Recovery after Blepharoplasty: Eyelid Lift Surgery

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If you’re having a bilateral Blepharoplasty (eyelid lift surgery on both eye lids), some of your biggest questions will relate to your recovery and healing period after your operation. Your selected Surgeon will give you specific advise relating to your customised procedure. These tips for healing and recovery may help you know what to prepare for, in general, in relation to your recovery from an upper Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Lift Surgery).

Top 10 Surgery Recovery Tips for Eyelid Lift Surgery (Blepharoplasty)

First, what is Upper Blepharoplasty? Eyelid surgery, also known as an eyelid lift or Upper Blepharoplasty, is a surgical skin reduction procedure that reduces eyelid bagginess. The most common condition treated by upper eyelid surgery is when the eyelid skin obscures the lashes (the skin touches or hides the lashes). The eyelid skin may even droops and sag over the upper iris, which often impacts vision and leads to a tired looking, sad expression even when you’re rested.

There are also options to reduce under eye bags (Lower Blepharoplasty). Read more about lower eyelid surgery that treats ‘under eye bags’. There’s also lower lid fat redistribution to reduce that puffy eyelid look beneath your eyes.

Upper Blepharoplasty surgery takes about 1 to 1.5 hours to perform. Like all cosmetic procedures, it is typically best performed by a highly skilled Surgeon who is a Specialist. That’s because the eye skin area is very delicate and crucial to vision.  Your eyelids, if not operated on precisely, may stop functioning and you could end up with dry eye – so don’t risk a cheap eyelid surgeon or you could be permanently impacted.

Be SURE you choose a highly regarded Specialist for your procedure (such as Dr Benjamin Burt or one of our Team’s Face & Eyelid Surgeons).

Upper Eyelid Surgery reduces excess skin from the eyelids and can you a more refreshed, naturally ‘open eyed’ expression. It is warranted where eyelid ptosis has led to sagging,  drooping eyelids and an exhausted expression that you’d like to correct. (If under eye bags are a problem, ask about lower eyelid surgery and Canthoplasty procedures performed by Oculoplastic Surgeon Dr Benjamin Burt).

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Several of our Leading Surgeons perform Upper Blepharoplasty procedures – so be sure you ask your preferred Surgeon for specific instructions in relation to healing after Blepharoplasty surgery.

Eyelid surgery can be performed to enhance the appearance of your eyelids, or to improve your vision. Perhaps you’ve given a lot of thought to how an upper eyelid lift could benefit you by reducing sagging eyelid skin above your eyes and are now focused on your healing and recovery process. If you are planning to undergo Upper Blepharoplasty surgery, review the following preliminary recovery tips to help you know what to expect to achieve optimal results.

Remember, this is general information only and is NOT intended to be medical advice; nor does it replace the direct advice from your Surgeon.  It’s just an overview of what you’ll need to consider when planning for Eyelid Lift Surgery.

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  1. Avoid strenuous activities after you have eyelid surgery.

  • Take it easy for the first few weeks after your eyelid surgery.
  • Don’t get your eyes or eyelid incision lines in the sun (sun exposure can detrimentally impact your scar formation)
  • Do NOT over-strain your eyes – your eyes are apt to feel tired and the skin above the eyes may feel a bit ‘tight’ as they heal.
  • It is best to avoid tiring activities including extensive reading; please give yourself adequate time to recover.
  • Also, it is recommended to stay inside your house to avoid foreign objects from getting into your newly operated eyes.
  1. Sleep in the correct position after Blepharoplasty – sleep in an elevated position after eyelid surgery.

  • Sleeping after eyelid surgery may be a bit challenging for some patients.
  • This is because you need to keep your head elevated (about 2-3 pillows) for several days to minimize swelling.
  • If you have an inclined foam wedge at home, you can adjust it to elevate your head while you sleep.
  • Sometimes mattresses that have an elevation function can help; but usually the right supportive pillows or foam wedges will suffice.
  1. Gentle apply cold compress to your face and eye areas (gently, gently) after eyelid surgery IF your Surgeon advises this for you.
  • These are only general suggestions, and your SURGEON may give you specific instructions you should follow.
  • ALWAYS follow your SURGEON’s instructions and do not go against what they say – that’s because they know YOU and YOUR procedure far more in-depth than a general healing tips blog does.
  • Using gently applied cold compresses may help minimize swelling and bruising but ask your Surgeon as you’ll need to be careful if you use this healing aid.
  • Cooler temperature may, however, help ease discomfort by reducing sensitivity of nerve endings as you heal.[1]
  • Make sure not to apply ice directly on your skin to avoid ‘ice burns’.

