Social Downtime After Blepharoplasty?

If I was to have blepharoplasty done on both eyes, how long would I have to be out of work, and would my skin be black and blue? Thank you

Doctor Answers 22

Blepharoplasty Recovery Time

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Great question.

It depends on whether you're doing just upper lids or considering either lower lids alone or upper and lower lid together.

Upper lid surgery typically has a quicker recover than any surgery involving the lower lids.

In our San Francisco area practice we explain to patients that upper lid blephs are usually done as outpatient surgery meaning patients go home the same day. The first 24 hours cool compresses and head elevation help reduce swelling. Typically some pain medication may be required for the first day or two. We recommend reduced levels of activity for the first week to lower possibility of bleeding complications.

There are sutures that are typically removed day 4-5.

Patients usually are a bit bruised and swollen for about two weeks. The incision line may be slightly red and raised as it heals for the first month.

Socially patients are usually fine to go out and about shopping with sunglasses after the sutures come out.

Most patients can camouflage any residual bruising with light makeup at 10 days.

Lower lid blepharoplasty can involve more swelling and bruising and has a larger occurrence of black eyes. We usually explain to patients that having the lower lids done will add about a week to the recovery milestones (other than the timing of suture removal) listed above.

I hope this helps!

Blepharoplasty requires 5-7 days off of work

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I tell my patients not to plan any big social events (weddings, reunions, etc.) for 2 weeks after eyelid surgery. Most patients can go back to work within 5-7 days depending on the type of work.

Sutures will be removed around day 5 and most of the bruising and swelling will be resolved by day 7. Each patient is different and these times may vary by a day or two either way.

Not taking any medications that can cause bleeding, head elevation, cool compresses and taking it easy can help you have a speedy recovery.

Jeff T. Healy, MD
Honolulu Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 120 reviews

Take a week off

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I recommend surgery on a thursday or friday and take the following week off. If the amount of work is small, fat removal only, than half a week should be enough. However, if you need extensive work a full week off will be necessary so people don't know you had the surgery.

There should be swelling but very minimal bruising. All surgeons who perform eyelid surgery know how important hemostais is. The complications of bleeing can be disasterous. Since bruising is due to bleeding most good surgeons will leave you with minimal bruising.

Know your surgeon.

Good luck

The downtime after Blepharoplasty is relative

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In my experience, this is not a question that is answered by the doctor but rather, by the patient, their mindset, and social/work condition. IF your family and coleagues are in the loop AND you are not doing heavy physical labor you can go back in 36 to 48 hours. Sunglasses and some makeup are your post op regimen.

Barry H. Dolich, MD (Retired)
Bronx Plastic Surgeon

Need time to be at your best

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Most patients are grocery store ready in one week,
socially ready in three weeks and photography ready in 3 months. So if there is a special event that you have planned give it some time to be at your best.

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Looking Good Enough To Go Out In Public After Blepharoplasty

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Blepharoplasty recovery varies from patient to patient and depends upon a large number of variables. Most patients feel pretty good in about two to three days following surgery, but their primary concern is when they will look good enough to go out in public. Recovery following blepharoplasty surgery may last for months, but most patients feel they can go out in public in about a week

It's important to emphasize that recovery periods are variable and depend not only on the patient's wound healing characteristics and the surgical techniques utilized, but also the patient's tolerance for changes that may occur following blepharoplasty surgery.

Downtime After a Blepharoplasty

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The recovery time for a blepharoplasty varies from patient to patient and depends a great deal on you, since everyone heals differently.  The most significant swelling and bruising occur in the first few days and then subside fairly rapidly. Typically, patients take off from work anywhere from 3 days to 1 week if they are not concerned about people knowing that they had surgery. Others wait until 10 days to 2 weeks following surgery to return to work. Healing will continue and swelling will further diminish after that time. Cosmetics can help camouflage any bruising or redness that remains. After surgery, wearing sun glasses that block UVA and UVB rays and using sun screen are important.


Recovery time after eyelid surgery depends on a number of factors:

  • A history of bruising easily.
  • Overall medical status.
  • Whether surgery is on the upper lids alone, lowers alone, or both.
  • The surgical approach: Laser resurfacing may prolong the recovery.
  • Smoking which delays healing.
  • Blood-thinning medications and supplements should be stopped 8-14 days prior to surgery. This includes prescription medications, low dose aspirin, anti-inflammatories, non-prescription supplements like vitamin E and fish oil. Discuss with your surgeon the medications and supplements that should be stopped and those that need to be continued.
  • Use of post-operative herbal supplements such as arnica montana and bromelain may promote healing and reduce bruising and swelling.
  • Following all instructions: iced compresses, head elevation, exercise restrictions.


Your specific concerns should be discussed with your plastic surgeon at a consultation.



Robert Singer, MD  FACS

La Jolla, California





Robert Singer, MD
La Jolla Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Downtime After Blepharoplasty

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Usually the downtime is 7-10 days, but it may be longer depending on how one bruises and the type of blepharoplasty you have.

Rod J. Rohrich, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon

Blepharoplasty healing time

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I tell patients that there is a bell curve. Some patients are "back to normal" within days, others take 3-4 weeks. However most patients are back to normal for social events by two weeks. After 1 week patients can use coverup but if it was my mom and she was planning for a major social event, I would say three weeks.

Chris Thiagarajah, MD
Denver Oculoplastic Surgeon

Two weeks after is a safe time period for social events

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Patients typically have bruising and swelling for upwards of two weeks after a blepharoplasty. Makeup can be applied one week after the surgery, however, two weeks is a safer time period for a social event.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 158 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.