What to expect after cosmetic eyelid surgery

July 12, 2012

What to expect after eyelid surgery
What to expect after eyelid surgery

Cosmetic eyelid surgery - also known as blepharoplasty - is a common surgery that results in a more rested, refreshed and alert appearance for many patients. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), it was the third most popular cosmetic surgery performed by member doctors in 2011, with more than 147,500 people undergoing it.

The procedure is ideal for individuals who have excess or loose skin on the upper eyelids, puffy eyes that make them seem tired, bags and dark circles under the eyes or lower eyelid droopiness.

However, potential patients should know what to expect post-surgery.

Those who have eyelid surgery may experience some discomfort and blurry vision immediately following the procedure. This is due to an ointment that is put on the eyes to protect them while the surgery is being performed, and is only temporary.

Mild discomfort can be expected in the first week to ten days post-surgery. However, pain medication should help alleviate discomfort. Individuals are also encouraged to take an antibiotic, if prescribed by their physician, to reduce the risk of infection.

Doctors say many patients may have trouble sleeping and should keep their heads elevated in order to minimize swelling.  Wearing a special eye mask when sleeping may also be advised.

Those who wear eyeglasses can resume wearing them immediately after the surgery, but contact lens use isn't recommended for at least two weeks. Wearing eye makeup also isn't advised until about a week or two later.

"Most people are able to go back to work within 10 days after their blepharoplasty, but certain tasks such as reading may be challenging due to blurred vision," according to facialplasticsurgery.net. "You will likely be able to watch TV after a few days. Do not participate in strenuous activities for at least three weeks. Avoid contact sports until your surgeon gives you the all-clear."

It's also important to protect the eyes and the incisions from the sun with sunglasses and sunblock ointment. Your doctor will advise you on how to do this safely. Additionally, patients are encouraged to follow their doctors instructions on cleaning and caring for the eyes while recovering.

While it's important to follow your doctor's orders before and after any surgery, one of the most important precautions patients can take is to choose a licensed, board-certified plastic surgeon for this and any other type of cosmetic procedure. This will not only ensure the patient's safety, it will also help ensure a positive outcome.


The mission of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) includes medical education, public education and patient advocacy. Plastic Surgery News Briefs are summaries of current stories found through various news and magazine outlets that relate to or mention plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures. The views expressed in these news articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ASAPS, but are merely published as an educational service to our members and the general public. For additional information on these subjects and other plastic surgery related topics, please go to www.surgery.org

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About ASAPS
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world’s leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body.  ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; active members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and non-surgical aesthetic procedures. International active members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.

WE ARE AESTHETICS.

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