Some Docs Say 5-7 Days After Eyelid Surgery. It Sounds Like Months to Heal?

i think i have read everything on the doctors websites regarding eye surgery in southern ca. why do some say you look good enough to go back to work in 7 days, some say give yourself 2 weeks and everything i read on real self from patients and the doctors answers seem that you still can look bad after months. other patients mention more wrinkles after surgery that were not there or showing before. it would be nice if you could get all these problems mentioned prior to surgery.

Doctor Answers 13

Healing after eyelid surgery

Thank you for the question. Generally speaking healing takes longer than seven days. But it depends on what aspect of the healing process. Bruising last 2-3 weeks, swelling will continue to improve over a period of 2-3 months. scars get better over time and take months to show their final outcome.

Most patients can start to wear makeup once the sutures are removed, usually 5-7 days after surgery. For most patients the concern is bruising and one that resolve they feel more comfortable. 

San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

Blepharoplasty surgery does take some time to heal.

Be patient unless you feel that you have a serious problem.  The scar, color and texture of the skin takes some time before you see the final result.  If you have a major concern, check back with your doctor.

Mark Taylor, MD
Salt Lake City Dermatologic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Some Docs Say 5-7 Days After Eyelid Surgery. It Sounds Like Months to Heal?

 I have performed Eyelid Surgery for over 25 years and I believe that most Surgeons would say that the initial swelling and bruising typically subsides within 5-7 days but that does not mean that everything is healed.  Eyelid Surgery takes about 3 months for everything to be fully healed IMHO, although patients look quite good long before that time.  Hope this helps.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Eyelid healing/recovery after surgery

Heaing has different stages.  The first stage, with bruising and excessive swelling, usually takes up two weeks to recover from.  This is the stage where it is obvious you have had surgery done.  This is the also the stage where strenous activity is not recommended.  Healing continues after this first two weeks for months.  Recovery/healing from eyelid surgery happens slightly faster than healing from other surgeries because the eyelids have the thinnest skin in the body with great vascular supply, hence they heal better and faster.

Mehryar (Ray) Taban, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 72 reviews


Months is correct.  I feel that it is wise to always inform patients of the longest possible time it take to heal from Cosmetic Surgery.

Robert Shumway, MD
San Diego Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

What is The Normal Healing Time After Eyelid Surgery

The reason for the confusion is that healing after eyelid surgery is very variable. It is true that much of the obvious swelling is gone within a week. If you get very little bruising as well, then you will look pretty good 1 week after surgery. If you get a lot of bruising, or if you swell more than average it can take 2 or more weeks to look "okay". Overall, the swelling will take months to completely go away. Some people will look good at a week, others will take weeks to a month. Unfortunately, there is no way to tell before surgery which direction your recovery will take. As a general rule, hope for the best but prepare for the worst.

Michael R. Menachof, MD
Greenwood Village Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Surgery healing time

Almost all surgeries take 6-12 months for healing to be complete. And, with certain procedures, changes occur for years. 

You should diffentiate the time of being socially presentable from actual wound healing. Eyes are a bit unpredictable as for instance, a tiny bit of blood that can seep under the white of the eyeball and create a painless red spot may take weeks to go away and be more noticeable than any swelling or suture marks. 

Sheldon S. Kabaker, MD FACS
San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

The one week to 10 day time frame covers initial healing.

Generally we find that it takes about this much time for people to return to work.  This does not in anyway mean that you are healed from eyelid surgery after 7 to 10 days.  You are accurate to think that these surgeries literally take months to fully heal.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Eyelid surgery recovery

Hi Patron,


here's the breakdown.  The reality is it is a guideline and yes many patients do look decent at one weeks time for straightforward upper eyelid surgery. Straightforward meaning skin removal only. Lower eyelids definitely I would try to take at least two weeks off. I would not expect you look bad however if you do have an external incisions it can take 2 to 4 weeks for them to be subtle enough to go unnoticed.   Certainly, as surgeons we have all had some patients who for reasons expected or unseen have taken more time to heal than the average.  If you're talking about upper eyelid surgery and you are a relatively thin skin Caucasian female you could probably return to work in about 10 days and people would not really notice that you had surgery.  I'll outline a few things that could contribute to a prolonged period of healing:

past chemotherapy


thick skin

need for fat removal during surgery

Asian eyelid surgery

Having the procedure performed under anesthesia or general


So yes, likely you to heal in about a week and be doing fine but without seeing a photograph of you in getting a little more history is difficult to tell you for sure.  There is always a possibility it may take 2 to 4 weeks for you to really look normal and natural. There is trace amounts of swelling that dwell for a where for 3 to 6 months that can make the appearance of the procedure less than perfect but these things improve and you'll need to be patient. Best majority patient's look great it two weeks you just need to ask your surgeon for a very honest assessment. Ask them for a deadline for instance. Tell them you have to return to work and 10 days. Put them on the spot and say what's the likelihood that I can return to work and look natural and function normally.   Remember, there are no promises and guarantees and surgery but there are surgeons with lots of experience and an excellent track record of satisfied patients who recovered safely. Get a few consults.


Best of luck


Chase Lay, MD


Chase Lay, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

Recovery after eyelid surgery

It is true that you can go back to work soon after surgery but that does not mean you have healed. Of course, it will depend on type of work you do too.

Mohsen Tavoussi, MD, DO
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 12 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.