Everything You Need to Know About Eyelid Surgery Recovery

Immediately following eyelid surgery, your eyes may be swollen and bruised. You will likely experience some burning or stinging sensation as well.


Eyelid surgery, also known as blepharoplasty, is a type of cosmetic surgery that can profoundly affect one’s appearance. However, before you jump into this procedure, it’s important to know what to expect during recovery. This blog post will cover everything you need to know about eyelid surgery recovery—from what to expect to how to prepare for the healing process. Whether you’re planning eyelid surgery or helping someone else through the recovery process, you’ll find all the information you need here.

What to expect immediately after surgery

Immediately following eyelid surgery, your eyes may be swollen and bruised. You will likely experience some burning or stinging sensation as well. It is important to keep your head elevated while you rest and apply cold compresses or ice packs to your eyes to reduce swelling and discomfort. You should also avoid rubbing or touching your eyes. 

Your doctor will likely provide you with instructions regarding the care of your eyes after surgery. These instructions may include taking medications such as antibiotics and painkillers and avoiding certain activities such as driving, lifting heavy objects, or strenuous exercise. Make sure to follow these instructions closely to ensure a successful recovery. 

You may also be asked to wear a protective eye shield at night to prevent rubbing or pressing on your eyes during sleep. It is important to follow this instruction to protect the healing tissue and minimize infection risk. 

It is normal for your vision to be blurry for several days after eyelid surgery. This is usually due to the swelling and should gradually improve over time. Your doctor may prescribe eye drops to help with the inflammation and aid in the healing process. 

Be prepared for some discomfort following eyelid surgery. To alleviate any pain or discomfort, take your medications as directed by your doctor and use cold compresses or ice packs to reduce swelling.

The first week of recovery

The first week after eyelid surgery is critical for proper healing and reducing the risk of infection. You will need to take special care of your eyes during this time. Here are some things to expect: 

1. Swelling and bruising: You can expect your eyes to be swollen and bruised for several days or weeks after surgery. This is normal and should go away on its own. Applying cold compresses and taking pain medications as prescribed by your doctor can help reduce swelling.

2. Redness and sensitivity: During the first week, you may experience redness in the area around your eyes and increased sensitivity to light. Wear sunglasses when going outside to reduce irritation, and use lubricating eye drops or ointments as your doctor recommends.

3. Sleeping: You should get plenty of rest during this time, as this will aid healing. Make sure to sleep on your back with your head elevated to reduce swelling. Your doctor may recommend sleeping with an eye mask to prevent accidentally rubbing or touching the area around your eyes. 

4. Activities: It’s important to avoid strenuous activities during this time, such as running, lifting heavy objects, or strenuous housework. Additionally, avoid swimming, hot tubs, and saunas until cleared by your doctor.

5. Follow-up appointments: It is important to follow up with your doctor at the end of the first week to monitor your recovery progress. This appointment is also a good time to ask questions about recovery and ensure everything is healing properly.

Recovery tips

1. Rest: Rest is essential for proper healing, so get plenty of it. It’s best to limit activities for the first week following surgery.

2. Ice: Apply a cold compress or ice pack for 10-15 minutes every 2-3 hours for the first few days after surgery to reduce swelling and bruising.

3. Avoid strenuous activity: It’s important to avoid any strenuous activities that could put a strain on the eyes or eyelids. This includes activities like lifting heavy objects, running, and contact sports. 

4. Avoid sun exposure: Sun exposure can cause inflammation and discolouration in the skin, so it’s important to wear sunglasses and a hat outdoors.

5. Sleep with your head elevated: Sleeping with your head will help reduce swelling and bruising. You can do this by propping up several pillows or sleeping in a recliner chair.

6. Take your medications as prescribed: Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics, pain relievers, or anti-inflammatory medications to aid recovery. Follow their instructions carefully and take all medications as directed. 

7. Clean the incision sites: Keeping the incision sites clean and dry will help ensure proper healing. Use a cotton swab soaked in warm water and soap to gently clean the area twice a day. 

8. Follow-up care: Keep all your follow-up appointments and attend any check-ups or additional treatments that your doctor may recommend.

When to expect results

The recovery period for eyelid surgery will vary depending on the individual and the complexity of the procedure. Generally, it takes about two weeks for the swelling to subside and for the stitches to be removed. Patients may experience itching and redness around the eye area during this time. The surgery results should begin to be visible a few weeks after surgery, but full results may not be apparent until 3 to 6 months after surgery.

During the healing process, it is important to protect your eyes from sun exposure and avoid strenuous activities, such as heavy lifting or exercise. Even after the healing process is complete, it is important to protect your eyes from sun exposure and wear sunglasses outdoors.

It is important to remember that the results of eyelid surgery are permanent, so it is important to discuss any concerns or expectations with your doctor before undergoing the procedure. If unsatisfied with the results, you can always consider a touch-up procedure. However, it is best to wait until the full results of the first procedure have been realized before considering another procedure.