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How Long Does an Eyelid Lift Take to Heal?

As your windows to the world, your eyes should work well and look bright. They are your most noticeable facial focal point, and they are also expressive and crucial to nonverbal communication. Unfortunately, the thin skin around your eyes is one of the first places to show signs of aging. Lax upper eyelid skin can fall into your field of vision, while prominent undereye bags can give you a permanently fatigued appearance. But with an eyelid lift, Dr. Jeannie MacDonald can restore your youthful appearance and correct vision concerns associated with sagging eyelids.

Eyelid lift surgery, or blepharoplasty, is a sought-after rejuvenating procedure. We’ve put together this guide to answer your questions about the surgery, the recovery process, swelling and bruising duration, and how quickly you can expect to see your results.

Whether you are considering an eyelid lift to refresh your appearance, or you’ve already had a blepharoplasty and you are uncertain about managing discomfort while you heal, we’re here for you. At MacDonald Plastic Surgery, our team can help you determine whether an eyelid surgery will help resolve your concerns about your vision or revitalize your tired or sad-looking eyes.

Complete our contact form or call (604) 288-8817 today to schedule your consultation with Dr. MacDonald. In the meantime, here is more information about eyelid lift surgery, recovery, and the healing process.

What Is Eyelid Surgery?

When performing blepharoplasty procedures, Dr. MacDonald will remove excess skin, reposition fatty tissue, and tighten the muscles of the upper and lower eyelids. She makes these improvements through discreet incisions along your upper eyelid’s natural fold or just below the eyelashes on the lower lids. The procedure typically leaves a faint scar that remains inconspicuous. This surgery is most often performed while you are awake with local anesthetic.

Eyelid lift surgery can help improve impaired vision and restore the appearance of issues such as:

  • Loose or sagging skin that interrupts natural upper eyelid contour
  • Fatty deposits that cause puffy-looking eyelids
  • Bags beneath the eyes
  • Drooping lower eyelids that reveal white below the iris
  • Excess skin and fine wrinkles on the lower eyelid

When done by a board-certified plastic surgeon, blepharoplasty can remove years from your face and simultaneously correct vision concerns. By addressing bags or sagging skin around the eyes, blepharoplasty can help you look more refreshed and awake.

Following your Vancouver eyelid surgery, you will notice:

  • Decreased bagginess and puffiness under your eyes
  • Smoothed wrinkles around your area
  • A brighter, more alert appearance

What Do Eyelids Look Like Right After Blepharoplasty?

Immediately following your eyelid surgery, you may temporarily experience blurry vision due to minor corneal swelling or the eye lubricants used during surgery. However, you should expect a full recovery of your vision within a few days. Along with blurred vision, you may also experience:

  • Mild discomfort
  • Swelling and bruising
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Swollen, puffy eyelids
  • Tired or itchy eyes

While you should notice a significant improvement immediately following surgery, swelling and discoloration may obscure your results. Your eyelids will most likely look puffy, and the incisions will appear red. Along with bruising and swelling, you may experience mild discomfort following your eyelid lift surgery. This discomfort is normal and should subside within a few days.

After an eyelid lift, your eyelids will appear swollen and bruised for one to three weeks. Typically, these effects resemble a black eye. We recommend taking 10 to 14 days off work and social activities to give yourself time to heal.

It may take several weeks for the residual swelling and bruising to resolve completely. Generally, full results from your Vancouver blepharoplasty are visible about four to six weeks following your procedure. While outcomes vary by individual, you can expect to see a more naturally open appearance and improved eyelid function after your surgery. The results of blepharoplasty may be subtle, but they can significantly affect your appearance and self-esteem.

What Not to Do After Eyelid Surgery

Following your Vancouver eyelid surgery, you need to give your body time to heal and repair damaged tissues. That means getting plenty of rest and eating a balanced diet.

Though you may see advice on how to recover faster with minimal discomfort, here are our top suggestions of what not to do and a few must-dos following your blepharoplasty procedure. During your consultation with Dr. MacDonald, she may provide you with more thorough post-procedure instructions.

Here are the activities you should avoid while you recover.

