Most humans are not exactly the same (not yet atleast). After eyelid surgery in Colorado, patients often ask what are the normal expectations for healing? When will I look back to normal? When can I go to work?
I discuss with patients that everyone is different and everyone’s healing after surgery can be different. That being said, there are normal guidelines that we expect in most patients . First it is important to understand what the normal postoperative bruising and swelling will be. Also, it is key to know how the eyes can and can’t be used after surgery. Once we know that, we can know when to expect the eyelids to return to normal.
Bruising and Swelling
Every patient will have bruising and swelling after blepharoplasty or eyelid lifting. I have never seen a patient who had no swelling or bruising. Simply put, it is impossible. A cut is being made in the eyelid skin and inherent to that cut, will be swelling from healing along with small bleeding that will cause a bruise.
Most of the bruising and swelling will go away on its own in 1 week for most patients. Though there still will be swelling and bruising, the majority will be gone and 80-90% of patients after upper eyelid blepharoplasty can wear makeup and go back to work. At 2 weeks, is a more certain time for swelling and bruising to be gone.
Herbal medicines such as Arnica Montana and Bromelain can be helpful to reduce bruising and swelling but help things by about 10-15 percent. Though they are not magical, some patients find those herbal medicines to be great. Of course, all patients should beoff blood thinners as it can make the bleeding much worse and even cause a permanent vision problem.
The incision lines in eyelid lifting are hidden in the eyelid creases. That being said, the redness of the incisions are at their worst at 6 weeks. In Colorado where the sun is bright it is especially important to wear shades in the sun for about 6 weeks to reduce the redness that can occur. The six weeks is the normal healing time for a cut on a the skin. Over 3 months or so, the incision lines soften, redness goes away and the skin goes back to normal. During the healing process, since the incision is hidden in the crease, it is possible for them to be minimally noticeable after the stitches are removed in about a week.
Reading or Using your eyes
After eyelid surgery, most patients in Denver feel that for about a week, their vision can be blurry or irritated. That is normal. After eyelid surgery, the eyeball itself is irritated and there can be increased tearing and discomfort. This would cause a problem with vision as patients are looking through their tears. Also after ptosis repair, it is important not to wear contacts. If a patient’s glasses are not up to date that can pose problem.
Hopefully this article can help patients who are interested in eyelid lifting surgery in Denver, Colorado or elsewhere understand what is needed for recovery. I recommend to patients to stay out of work for 1 week and to not schedule any "life altering" social events (ie. wedding, major vacations, birthday parties) for two weeks. As a result, most patient find that their eyelid surgery was a non obtrusive procedure for them. Thanks so much!