How long does it take for eyelid edema to resolve post upper blepharoplasty? When should I start getting worried? (photo)

I had upper eyelid surgery 8 days ago. I feel like the upper eyelid edema is worse now compared to 1 day post op. I also looked drugged as my eyelids do not open all the way. Should there be some kind of eye cream. The only eyelid cream provided was bioCorneum.

Doctor Answers 7

This is very early.

Having said that, like you, I do have concerns about your surgery.  You have a very long upper eyelid platform with significant upper eyelid ptosis.  Swelling can account for a heavy eyelid after surgery but I wonder if what we are seeing is a disinserted anterior levator aponeurosis tendon which is a common issue after upper blepharoplasty.  The tendon may have been disinserted before surgery or the surgery may have caused the disinsertion.  It is the job of the surgeon to recognize a disinherited levator tendon and repair it a the time of blepharoplasty but it is seldom identified by most eyelid surgeons.  If this is just from swelling, it will get better and better over the coming weeks.  If this does not happen, please do not expect that your surgeon will be able to understand what is going on.  


Los Angeles Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Swelling after upper eyelid surgery

Patients can differ on this but in general swelling increases for 4-5 days postop and then decreases. Most patients look pretty good at 7-8 days with most swelling gone but exceptions do occur. 

Mine patient for now. 

Taha Shipchandler, MD
Indianapolis Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

How long does it take for eyelid edema to resolve post upper blepharoplasty? When should I start getting worried?

Hello Gottschj,

Eyelid swelling after an upper eyelid surgery tends to increase for the first 2-3 days, stays there for 2-3 days, and starts coming off around day 5 or 6.  So at 8 days it is expected you would still have swelling but usually it looks better than the first day.  By two weeks 80% of your swelling will be gone.  

Each surgeon will have his or her own recommendations for post treatment care.  I like BioCorneum but not above the eyelids because if it gets in the eye, it can irritate it.  Moist wounds do heal faster so I have my patients use an ophthalmic ointment on the incision so as not to irritate the eye.  If you are concerned about your healing, follow up with your surgeon.  One thing to consider is that your eyelids may simply be swollen, but they are quite low and look ptotic (droopy).  Your surgeon should be able to evaluate this to determine if it is present and whether it was present before surgery or developed as a result.  

At this point it is important to follow up closely with your surgeon to help get the best result possible.  

William Marshall Guy, MD
The Woodlands Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Edema after eyelid surgery , normal

Your picture appears to have within normal limits of swelling after surgery. Some people resolve in one week some people in 4 to 6 weeks. You should not be worried at this point as you may be one of those patients  that takes more time to resolve. Follow your doctors advice and it should soon resolve. You can sleep with one or two pillows at night. There's not much more to do as the swelling will naturally go away.

Carlos Wolf, MD
Miami Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Still early

Your edema and swelling is normal for eight days.
It will continue to improve a lot over the next two weeks.

How long for eyelid edema to resolve following blepharoplasty

 Thank you for sharing your question. It can take up to six months for all of the swelling to resolve following upper eyelid blepharoplasty. You will notice rapid improvement over the next few weeks and then lesser improvement over the following months. You are in the very early stages of healing. Good luck. 

Eyelid edema

It is common to experience edema at this time. Over the next several weeks the swelling will gradually improve. Your eye opening should also improve over this time. I usually tell my patients it can take 4 to 6 weeks for most of the edema to resolve. Try to remain patient during this time. 

Mark Been, MD
Barrington Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 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.