Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery) Post-Op Care Patient Q&A

Here are frequently asked questions and answers for patients of the New York Group for Plastic Surgery following a blepharoplasty, or eyelid procedure:

Q: My eyes are swollen, and more swollen 2 days after surgery compared to the first day, is this normal?

A: Yes. Swelling in the eyelids is very normal, to the point that your eyes may feel hard to open. The swelling actually peaks at 24-48 hours after surgery and will then begin to decrease. You can sleep with your head slightly propped up to help the swelling drain down your face. Using ice during the first 24 hours is very helpful.

Q: When will my sutures (stitches) be removed?

A: Typically sutures around the eyes are removed 3-5 days after surgery.

Q: How long does it take for bruising to resolve?

A: Bruising takes about 2 full weeks to completely resolve. After about 6-7 days, the bruising will turn from a purplish color to a more green/yellow; this will then fade by 2 weeks.

Q: When can I begin exercising?

A: You may walk at any point, but strenuous exercise where you may raise your blood pressure should not be done for 2 weeks. After that period, you may begin to work up to your normal exercise routine, but begin slowly.

Q: When can I wear make-up?

A: You may wear eye make-up to cover bruising after 10-14 days.

Q: How long will it take for swelling to resolve?

A: Normal swelling after eyelid surgery usually takes 6-8 weeks to completely resolve. You’ll see more final results 12 weeks after surgery.

Q: When can I drive?

A: You may drive when you are off pain medication and can safely and comfortably maneuver the car; typically this is 5-10 days after surgery.

Q: When can I travel?

A: You may go on long car rides or fly on a plane at 3 weeks after surgery, but you need to get up and walk around every 2-3 hours if possible.

Q: When can I get in a pool, submerge in a bathtub or go to the beach?

A: You may be submerged in water at 3 weeks post-op as long as you don’t have any open wounds. It’s best to wait for 1 month before going in hot tubs because they typically harbor more bacteria than pools.