The Side Effects of Eyelid Surgery

With eyelid surgery, you can remove sagging skin and fat from around your eyes, creating a younger and more energetic appearance. When used alone or in conjunction with another facial plastic surgery technique, eyelid surgery offers our Windsor patients a wealth of benefits with very little risk. In order to truly benefit from treatment, though, patients must understand that any surgical procedure is bound to carry some side effects, particularly during the early stages of recovery. If you have recently had upper or lower eyelid surgery, or are considering undergoing this procedure, take a moment to learn the common post-surgical side effects.

Common Side Effects of Surgery

Like most plastic surgery procedures, eyelid surgery will likely result in a few side effects as tissues heal over the first few days and weeks. Typically, patients experience some degree of the following:

  • Discomfort: The incisions used for eyelid surgery are small and tend to heal quickly, resulting in minimal pain. Nevertheless, patients can expect some discomfort while the incisions heal, especially while the sutures are still in place. With prescribed or over-the-counter painkillers, patients should be able to easily manage this discomfort.
  • Bruising: After removing or contouring tissues below the skin, some blood vessels will likely be ruptured, resulting in bruises around the area of surgery. After about a week, bruising should be visibly reduced and is often inconspicuous enough for patients to confidently return to work.
  • Swelling: Tissues usually swell in response to damage, as part of the body’s natural defenses. Although swelling is often the last effect to fully disappear after surgery, most patients have only minimal swelling after seven to 10 days.
Additional Side Effects of Eyelid Surgery

Because the surgical area is so close to the eye, with sutures often touching the upper or lower edge of the eye at times, eyelid surgery can lead to additional effects throughout recovery. Although each of these is temporary and poses little if any medical risk, patients should be aware that they may experience the following:

  • Irritation: In addition to the incisions themselves, the sutures may rub against the eye’s outer layer of corneal tissue, causing irritation. As long as patients do not further irritate their eyes by rubbing or scratching them, this problem should gradually resolve and leave no permanent damage or discomfort.
  • Excessive or minimal tearing: Some patients may find their eyes tearing up more than normal due to temporary irritation. Other patients, however, may suffer from a temporary lack of moisture, causing dry eyes. Both of these effects should resolve as the incisions heal.
  • Loose or drooping tissues: Until the eyelid fully heals, tissues may appear to sag, causing the results to appear incomplete. Until you have made a full recovery, hold off on judging the efficacy of treatment.
How Long Will Recovery Take?

Everyone’s recovery is slightly different, depending on a patient’s health and the nature of surgery. In many cases, patients are able to resume work and other day-to-day activities after a week of healing. At this point, patients may wish to use some makeup to conceal any lingering bruises or swelling. Also, patients should continue to avoid strenuous activities and, when possible, bending over.

After the second or third week, patients should feel and look substantially better. At this point, the main stages of recovery are all but complete, leaving your eyelids to continue to improve aesthetically. While patients may not be advised to resume certain activities that are physically demanding, a few weeks of recovery is generally enough for most patients to regain their energy and daily lifestyle. If you are currently recovering from eyelid surgery and wish to know whether you can resume a task, consult your doctor. Learn more about eyelid surgery here.

Have a Safe Recovery

The safest and most successful recoveries occur when patients remain in constant communication with their surgeons. After all, the guidance of an experienced doctor is invaluable at every stage of treatment. Contact us to ask a question or learn more about your recent or upcoming surgery.