One Eye Lid Feels Swollen and the Scars Really Tight After 8 Weeks Following Upper Eyelid Surgery?

I have a funny feeling in my eyelid which feels like the lid is pressing down on the eyeball, it feels swollen and if you look carefully in a magnifying mirror you can see a bit swelling. It is really annoying. This feeling does go away occassionally. The scars on the outside of this eye feel much tighter than the other eye as well. Will this go away if so what sort of timescale? does the tightness of the scars eventually go, will massaging them help soften them?

Doctor Answers 5

Dirty secret-it takes time to heal from surgery.

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There, I've said it.  Yes it is true that many people feel that at 8 weeks after surgery, everything should be healed.  Generally, that is never true.  What is true is that often the scars are at their tightest and most contracted at 6 to 8 weeks and only then being to soften.  It is not so unusual for there to be a small degree of swelling associated with this process.   If you are not sure, see you surgeon in follow-up.  WIth more time this swelling and sensation of tightness generally will disappear.

Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Eyelids tight and swollen

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 It can be normal to have asymmetric sensations of tightness and swelling after eyelid surgery eight weeks  postoperatively. I do find gentle massage twice a day is helpful for the first 2 to 3 months after surgery. You may ask your surgeon for scar remedies or over-the-counter vitamin E oil can be used with gentle massage. Final healing is typically 6-12 months after surgery so your symptoms should improve with more time. Good luck. 

Malena Amato, MD, FACS
Austin Oculoplastic Surgeon

Massage can help

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When cosmetic or reconstructive surgery is performed, there will be a residual tightness that will develop because in most instances skin is removed and underlying tissue tightened.

Now, depending on the body part that was operated on, that tightness may just be annoying, or it can have adverse effects on the function of that body part.  That tightness will more likely than not improve bit by bit, day by day, though it may take a few months. The process can be accelerated with precise massage of the affected body part in the proper direction/vectors. The massage should not be done too soon [ waiting at least 2 weeks is a good rule of thumb]

You should NOT start massage on your own. This  MUST be approved by your surgeon, and he/she can explain the direction/duration/firmness of the massage.

If your eyelids are not closing properly, it can lead to both the feeling of tightness and the sensation of dryness and foreign body sensation. This usually will improve with time, though sometimes intervention with massage and/or lubricating tears/ointment may be necessary.

For the most part, it is the action of massaging the scar than can accelerate scar softening and evolution. The cream/ointment is recommended mostly to decrease the friction on skin so that the skin doesn't become overly inflamed and irritated.

Massage for 5 minutes two to three times a day is a good regimen, and you can do this for 3-6 months for scars. Again:  please do this only under the direction of your surgeon

A.J. Amadi, MD
Seattle Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Tightness after upper blepharoplasty

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It is not unusual to experience the symptoms you are describing 8 weeks after upper eyelid surgery.  The fact that these symptoms occasionally go away is a very good sign which likely tells us that with more time everything should normalize. Light massage may help relieve the tension and the tightness, which are mainly due to healing and fibrosis underneath the skin.

Alexander Ovchinsky, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 32 reviews

One eye feels tight

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  It is hard to determine your long term results after just 8 weeks.  It is even harder for those of us on this forum who want to help to do so without seeing photos.  More time and patience seem to be indicated.  good luck!

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