Heavy Eyelids After Blepharoplasty and Brow Lift?

I am one week post op upper blepharoplasty plus open brow lift. I am extremely depressed that my eyes look so different than before. My lid is now very heavy and you can see so much of it than before.

Does this look normal? My stitches come out tomorrow and I need to know what to say to the doctor. Please help!!

Doctor Answers 9

Please let me validate your concerns

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Dear Poco

There is a very big difference between hearing about a surgery and reading through a laundry list of possibilities that are in the surgical consent and living the aftermath of the surgery. I think that it is often difficult for the surgeon to adequately empathize with the patient's impending experience. Part of the difficulty is that generally the surgeon really does not know you as a human being but rather "the browlift in room C."

Another factor that is very important in recovery is the need to be out of our routines as we do the initial healing. This is the time where the emotional wheels come off. Most of us live very structured lives. There is a time and a place to be and this keeps us focused and moving forward.

However, when you are recovering from surgery, you necessarily are taken out of that structure. Think of it as post-surgery sickness but it really is acute post-surgical depression. It is common. How common-in my experience 20 to 30 percent of patients experience this to some degree.

Being told that you look "marvelous" when you come for you post-op check does not fix the feelings. If anything it makes people in your situation feel more isolated. The doctor may know that the issues you are concerned with and even your feelings of depression may only last a few weeks but a failure to acknowledge the emotional challenges you are facing right now can lead to a long term feeling of disgust regarding your surgical outcome irrespective of how good the surgery actually is.

So are your eyelids heavy right now-absolutely. Will they stay like this? No, generally the heaviness will be at its worst for the first few weeks after surgery and then gradually improve. Will you ultimately be happy with your surgery. This is hard to know. In looking at your photos, I don't have your before photos.

However, I think you have had a lot of skin removed from the upper eyelid and you appear to have a very high crease. You may have an unaddressed upper eyelid ptosis that is now much more visible with the removal of the upper eyelid fold. However, you absolutely need time to heal.

I think that your first job is to begin to feel emotionally whole. Please give yourself the space to heal emotionally. You may or may not be satisfied with the results of your eyelid surgery but it will be much easier to judge this in 6 months not at one week. If your surgery needs to be refined with can be done if needed. Don't spin your wheels right now second guessing you choice or the surgery performed by your surgeon.

If you need emotional support right now, ask your internist or obgyn for a referral to a psychotherapist to work through your immediate feelings of lose and sadness so you can focus on healing. Ultimately you may be satisfied or unsatisfied with your surgery but you have to get out of the funk to move forward.

Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Patience Poco

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Of course you are feeling distressed about your present appearance. This feeling is very common after cosmetic surgery. It has even been given a name, post surgical disatisfaction syndrome, similar to post traumatic stress disorder. As you continue to heal and look better and better over the next few weeks these feelings will subside. You will gradually come to love your new more youthful appearance as the compliments continue to roll in. Hang in there and Good luck!

Healing after eyelid and eyebrow surgery

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Healing after #eyelid and #eyebrow surgery
Recovery time after eyelid surgery varies greatly between individuals. The upper eyelids heal very quickly but complete healing of the lower eyelids can take six weeks if the muscle and fat are treated.
The brow position will drop.  You may benefit from fat grafting in the upper lids when all is healed

Patience after such procedures is hard but usually rewarding

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I would agree with most of the other comments. It is fairly common to be concerned about your initial appearance after plastic surgery. Most of the time, your face will improve over the next few weeks. It does require patience (which is hard) and most of the time your patience will be rewarded. If you are still concerned after 2-3 months, then it would be best to address this to your surgeon.

Michael Vincent, MD
Rockville Plastic Surgeon

Takes time for all of this to settle down

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The brows will definitely descend over the next several weeks back to more of a normal position. The eyelids will also descend as well back to a normal position. It takes time for all of this to settle down from the two surgeries that you have had.

This is likely swelling

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Your doctor can reassure you on exam. If there is a bit of excess skin, which happens occasionally (especially as things settle), you can have a small office procedure to remove the excess. Not a big deal. Don't be depressed, it won't help anything, and you just need to be patient-it is for your own sanity.


One week after surgery is very early to be worried

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It really is too early after surgery to be worried. One week after the operation there is still significant swelling and the tissues have not settled. Also, it would be helpful to see your pre-operative photos to comment on the results. Hang in there. You should see positive results as the swelling resolves. Good luck.

Too early to know what the final result will be

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One week is way too early after this type of procedure to know what your final result will be. Be patient, let things settle down first. Take heart in knowing that in most cases, if you are truly unhappy with the final result and your surgeon can identify the anatomic issue, revisions can be performed. However, it is too early at the moment to contemplate any surgery.

I would discuss with your surgeon what you are concerned about-- he will certainly be able to reassure you and help you through the healing process.

Be patient

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You are very early in the healing process and need to be patient and stay in touch with your surgeon.  Swelling can be variable and since only your surgeon knows exactly what was done at the time of surgery, he or she is best equippeed to deal with your questions/concerns in the post-op period.

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.