Eyelid Surgery Recovery

While eyelid surgery boasts a shorter recovery compared to many other cosmetic procedures, there’s still recovery involved. Here’s what you need to know.

How will I feel after eyelid lift surgery?

Pain isn’t usually an issue after eyelid surgery, but you’ll experience some degree of bruising and swelling for several days or weeks. Your surgeon can recommend pain medication, but cold compresses will do wonders to keep you comfortable as you recover. We encourage patients to get up and take short walks as soon as they can after general anesthesia, but keep activity light and easy. Also, you’ll need someone with you for the first 24 hours as the effects of anesthesia wear off.

Will I be able to see normally after surgery?

Yes, for the most part. Your eyes will not be bandaged, but your surgeon may place a lubricating ointment in them before you wake up from surgery, so if your vision seems a little blurry at first, don’t worry! It’s normal for your eyes to get tired quickly for a few days or weeks, so have some music or audiobooks on standby for entertainment as you recover, and apply your eye lubrication as instructed.

After an eyelid lift, when can I….

  • Wash my face? This depends on how extensive your procedure was, but in general, patients can safely wash their face and eyes very gently beginning about 3 to 5 days after surgery.
  • Sleep on my side or belly? You’ll have to sleep face-up, with your head elevated for about 2 weeks.
  • Return to work? Most patients are ready to return to a desk job within 5 days; however, if you’re nervous about being seen with post-op bruising or swelling, you may wish to work from home until 10 to 14 days after your surgery.
  • Drive to work, the store, etc.? This varies widely, and depends partly on how far you need to drive. You must be off of any pain medication, and you must be able to drive safely without having your eyes dry out or tire before you reach your destination. your surgeon will advise you on the details of driving after eyelid surgery.
  • Clean the house, move furniture, etc.? You won’t be allowed to lift, strain, perform strenuous exercise, or bend over for about 2 weeks. It’s important to keep your blood pressure moderated to protect your incisions.
  • Go out in public? Really, whenever you feel like it, so long as you honor your post-op restrictions on driving and other activities. Many patients prefer to wait until stitches are removed (7 days after surgery) and/or most post-op bruising and swelling has subsided (10 to 14 days).

How long with the results of eyelid surgery last?

The improvements made with eyelid surgery are long-lasting. Our surgeons use techniques designed to allow your eyelid lift results to age naturally with you. However, you will continue to age, and eventually may experience some sagging or puffiness in the eyelids in the future. You can prevent premature aging and protect your results by following a good at-home skin care regimen, which we can help you design!

Have more questions? Contact us for a personal consultation with our surgeons.