Naples, FL Plastic Surgeons Provide Blepharoplasty Surgery Recovery Tips
It surprises many people to learn that eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) is one of the country’s most frequently performed invasive cosmetic surgeries. The latest statistics, from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, report that 325,112 blepharoplasties were completed in 2020, a 55% increase over the 209,000 blepharoplasties performed in 2017. This makes blepharoplasty the second most popular invasive cosmetic procedure in America. This is only surpassed by rhinoplasty (nose reshaping), which was performed on almost 353,000 patients in 2020.
The popularity of blepharoplasty may be considered even more surprising given that recovering from the procedure is generally more complicated and lengthier than recovering from other popular procedures. This is due mainly to how sensitive the skin around the eyes is and the need to protect the eyes during recovery.
With a stellar reputation for delivering outstanding aesthetic results with their blepharoplasty surgeries, the cosmetic surgeons at Southwest Florida’s Naples Plastic Surgery are familiar with the complications and length of recovery. Dr. Paul M. Gardner, Dr. Leo M. Baccaro, and Dr. Mark Walsh also know how to ensure the best results during recovery and what actions patients can take to expedite the recovery time safely.
But First, What Makes Blepharoplasty So Popular?
Eyelid surgery has emerged as a popular cosmetic procedure because of its ability to dramatically reduce the appearance of age- and genetically related skin issues above and below the eyes. Whether through genetics or aging, many people experience under-eye bags, bagginess around the upper eyelid area, sinking eyelids, and/or drooping eyelids, a condition known as ptosis. Skin laxity and excess skin buildup can also cause puffiness, bulges, and wrinkling to form around the eyes. These changes typically make those affected look constantly fatigued no matter how well-rested they are. It can make them appear much older than they actually are. Sometimes, the changes can cause excess skin to impair vision by impeding sight lines.
With a lack of other treatments to correct these conditions, many people turn to blepharoplasty, an advanced surgery designed to correct the various eye-area conditions and provide patients with a well-rested and youthful appearance. Eyelid surgery entails small incisions that target affected areas and remove of excess fat, muscle, and skin, as needed, to smooth out and rejuvenate the skin around the eyes. The procedure may also require tightening surrounding muscle tissue to correct ptosis and clear any related obstructions to vision.
Initial Recovery Stage Requires Downtime
While blepharoplasty is an outpatient procedure, the surgery causes some temporary side effects. This may require downtime that could last up to two weeks. Initial side effects can include:
- Light sensitivity
- Blurred vision
- Double vision
- Watery eyes
- Some pain and discomfort
- Numbness around the eyes
Vision-related side effects tend to dissipate within about four to five days, but bruising—which may resemble a black eye—can last up to three weeks, and the swelling may take up to eight weeks to subside. In general, most patients can return to work and resume most regular daily activities within a week to 10 days. The duration is primarily dictated by comfort levels rather than medical reasons.
Scarring at the incision sites will take at least a year to fade out to become nearly unnoticeable. However, the appearance of your scars and aesthetic results are dependent upon following your surgeon’s instructions for optimizing recovery.
The cosmetic surgeons at Naples Plastic Surgery recommend the following after blepharoplasty surgery:
- Apply ice packs—to help reduce swelling and bruising around the eyes, you should apply ice packs to the area. Apply on a near-constant basis for the first three days after surgery and intermittently during the following two to three weeks.
- Avoid certain medications and supplements—specific medications and supplements can encourage more bleeding. Avoid aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, fish oil, Vitamin E, cranberry extract, and any other products noted by your surgeon. To reduce pain and discomfort, your surgeon will advise you on what medications you can take.
- Protect and take care of your eyes—during the initial stages of recovery, you should protect your eyes from the elements. This involves wearing dark sunglasses and a hat and applying sunscreen to the surgical site when going outside. Additionally, avoid any eyestrain during the first week or two after surgery. Refrain from reading, watching TV, or using your computer or handheld device. You should also gently wash your eyelids regularly and use prescribed eye drops or ointments as directed.
- Avoid strenuous activity—vigorous activity, such as manual labor or exercise, can increase blood flow to your eyes and stimulate bleeding. Avoid such activities during the first few weeks post-surgery.
- Get plenty of sleep—During the first few days after surgery, sleep with your head raised above your chest. This helps reduce swelling and limit facial strain. Sleep aids in healing, so sleep whenever you feel tired and as often as possible.
- Don’t smoke and limit alcohol intake—Anyone planning to undergo a cosmetic procedure should quit smoking. Nicotine and other byproducts of tobacco can impede wound healing and scar fading. It can also enhance the risk of infection and permanent damage to the surgical site. Avoid alcohol because it causes dehydration and thins the blood, both of which impede the healing process.
Learn More About Blepharoplasty by Consulting with Naples Plastic Surgery
If you would like to learn more about eyelid surgery at our Southwest Florida-based surgical center, Dr. Gardner, Dr. Baccaro, or Dr. Walsh would be pleased to consult with you and answer any questions you might have. Contact Naples Plastic Surgery today at 239.566.2611 to schedule your initial consultation.