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  1. Follow your surgeon’s instruction on how and when to clean your eyelid skin.
  • Your surgeon may recommend using eye drops to keep your eyes lubricated or to help prevent burning or itching.
  • He or she can also recommend a cream or solution for your surgical wounds to help prevent potential infection.
  • AVOID the impulse to touch your incision lines or sutures (stitches).
  1. Limit or avoid reading and watching television in the first few days after the procedure.
  • Using your eyes too much can lead to dryness, thus, prolonging the healing process.
  • Instead, listen to music and relax.

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  1. Wear dark UV protective sunglasses to protect your eyes and incision lines when outside or in the car.
  • The skin around your eyes is very sensitive to sunlight, and even more so after an eyelid lift surgery.
  • It is recommended to wear dark sunglasses and sunblock (SPF 30 or more) when you go out or even if sitting near a window.
  • Ask your Surgeon when you CAN start to wear products on your eye area (it may be several days or longer) and ask the Coco Ruby Skin Care Team what products are gentlest and safest for after a procedure.
  • DO remember that being in a car exposes you to a lot of sunlight (and watch out for reflections from water, if you happen to be sitting in the shade by a pool – it’s harder to avoid sun exposure than you might realise!)
  1. Increase your protein intake and get good nutrition as you heal.
  • Loading up on protein-rich foods such as meat, eggs, beans, and nuts can help accelerate surgery recovery processes – nutrition – and higher protein intake – DOES seem to count as you recover after eyelid surgery (or any other form of cosmetic surgery) according to preliminary research findings.
  • This is because protein helps your body repair itself especially during sleep.
  • Probiotics may also support healing – ask your Surgeon about the “rapid recovery” package and the healing supplements it contains.
  1. Avoid touching the surgical wound and definitely don’t scratch!
  • Touching the wound especially with your bare hands can lead to infection.
  • The sutures may start to itch a bit as they heal but definitely avoid scratching at your incision line – ask your surgeon for suggestions to minimise the itchiness as you heal.
  1. Avoid bending down – keep your head elevated after Blepharoplasty eyelid surgery during your recovery and healing phases.
  • Your surgeon will advise you to keep your head elevated as much as possible, primarily in order to prevent swelling.
  • Ask for help and avoid bending down if possible.
  • If you absolutely need to bend down to pick up an object, and no one is around to help, please bend at your knees instead, keeping your head elevated – never bend your head down.
  1. Consult with your Specialist Surgeon immediately if you experience any abnormalities or concerns during recovery from your Blepharoplasty eyelid lift surgery.
  • Although unusual, sometimes complications may occur.
  • Be sure you have read all the documents and know what to look for and never hesitate to contact your Surgeon with any healing concerns you have after surgery during your healing and recovery phrase.
  • Contact your Surgeon and/or your medical care teams immediately if you experience fever, severe pain and swelling, excessive bleeding, pus draining from the incisions, and vision problems – be sure you have the right phone numbers for after hours care and your GPS numbers on hand as well.

By adhering to your Surgeon’s specific postoperative instructions, which may vary and might include more activity restrictions or other suggestions for better healing outcomes, you can help minimise your risks of complications or unwanted outcomes.

If you are looking for a highly experienced blepharoplasty surgeon, schedule a no obligation with us now to determine if you are an ideal candidate for the procedure – ask to see Oculoplastic Specialist Surgeon Dr Benjamin Burt (our Melbourne Team’s Blepharoplasty and Canthoplasty expert Surgeon for eyelid rejuvenation and eyelid surgery). Alternatively, if you want Facelift and Eyelid Lift Surgery combined, ask for one of our Facial Rejuvenation Surgeons such as Dr Richard Maxwell, Dr Geoff Barnett and Dr Douglas McManamny.


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Dr Geoff Barnett - MBBS, FRACS (Plast)
Dr Geoffrey Barnett, FRACS (Plas) is a Melbourne based Specialist Plastic Surgeon who has over 35 years of expertise in Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon for Cosmetic Surgery, Plastic Surgery and Body Contouring Surgery after Bariatric Surgery.Qualifications and Memberships: Specialist Plastic Surgeon (FRACS) Member - Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery [FRACS (Plast).The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) is the only professional body recognised by the Australian Medical Council (AMC) and the Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ) to train Surgeons in Australia and New Zealand.Author BIO page: https://plasticsurgeons.com.au/dr-geoff-barnett/