Blepharoplasty, known colloquially as eyelid surgery, is one of the world’s most popular cosmetic procedures. The eye area is very prone to revealing the signs of aging due to how thin the skin is in the area. At Boulder Plastic Surgery in Boulder, CO, we are proud to offer both upper and lower blepharoplasty to help our clients continue to look as young as they feel. If you’re considering this procedure, read on to learn more about the recovery process.
How Long Is Recovery After Eyelid Surgery?
If you get lower eyelid surgery, you can generally expect to be recovered fully after just 14 days. However, recovering from surgery requires a lot of energy. If you get lower and upper blepharoplasty, a full recovery may take you a bit longer. Everyone’s blepharoplasty recovery experience is different, but you should not be taken aback by feeling exhausted for the first 24 to 72 hours post-op. Make sure you rest as much as your body tells you to, especially during this time.
By the eighth day of your recovery, you should be feeling like your old self. However, it is still important to rest your eyes as much as possible. It is also very important that you keep fueling your body properly so it can continue to heal, and get lots of sleep. Moreover, it is important that you do not exercise too much, smoke, drink alcohol, or subject yourself to excessive heat. These can increase your blood pressure significantly.
How Long Will I Need to Take Off From Work?
You can generally expect to need between five and 10 days off from work. Usually, people who only get upper or lower blepharoplasty feel up to going back to work after just a week off. Contrastingly, people who get upper and lower eyelid surgery feel they need two full weeks to dedicate to their recovery.
What Can I Do to Recover Faster?
During your initial consultation, we will give you a complete rundown of what to do to take care of yourself after your procedure. While every recovery experience is unique, you can feel confident that your recovery is going as smoothly as it possibly can if you adhere to all of the post-op care guidelines. Here is a brief overview of what is expected:
Maintaining a healthy diet during your recovery period will help you tremendously. To recover from the incisions made during your surgery, your skin requires an abundance of collagen. To produce a sufficient amount of strong, healthy collagen, your body needs lots of three vital amino acids and vitamin C. It also needs lots of water. Therefore, you should strongly consider eating water-dense foods that are high in vitamin C and protein.
For example, eating broccoli after your eyelid surgery is a great idea because broccoli is high in water, vitamin C, and protein. As an added bonus, this cruciferous vegetable is also high in soluble fiber. Soluble fiber will be a crucial component of your diet if you take certain analgesics to remain comfortable after your procedure. Sometimes, certain analgesics can make regular bowel movements difficult. Soluble fiber will mitigate the risk of constipation.
Drink Plenty of Hydrating Fluids
You will also help to ensure your recovery goes as quickly as possible if you remain hydrated throughout your recovery process. To reiterate, water is a vital ingredient for the production of collagen in the foundational layer of your skin. It is also crucial for keeping your existing collagen strong and healthy. If you get tired of drinking water, don’t just increase your sodium intake to make your body retain more water.
Remember that there are several beverages that will hydrate you effectively. For example, if you get tired of drinking still water, try drinking sparkling water. If you start to find the taste of tap water boring, try drinking mineral water or infusing your water with your favorite fruit. You can also increase your hydration by drinking black coffee or unsweetened tea. Neither coffee nor tea has enough caffeine to act as a diuretic.
Rest Your Eyes
After some cosmetic procedures, it is okay to sit in your favorite recliner and watch TV. However, it is extremely important that you rest your eyes as much as possible after blepharoplasty, especially if you get both upper and lower blepharoplasty. Instead of exposing your eyes to many hours of blue light by watching television or playing a computer game, try to keep yourself entertained by listening to an audiobook or working on a number puzzle in natural light.
If you look at a device that emanates blue light waves, wear a special pair of eye protection that will block the blue light. The more blue light you are exposed to, the more your ability to sleep deeply is negatively affected. Your ability to fall asleep quickly is also affected by blue light, and getting plenty of restful sleep is a very important part of the recovery process.
Protect Your Eyes
It is also very important that you protect your eyes after blepharoplasty if you want to heal as quickly as possible. If it is very windy and you have to go out, make sure you wear eye protection. If it is sunny out, wear sunglasses. Otherwise, wear clear or amber glasses to protect your eyes from the wind. It is also very important that you keep your eyelids from burning.
To avoid direct sunlight, wear a billed hat whenever possible. When wearing such a hat is not appropriate, wear sunglasses with UV protection and do your best to stay indoors between the hours of 10 and 4. Also, make sure you wear a high SPF sunscreen that blocks UVC rays when you go outside.
Rest Your Brain
Resting your eyes will go a long way in helping you recover as quickly as possible. Resting your brain is another key step you must take to ensure you heal fully as soon as possible. Usually, adults can function adequately with just 7.5 hours of sleep. Since recovering from surgery is so demanding on your body, you should aim to get nine consecutive hours of sleep. The more consecutive sleep you get, the more restful sleep you generally get.
If you don’t usually sleep for nine hours per night, you may want to try sleeping for nine hours nightly before your surgery. Get a good sense of how long it takes you to fall asleep at night and adjust your bedtime accordingly so you’re not late for work. If you find yourself struggling to sleep for nine consecutive hours, consider your sleep hygiene. You may sleep better if you practice such good habits as:
- Not exercising vigorously late at night
- Keeping your bedroom cool
- Limiting blue light exposure at night
- Minimizing caffeine consumption in the afternoon
- Not drinking alcohol
- Not consuming nicotine
- Sticking to a nightly routine
- Sleeping on a firmer mattress
Rest Your Body
Another important step to take to ensure you heal as quickly as possible is to get at least 2.5 hours of moderate exercise per week. Moderately intense aerobic exercise supports your cardiovascular system. The importance of this is that your cardiovascular system transports everything your skin needs to build collagen and heal itself, like micronutrients, macronutrients, oxygen, and human growth factors. The stronger your vascular system is, the faster you’ll heal.
However, if you push yourself too hard, you will only slow your recovery down. Make sure that you take breaks while exercising whenever you feel you need to. If you feel like walking for 30 minutes in a row is too taxing, walk as far as you can comfortably. Then, try to walk some more when you’re feeling up to it. At the end of the day, any gentle movement you do to get your blood flowing a bit more is better than being sedentary. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that every eyelid surgery timeline is unique. However, it usually only takes a couple of weeks to recover from lower eyelid rejuvenation fully. If you get lower and upper eyelid rejuvenation, your recovery may take a bit longer. If you think eyelid rejuvenation could benefit you, contact us today at Boulder Plastic Surgery in Boulder, CO to schedule your initial consultation. We’ll review your health and goals and determine if it’s a good fit for you.