keep your eyes moist
It can be a little scary to wake up from surgery and find that your vision is blurry. This is not something to worry about. It does not mean the surgery was unsuccessful. You vision is blurry because we apply a thick layer of ointment to prevent your eye from becoming dry.
After a lower eyelid blepharoplasty, you need to keep the skin and your eyeball moist. That is your #1 task. To keep your eyes moist, you use eye drops during the day such as Refresh Tears. To keep your eyeball moist at night, you can use Refresh PM. The Refresh PM is more of an ointment, so it can temporarily blur your vision a little bit because it’s hard to see through ointment. But at nighttime when you’re sleeping, it doesn’t matter, so the Refresh PM ointment will do a better job at night of keeping your eyes moist throughout the night.
As far as the lower eyelid skin, you need to keep that moist with the balms that I give you. I’ll give you some post-recovery laser ointments and balms to take care of that skin while it’s healing. You’ll apply that as directed. And that is essentially all you need to do following lower eyelid blepharoplasty. Keep your skin moist. Keep your eyeballs moist.
Don’t ice it…
Ice can kill the grafted fat. And we want the fat that’s been moved around to live. So, don’t ice it. You have to let it swell. It’s going to be bruised. It’s going to be burned from the laser. It’s going to be swollen from the surgery. That’s all going to last about 7-10 days or so. After 7-10 days, you’re still going to have a little swelling. You’re still going to have some redness where we treated your skin with laser. But you’ll be able to wear concealer at that point to cover up.
Sunblock and eye makeup
Initially, when your skin is healing, all you can put on it is the recovery ointments and balms. You can’t cover it up with sunblock or concealer while the skin is still healing. Another thing I need you to do is to avoid sunlight as much as you can. You cannot apply sunblock until the skin has healed, which takes 7-10 days. If you do step out in the daytime, wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from getting irritated by the wind and sun. During that initial healing phase, you need to wear big hats and big sunglasses and avoid direct sunlight as much as you can. It is ok to go outside and go for long walks, at night, when we don’t have to worry about UV rays on your healing skin.
Blepharoplasty recovery is relatively easy and it is not a painful recovery. Any slight pain you might have can be managed with painkillers.
It’s common to have some swelling and bruising after lower eyelid blepharoplasty. This typically decreases in 1-2 weeks. After this, it is generally not possible to tell that you’ve had surgery. I don’t normally place bandages on the eyes during blepharoplasty recovery because they can slip around and scratch your cornea.
Lastly, it is common to have a little bit of bloody tears. Meaning the incision on the inside of your lower eyelid might ooze a little bit of blood. That is okay. We want that little bit of blood to get out. Do not worry.
If you have any changes in your ability to see out of your eye, blind spots, you need to call me right away. That’s very rare, but it is something to take very seriously, if all of a sudden you find it very difficult to see out of either one of your eyes. Now, if your eyelids are swollen shut, which is very common if you have your upper and lower eyelids done at the same time, it may be somewhat difficult to see because your eyelids are swollen and there’s ointment on your eyeball. As long as you can see light everywhere, meaning you have no blind spots, I’m not worried. If you have any blind spots or you have trouble seeing light in one of your eyes, then you need to let me know right away.
You should also see me for symptoms such as fever or chills, bleeding that won’t stop, or worsening pain.
As far as showering goes, you can shower after 24 hours.
You’ll need to avoid exercise and strenuous household chores for the first week after a lower eyelid blepharoplasty. You can start exercising one week following the procedure, if you feel up to it.
Another thing I want you to do is to sleep and sit with your head above your heart for at least the first few days when the swelling tends to be the worst. It will help minimize some of that swelling and bruising.
If you’d like to learn more about lower eyelid blepharoplasty, I’ve got another video and blog about it.
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