An All-In-One Post Eyelid Surgery Recovery Guide

As much as it pays to know what to expect before and during an eyelid surgery, it’s just as important to know what to expect during the recovery period.

In the same way that your eyelid surgery will be customised according to your unique requirements, your post-operative instructions will be too.

Advice for recovering from eyelid surgery

After your eyelid surgery, you should stay off of your feet as much as possible. For the first three days after your surgery, it’s important for you to be inactive and to simply rest and relax at home.

Whether you’re relaxing in bed or sitting in your favourite chair, always keep your head elevated. Basically, your head always needs to be higher than your heart. What this does is help drain fluid away from your eyes, reducing any bruising and swelling. A cold compress is also recommended in order to accelerate the healing process. A cold facecloth dipped in ice water or bag of frozen peas works really well.

Eyelid surgery FAQs

Dr Andre Safvat is a blepharoplasty specialist who helped answer some common questions on eyelid surgery.

Can I fly after my surgery?

Eyelid surgery patients should not be flying right after their procedure as any activity such as walking will increase blood flow to the eyes, which increases your risk of bruising and swelling. Pair walking through an airport with carrying a suitcase and the side effects will be even worse.

You also need to remember that ointment is placed in your eyes after surgery in order to prevent them from drying out. This will blur your vision and make travelling incredibly difficult so it’s best to rest somewhere safe for a day or two before travelling.

How should I sleep after my surgery?

For the first few nights after your surgery, it’s best to sleep in an elevated position in order to keep your head above your heart. Use a recliner chair or prop yourself up on a few pillows to get comfortable. Sleeping like this will ensure that any fluid is draining away from your eyes, which reduces swelling and bruising.

When can I wear makeup again?

Your eyelid surgery is the perfect excuse to be at home in your pyjamas, watching Netflix or reading your favourite book. While you may be tempted to leave the house, it’s best to give yourself proper time to recover. If you do want to get out, makeup can be used to cover up any bruises but you must keep it away from any incisions to avoid infection. You can go back to your regular makeup routine once your sutures come out.

When can I start exercising again?

You will be able to return to your normal activities after a few days but it’s best to wait at least a week before you add any strenuous exercise to your daily routine.

It’s been a few weeks and I still have some swelling. Is this normal?

It’s natural for eyelids to swell quite easily and it will take some time before they’re back to normal. To accelerate the healing process, rather stay away from salty foods that will make the swelling worse. It’s also a good idea to keep your elevated when sleeping. Speak to your surgeon about what to expect in terms of bruising and swelling after your surgery for a better idea.