Bruising After Bilateral Lateral Brow Lift

Hi there, I had a bilateral lateral brow lift yesterday afternoon (the 18th of July) and have noticed deep purple bruising around my left eye (quite a bit) and a little around my right eye. My head is all bandaged up so can't see if I have bruising anywhere else. Can anyone tell me how long to expect the bruising to last and if there is anything I can do to speed up the fading of these? I have been periodically applying cold compresses. Thanks for your help.

Doctor Answers 5

Bruising After Brow Lift

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What you have described can be expected after a brow lift. I recommend keeping in close contact with your surgeon or his/her clinical team to address your concerns.

Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 124 reviews

How to reduce post-browlift bruising.

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Your bruising is normal, and everybody resolves bruising differently, and at different rates. Typically, it will be gone by 2-3 weeks after surgery, but this depends on the extent and severity of the bruising, as well as several individual factors. Sleeping with your head higher than your heart helps reduce any additional bruising from entering the tissues around your eyes, and will allow gravity to "pull" swelling and bruising away from the healing tissues. I ask my patients to not lay flat for 3 weeks after surgery. Ice is helpful in the first day or so after surgery, but is not of much value after that. Arnica montana is a homeopathic product that has been helpful in many patients, so much so that I use it in all my facial surgery patients.

Obviously, anything that increases bleeding (such as aspirin or ibuprofen-containing substances, including over-the-counter remedies) should be avoided 2 weeks before and after surgery. Elevated blood pressure can both cause or increase bleeding and bruising, especially in the very delicate tissues around the eyes, so lifting, straining, vomiting (don't take pain medication on an empty stomach), etc. need to be avoided. The same goes for activities that can rupture healing capillaries and cause bleeding and bruising in the first few days to week or two after surgery, such as pole-vaulting, tackle football, and trapeze sex! Take it easy--you know what I mean!

Some people have little or no bleeding and or bruising; others with the same exact surgery will have more. If you have a history of excessive bruising, this should be evaluated by your doctor or a Hematologist prior to elective surgery. Some patients who do bruise after surgery will have their bruising reabsorb internally, whereas others will seem to have it resolve by "coming to the surface." Neither is better or worse, just different.

BTW, cold compresses (wet ones) are NOT recommended as any dissolving sutures can be prematurely dissolved. In addition, water is osmotically drawn into tissues, causing MORE swelling. Dry cold compresses ARE helpful, so long as they are not applied directly to the eyelid skin (you can actually frostbite these delicate tissues), so my recommended compress is a bag of frozen peas applied over a dry clean cloth or gauze pad. You can eat your icebag when you're healed.

Keep your eyes well-lubricated while swelling may prevent complete lid closure at night--use Lacrilube or similar gel at night to keep your corneas moist, use artificial tears during the day until your lids close completely. Touching or dabbing at your eyes is NOT recommended and actually increases tearing. Good luck!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Bruising following forehead/brow lifting

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Bruising following forehead/brow lifting is quite common and occurs to a variable degree.  Usually deep purple bruising lasts longer than reddish bruising.  There are cosmetic products available  to specifically cover bruising and work quite well.  The duration of bruising is also variable but can last from 2 to 6 weeks.  The good news is that it always goes away.

Keith A. LaFerriere, MD (retired)
Springfield Facial Plastic Surgeon

Bruising after browlift

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  I have found that the best treatment for bruising (after the ice period) is to advise patients to stop looking at it.  It will certainly go away with time.  Arnica may also be beneficial.  It is way too soon to worry about this.  Hopefully, you were informed before surgery that bruising typically lasts about 2 weeks (give or take a week) after a brow lift procedure.  Try to be patient.

Lawrence Kass, MD
Saint Petersburg Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 140 reviews

Speed healing following a brow lift

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Its is normal to bruise and swell following a brow lift for a few days, to a week, sometimes more, depending on the individual and the reduced use of "asprin like" products 8 days prior to surgery. To speed healing, we recommend ice for the first 36 hours, followed by a warm/cool moist compress 2-3 times/ day. Also sleep elevated for the first several days.

Good Luck!

John H. Hunts MD, PhD
Eugene Oculoplastic Surgeon

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.