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What to Expect After Eyelid Surgery

As with any facial surgery, patients undergoing eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) often wonder when they will look and feel like themselves again. Since every patient heals at a slightly different rate, the details of the recovery from eyelid surgery will depend upon the complexity of the procedure and if an upper and/or lower eyelid surgery is performed. For example, surgery of the lower eyelid often requires a longer recovery period.

In general, patients can expect the following as they recover from their eyelid surgery:

  • Bruising and swelling over the first few days, which should significantly improve over the first one to two weeks. Keeping the head elevated and using cool compresses can help minimize these concerns.
  • A typical daily schedule can often be resumed after about two to three days, though patients may wish to postpone some social activities while residual swelling and bruising fade.
  • Stitches are typically removed within the first three to five days, if they are used during surgery.
  • Driving should be avoided until the patient is no longer taking their prescribed pain medications (about five days).
  • Returning to work is often realistic after about five days, though some patients may prefer more time to heal.
  • Strenuous activities, such as heavy lifting and exercise, should be avoided for at least two to three weeks.
  • Sun exposure must be limited, if not completely avoided, for the first six months to protect the delicate eyelid skin. Wear sunglasses and use a high SPF sunscreen as needed.
  • Results should be noticeable after about one to two months. However, on average, it can take up to a year to see the final outcome.

Patients will have routine follow-up visits with their plastic surgeon at The Ottawa Clinic to monitor their healing. If patients have any questions or concerns, they are encouraged to contact their surgeon at any point throughout their recovery.

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