Blepharoplasty, the surgical reconstruction or repair of the upper or lower eyelid, is a procedure that is most often performed on an outpatient basis. It usually takes less than two hours; and after a period in the recovery room, patients are free to leave the same day for complete home recovery.
The after effects of the surgery vary from patient to patient, and they may include blurred or double vision, sensitivity to light, watery eyes, possible numbness or redness around the incisions, swelling and bruising, and possible pain- although it should not be unbearable.
After care is simple. Patients must keep incisions clean. Care will most likely include an ointment to apply topically; as well as, an oral medication to help with healing and fight infection. Acetaminophen and cool compresses will help with discomfort, and reduce swelling. Patients are encouraged to be gentle with their incisions; and to not rub the eyes or wear contacts. Avoiding demanding physical activities, like straining, or lifting is very important. As well as, avoiding smoking and alcohol, and sleeping with the head raised above the heart to minimize swelling. When going outside, patients should wear sunglasses to protect their incisions from the sun and wind.
Since blepharoplasty requires having stitches, some will need to be removed within a week. However, this depends on doctor's instructions. Sometimes the stitches will be self-absorbing and patients won’t need to have them removed. Most people can usually resume normal activity about a week after the procedure; and within two weeks, most of the swelling and bruising will have faded. The scars themselves will take longer to fade, however. This will sometimes take up to six months. In the meantime, it is important to protect the scars from the sun to avoid permanent discoloration.
The results vary. Sometimes, more often on the upper lid, drooping may recur over time. The rare individual who experiences a recurrence can usually expect a period of five to seven years to pass before this becomes an issue; at that time, he or she may want to consider a repeat procedure. On the other hand, many individuals find the results of their blepharoplasty to be permanent, and are able to enjoy the results indefinitely.