After years of looking at your face, whether it be in the bathroom mirror, during video calls, or even while taking a selfie with your phone, one day you decide, that’s it! Those droopy eyelids and pads of fat beneath your eyes are not only constantly making you look tired, but they are also making you look way too old for your years.
So, you decide to schedule an appointment with the board-certified cosmetic surgeons at The Maryland Institute of Plastic Surgery to learn more about eyelid surgery, also known as blepharoplasty. In the process, you’ll find out if you are a good candidate for the procedure that promises to restore your youthful appearance.
Before making that call, you are determined to make sure you have the right expectations for the recovery process. After all, you’ll need to schedule time away from work and arrange for some help around the house while you recover. While researching the recovery process, you create the following recovery tips to ensure that your eyelids heal quickly and with amazing results.
Prepare for Your Recovery Time
Most people get back to their regular routines in about 10-14 days after eyelid surgery. An excellent way to speed your recovery is to take care of your primary responsibilities ahead of the day of your surgery.
Whether you need to stock up your pantry with easy-to-prepare meals or ask a friend to take children to their activities, it’s essential that you clear your schedule so that you can focus on resting and recovery.
Diligently Follow Your Self-Care Instructions
The Maryland Institute of Plastic Surgery team will provide a detailed set of instructions to follow for self-care after your eyelid procedure. That way, you can look forward to a stress-free recovery when you get home from surgery.
Some of the basics for self-care following eyelid surgery include cold compresses to reduce swelling, eye drops to give relief to dry eyes, and an ointment to keep your eyelids lubricated. You’ll also need to have gauze available so that if your incisions ooze while they heal, you can dab them dry.
Follow Self-Care Instructions
Here are some instructions your surgeon may give you to follow during recovery:
- Stop smoking
- Don’t wear contact lenses for two weeks
- Apply ice packs to your eyes when required during the first three days
- Use prescribed eye drops or ointments
- Clean your eyelids gently
- Don’t rub your eyes
- Keep your head elevated above your chest while relaxing and sleeping
When you return for your surgeon’s follow-up appointment, you may receive additional guidance and, in the meantime, avoid taking the following over-the-counter medicines unless recommended by your doctor.
Following these self-care instructions could be just as critical as the surgery itself.
Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
You know you’re not going to look great for a short while — your eyelids will be puffy, the incisions will appear red, and the swelling and bruising may resemble a black eye.
Remember to be patient even though you’re anxious to see results. Don’t let the time spent in recovery get you down.
The swelling should disappear in about two weeks. Shortly after that, you’ll see the results — and what a difference there will be! You’ll look younger, your eyes will be brighter, and you’ll feel on top of the world.
Sun Protection Is Essential
It is vital that you protect your eyes from sunlight and other elements like the wind, especially for the first week or two. Wear dark sunglasses with wraparound frames that cover your eyes from the sides. Add a wide-brimmed hat for extra protection. And follow your doctor’s instructions about applying sunscreen.
Don’t Stress or Strain Your Eyes
Avoid checking email, reading, or catching up on your favorite TV show for at least a week following your eyelid surgery. These activities are notorious for causing dry eyes, something you need to avoid if you want to speed up your recovery.
Get Plenty of Rest
Getting plenty of rest and sleep are the best ways to accelerate your recovery.
Healing requires considerable energy, which means you’ll probably feel more tired than usual. So be prepared to take naps when you feel tired. After all, you want to heal as quickly as possible.
Avoid Strenuous Activities
For the first two to four weeks following your eyelid surgery, it’s important to avoid activities that increase blood flow to your eyes. Activities to avoid include jogging, aerobics, sports, and intensive exercise like lifting heavy weights.
To promote better healing and hasten your recovery, it’s important that you avoid stress. You can do this during your recovery by taking time away from work (no phone calls or emails) and planning ways to pass the time that don’t require using your eyes. For example, you may want to expand your playlist or stock up on audiobooks — whatever you’ll enjoy while you relax your eyes and body.
You probably already know that smoking affects healing, which means your recovery will be slower. Smoking also increases your risk of infection. Avoid these problems by quitting smoking at least six weeks before your surgery.
Call for Help
We know you’ll be looking forward to your fresh, young look. However, if you have any questions or encounter any difficulties during your recovery, don’t hesitate to contact us at The Maryland Institute of Plastic Surgery or call 410-744-0900 to arrange a follow-up call from one of our board-certified cosmetic surgeons.