Puffiness and Discoloration Under Eyes After Eyelid Surgery

I had upper and lower eyelid surgery to make me look more awake and less tired, remove loose skin, and open up my eyes. After surgery, I thought I would be fine; I felt fine and upper eyes healed well. I did not have this puffiness and red discoloration under both eyes. Now, look and feel worse than before the procedure. The surgeon keep telling me nothing can be done other than wait patiently for it to go.

What could this be, and how can I get rid of this? Will it go on its own? Thank you.

Doctor Answers 3

Puffiness and discoloration part of the body's healing process

Puffiness (edema) and red discoloration (erythema), to a variable degree, are part of the body’s healing response to surgery. It may take up to six months for the puffiness to resolve completely. However, most of the swelling will be gone after the first month. In the first two weeks after surgery, keeping your head elevated and using cold compresses will aid in resolving the swelling as soon as possible. Avoiding any situation which elevates your blood pressure and pulse (like exercising) will also help.

The redness you are experience is a result of the increase in circulation the your body uses to accomplish the healing of the eyelids after your surgery. This will take up to one year to resolve completely in the scars.

The redness you see in the eyelid itself will usually go away within the first month. Staying out of the sun or using an SPF 45 sunscreen will help your body resolve this temporary coloration. Cover makeup can also mask this issue until the body resolves it naturally. Basically, your surgeon is correct. I encourage you to keep meeting and discussing your concerns with him until the healing process is complete to your satisfaction.

Grapevine Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Swelling After Eyelid Surgery

The skin around your eyelids are very soft and sensitive. After any surgery around the eyes, it takes a certain amount of time for the swelling to completely go away. You will continue to see slow improvements the whole first year after your eyelid surgery. Unfortunately, the waiting for the swelling to resolve can test your patience.

T.Y. Steven Ip, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews


You didn't mention how long after your surgery you are. Maximum swelling is usually at about 3-5 days and goes away over a few months. You should sleep with your head elevated and cut back on salt to help the swelling.

Jerome Edelstein, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 176 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.