  • Activities that can cause eye strain, such as watching TV, reading, or looking at your laptop, tablet, or phone
  • Intense exercises like jogging, aerobics, or heavy lifting
  • Strenuous activities, including household chores
  • Bending at the waist or lifting more than five pounds for four to six weeks
  • Smoking
  • Driving
  • Squinting
  • Wearing makeup, eye serums, face cream, and other cosmetics for at least two weeks

Here are a few things to do during your blepharoplasty recovery:

  • Be careful to keep water, shampoo, and soap out of your eyes.
  • Recline as much as possible during the first week to minimize swelling. Rest with your head elevated on multiple pillows for at least two weeks.
  • If you need vision correction, exclusively wear your glasses for at least two weeks. Do not put in contact lenses for at least two weeks, or until Dr. MacDonald clears you to.
  • Use ointments and pain medications as directed by your surgeon. Not all pain medications are safe to use during recovery from eyelid surgery, so don’t take medication without approval.
  • Tell Dr. MacDonald if you experience nausea or flu-like symptoms, as it’s crucial to avoid sneezing, coughing, and vomiting.
  • Wear dark sunglasses when going outdoors or in bright indoor settings to avoid squinting.

How Painful Is Eyelid Surgery?

While a Vancouver eyelid surgery causes swelling and bruising, it is a minorly invasive procedure associated with a minimal amount of post-operative pain. Immediately following your eyelid lift, you may feel mild to moderate discomfort that should quickly subside within a few days. Most patients opt for over-the-counter painkillers like Tylenol after the first couple of days.

Depending on your procedural plan, Dr. MacDonald may prescribe antibiotic ointments or eye drops, pain medication, or anti-inflammatory drugs to minimize swelling and discomfort. Another way to find quick relief is to apply cold compresses on your eyes once an hour the first night after the procedure.

Eyelid Lift Recovery Timeline

Overall, after the first few days, an eyelid surgery does not create much discomfort, and the healing process isn’t extensive. Typically, patients can return to work in one to two weeks.

During recovery, elevating your head and icing the area helps reduce swelling. Please refrain from strenuous exercise or heavy lifting for at least two weeks. You may resume light activities such as walking after a few days.

Immediately following a Vancouver eyelid lift, most patients experience some redness around their healing incisions, which will continue after you have your sutures removed. In the months following surgery, these incisions typically fade. While scarring is a natural result of any surgical procedure, blepharoplasty requires only small incisions placed within the natural eyelid creases, making the scars barely noticeable after they’ve healed.

Most of our eyelid surgery patients recover quickly after minimal downtime. Typically, at five to seven days after blepharoplasty, you will likely feel well enough to start resuming your usual daily activities. During your recovery, your swelling will typically look worse earlier in the day and subside as the day goes on. Following your surgery, swelling may also occur on your cheeks and jawline, which should start resolving in around two to three weeks.

Typically, eyelid surgery recovery takes about a week to feel physically better, but it takes four to six weeks to fully heal and look your absolute best.

Partnering With a Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon

With so many plastic surgeons to choose from, you may feel a little overwhelmed by the decision-making process and all the factors to consider. A plastic surgeon should be professional, honest, and above all, board-certified, which ensures a commitment to upholding high standards of education, knowledge, and skills.

Another aspect to think about is the number of years of experience performing the specific procedure you are seeking. To ensure your safety and optimal results are in good hands, look for a plastic surgeon who routinely does eyelid lift surgery and can provide you with photos of previous patients.

Along with this experience, search for plastic surgeons near you who have built an immaculate reputation and performance record. In the rare case of risks or complications, a competent surgeon can handle them better than someone who has recently started practicing.

By choosing an experienced plastic surgeon with ample experience in your desired procedure, you can have more peace of mind, knowing you’ll receive unparalleled care before, during, and after your procedure.

Choosing Dr. Jeannie MacDonald as Your Vancouver Blepharoplasty Expert

Whether you’re looking to restore your impaired vision or rejuvenate puffy eyelids or undereye wrinkles, Dr. MacDonald works with you to develop a unique treatment plan that will ensure refreshed, radiant results. Her philosophy of simple, direct, and honest plastic surgery fosters an approachable and relaxed atmosphere. As the only female fellowship-trained craniofacial surgeon in Fraser Valley, Dr. MacDonald understands the architecture of facial anatomy and how to enhance your appearance and enrich your life.

With supreme dedication to excellent patient results, Dr. MacDonald continually demonstrates the skills that make her one of the leading eyelid lift surgery providers in Vancouver.

Call us at (604) 288-8517 or complete our contact form today to learn more about partnering with one of Vancouver’s best cosmetic eyelid surgeons.