Can't Open Eyes 25 Days After Blepharoplasty

My eyes are still puffy and swollen 25 days after upper Blepharoplasty procedure. I'm also having problems opening my eyes, and the scars hurt and feel tight. Is this temporary? What can be done about it?

Doctor Answers (22)

Swelling after eyelid surgery

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Most eyelid surgery has a more predictable  course of recovery.  There is evident swelling to the upper lid incisions.  This may be somewhat troubling, but it could only be related to a skin reaction to topical ointments.  Perhaps the patient needs to stop application of any ointment, stay with using cool compresses for the lids, perhaps take antiinflammatories prn, and most certainly follow up carefully with your surgeon as often as may be needed.  There could also be an infection that may need to be considered if this doesn't improve soon.  Be aware that it still is somewhat close to the time of surgery and may still improve given more time.


Good luck

See your doctor

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As all of the other panelists have mentioned, this is not the usual recovery from an upper blepharoplasty. Only a small subset of patients have this degree of swelling this far post blepharoplasty.

Your doctor will likely examine what ointments you are putting on your eyelid, whether these are causing swelling, whether or not you have an infection, reaction to sutures, or the development of thickening of the scars (hypertrophic scarring), as well as an examination of the eyelid lifting muscle, although this is always difficult when the eyelid is acutely swollen. Occasionally some patients think that putting certtain creams or neosporin on their eyelids can prevent infection, and this actually causes a dermatitis that then results in swelling of the very delicate upper eyelid skin. Occasionally use of the laser for cutting on the upper eyelids, rather than promoting faster healing, leaves a burn injury that can prolong healing.

You should come away from the appointment with the feeling that your problems are being addressed and a potential explanation and treatment for your swelling.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 100 reviews

Call your surgeon

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While it is common to have swelling after surgery, by 25 days you should be seeing improvement and you should be able to open your eyes. It is hard to tell from the picture, but your upper lids look more red than I would expect as well. You may have an underlying infection or other issue which needs to be addressed. You should contact your surgeon soon for an evaluation.

I hope this is helpful.

David Shafer, MD
Shafer Plastic Surgery
New York City

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

25 days postop blepharoplasty

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 It is important to call your surgeon and discuss your postoperative care. In our practice, patient's are able to return to work, social activities without any restrictions 14 days after the procedure area and they're also able to open their eyes. For many examples and more information about eyelid surgery, please see the link below

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Eye recovery problems

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   This in NOT normal. My patients have their upper eyelid sutures removed at day 6 or 7 and can open their eyes very easily and have minimal swelling at this stage. By day ten it's almost as though they never had anything done at all. You need to see your doctor immediately and if you are not satisfied with his response get another opinion.

You Need to Consult With Your Surgeon as the Severity of Your Swelling is Concerning

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The vast majority of swelling resolves in about three weeks in most patients who undergo blepharoplasty. Occasionally it may persist for longer periods of time, but this is very unusual. The severity of your swelling is very concerning. Not only do you have severe swelling, but you also have painful scars and inability to open your eyes. This may indicate that this is more than just routine swelling.

A careful evaluation should be undertaken to determine the cause of your persistent swelling. There are several possible explanations that should be explored. These may include allergies to topical ointments that are commonly used following blepharoplasty, persistent low grade infection, severe hypertrophic scarring and the possibility of injury to the eyelid muscles that lift the eyelid.

It’s important that you stay in close contact with your surgeon. Your surgeon may be able to recommend treatment for your swelling that will make you more comfortable and accelerate your recovery. In most cases, elevation of the head and cold compresses will be enough to eventually alleviate your concerns.

Complications 25 days after Blepharoplasty

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Please go see your Doctor.  This is a bit longer than most clients and you want to rule out anything worse or anything, such as an allergy to the ointment, that can be soon fixed.  Swelling and scars are normal, however 25 days post is a bit longer then expected.


Edward E. Dickerson, IV, MD
Fayetteville Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 58 reviews

Can't Open Eyes 25 Days After Blepharoplasty

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25 days of swelling is a bit longer than normal for postoperative swelling. I would see your surgeon for reevaluation. There may be an infectious component or an allergenic component to your edema.

Paul Vitenas, Jr., MD
Houston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

A little late for that much swelling

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3 and 1/2 weeks is a little long time for that much swelling. Have your doctor double check to make sure you don't have an infection. The good news is that 99% of swelling goes away with time so you may be a slow healer. We just need to wait to give it time.

Chris Thiagarajah, MD
Washington DC Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Can't open eyes after Blepharoplasty

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Patients do experience some amount of swelling and brusing after eyelid or blepharoplasty surgery. However, patients should be able to open their eyes within a week after surgery. The situation you are describing maybe due to lymphedema. You should followup with your surgeon as soon as possible to be evaluated.

Ankit Desai, MD
Jacksonville Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.