Social Recovery After Eyelid Lift


Eyelid lift, or medically referred to as blepharoplasty, removes the crepe-like skin and fat herniation that contribute to the tired, aging appearance.  All efforts are made to ensure that the scar is undetectable, so it must precisely lie at the upper eye crease or very close to the lower lash margin.

The truth is, the main issue during eyelid lift recovery is not the pain, but the social downtime.  In fact, most patients just report mild discomfort lasting about a few days that can be relieved by pain medications.  

For most patients, social recovery after eyelid lift takes 2-3 weeks, although it is not uncommon to have very mild bruising past this period that is barely detectable.  Meanwhile, some patients may be able to return to work as soon as five days postop, although most likely they will need camouflage makeup to look “socially ready.”

While individual healing will largely determine the length of social downtime, the surgical techniques also have their influence to some extent.  A good rule of thumb is to make every effort to control the amount of bleeding at the time of surgery.

The use of electrocautery device, which seals off the small blood vessels, and meticulous resection of the tissue can limit the amount of bleeding.  Patient cooperation nonetheless will also play a critical role in preventing significant blood loss.

The general rule of thumb is to avoid aspirin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and other products with blood thinning properties before the procedure.  For this reason, even the seemingly innocuous herbal supplements and vitamins are best discontinued 1-3 weeks prior to surgery because many of them have effects that are still not widely studied.

Herbal supplements and vitamins such as green tea, kava kava, ginkgo biloba, St. John’s wort, ginseng, fish oil, and vitamin E (particularly in large doses) have been known to increase the risk of bleeding.  Many of them also interfere with anesthesia or postop medications.

In addition, achieving one’s optimal health prior to surgery could result in shorter social downtime.  Superb diet, regular exercise, and complete smoking cessation (at least three weeks before eyelid lift) can really make a difference in healing.  

Article by
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon