11 days post op, my eyelids look abnormal, swollen, and tight. Is this normal? (photos)

I had upper bleph 11 days ago. My eyelids are so stretched and swollen. I feel way too much skin was taken out. The right eye is droopier and has a weird end incision to it with the eyebrow overhang. This was the eye that had more skin. I know it's early but am already thinking revision. Anything I can do in the meantime? I'm still using ice someone recomended also alternating heat packs. How about massing my eyelids? Help please!!

Doctor Answers 9

I think you are absolutely correct that more skin was removed than needed.

Unfortunately some surgeons feel it is their job to remove as much upper eyelid skin as possible.  Your upper eyelid crease appears way too high and definitely both upper eyelid are droopy but the right is even more heavy.  Now here is the thing, as you heal, things will get better.  That is absolutely true.  The real question is will things calm down enough that you will be satisfied with your surgery?  I am concerned about this and it is reasonable for you to be concerned also.  Time does help.  I would encourage you to follow up with your surgeon for your immediate post operative care.  It does happen in situations like this that there can be a brake down in the doctor patient relationship.  If this happens, consider seeking a second opinion.  Although you may not be able to picture living with this situation, we generally recommend waiting 6 to 12 months to let these heal.  In some cases things settle down and, if not perfect, things may be improved to the point were you may not feel compelled to have revisional surgery.  If it does not go this way, then by waiting we get a very accurate idea of what is needed for an revisional procedure.  I find that an early look at how things are going at about 2 months is a good time frame to make an accurate assessment of the eyelid with regard to deciding if surgical revision may be necessary.

Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

My Eyelids Look Swollen and Tight 11 Days Post Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)

I concur with the comments below that the swelling at this stage is normal. It can take up to 12 months to really know the effects of an upper bleph. Head elevation and gentle massage of the area can be helpful. Arnika will help decrease bruising. And ice is always good for swelling. Follow the post-op guidelines of your plastic surgeon, and discuss your concerns at your follow-up. It is too early to determine if revision surgery is necessary. While it can be scary to wait, that is the best option at this point.

Karen Singer, MD
Tampa Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Swelling and asymmetry this soon after surgery is normal.

Both a large degree of swelling and some asymmetry are normal following eyelid surgery. The body does its best to heal everything evenly, but it’s not at all uncommon for one side to be moving at a different pace than the other. The worst of the swelling should dissipate over the next few weeks, although some minor ongoing swelling may continue contributing to the appearance of asymmetry for a month or two more. You’ll have an idea of your final results by about six months after surgery, and only then would I recommend pursuing revision surgery. Sleeping with your head elevated may help, and keep using ice packs as directed.
That said, it appears that your lid crease is higher than I usually place it and that you have lost volume in the upper lid, likely due to removal of fat. After you have healed, injecting fat to restore volume to the upper lids/brows may be necessary for a youthful look.

Nirav Savalia, MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Eyelids swollen and tight 11 days post op blepharoplasty

11 days postop, my eyelids look abnormal, swollen, and tight.  Is this normal?
The amount of swelling depicted in the photographs is probably normal for this 11 day postop patient. I would normally recommend waiting longer before considering revisional surgery    It would be wise for you to get a second opinion from a reputable plastic surgeon.

Richard O. Gregory, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Swollen eyelids

Your eyelids will have swelling that is normal 10 days after surgery. Swelling of the eyelids stays around a little bit longer than swelling other areas. It will eventually get better over the next month and a half or so. The only problem I see that your incision is very high. This is not the typical location of a upper lid incision. Good luck.

11 days postop swelling

It is normal to still have swelling a few weeks out.  Some residual swelling can even take a few months to clear.  I wouldn't be thinking revision just yet as I often tell my patients nothing counts in the first few weeks as they can swell and look differently during this time period.  Alternating warm and cold compresses can be helpful and also doing gentle massage to the swollen areas.  If you have no contraindications such as history of gastric ulcers, you could try some over the counter NSAIDS (e.g. motrin) per the label directions.  Best of luck regarding your healing.

John R. Burroughs, MD
Colorado Springs Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

11 days post op, my eyelids look abnormal, swollen, and tight. Is this normal

Yes it is normal in some people to have this much swelling    Discuss with your doctor but massage does help.   Head elevation is helpful but at this point, ice may not be helpful.  Way too soon to evaluate for revision surgery since the assymmetry may all be secondary to the swelling.   Best to you

Constance M. Barone, MD
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Upper eyelid surgery

There will be some swelling (edema) after upper eyelid surgery. The skin may feel stretched because of the swelling. Ice and heat probably would not help at this point. Sleeping elevated and limiting physical activity for another 2-3 weeks will help. As far as revision surgery is concerned, it is too early to think about that for now.
I would also lubricate your eyes with natural tears several times a day. 

Kyle S. Choe, MD
Virginia Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

11 days post op, my eyelids look abnormal, swollen, and tight. Is this normal?

Great series of posted photos! But still to early to tell. If after 3 months this has not settled than you could seek IN PERSON second opinions... 

Darryl J. Blinski, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 173 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.