I had a Mini Face lift with fat graft put in my eyes. Eyes are completely black and blue. Any suggestions? (photos)

It was Monday morning and today is day 4. I am putting ice packs on it throughout the day and night! Should I use heat packs too or am I doing too much ice packs. I am very happy I did it, just looking to reduce the black eyes.

Doctor Answers 23

How to reduce bruising

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Eating Papaya extract, Pineapple (bromelain), Arnica
Topical Arnica, tea bags
Alternating heat and cold
magnet therapy

These are all options that various patients have used successfully but are non specific and unpredictable. Check with your surgeon before you do anything.

Here's How You Can Help

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
The bruising is not worrisome, because the swelling is modest, indicating that there is not a large collection of blood and it will resolve with time. However, I have seen bruising at the eyes persist for several weeks. Heat packs will increase blood flow to the area and modestly speed up the resolution. There is no evidence that arnica, bromelain, or other remedies have any real benefit. The newest wavelength-specific fractionated lasers break up the blood, and allow approximately 80% resolution with one treatment within 48 hours. Ask your surgeon if he or she has such a laser or knows someone locally who does.  For my patients with unusual bruising, I have found it to be hugely effective.


{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
My experience has been that arnica (oral and topical) and sleeping as upright as possible has helped. I do not recommend heat packs for my own patients. If you have any concerns regarding your healing or questions about your postop instructions, your surgeon is the best resource since he or she knows the details about your medical history as well as what was done during your surgery. The only way to know for sure would be from an in person evaluation with your surgeon. 

Mark Karolak, DO, FAOCO
Bridgewater Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Bruising a Common Nuisance

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Thanks for your question. The vascularity of the face makes it especially prone to bruising after surgery, so the symptoms you're experiencing are certainly normal. Be sure to keep your head elevated as much as possible. Ice packs help immediately after surgery but probably won't do much by day 4. Many of my patients have seen good results with arnica, either oral or topical. You can typically find it at the health food store. However, when it comes to postsurgical bruising, time and patience are your best bets, and you should check in with your surgeon.

James N. Romanelli, MD, FACS
Long Island Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

A Few Things to Expedite Healing

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Bruising at this juncture is normal. It should continue to subside over time, but there are a few things that you can do that might help it improve more quickly. Do not sleep flat: Keep the head of your bed elevated. This should help the swelling and bruising improve more quickly. You can also take Arnica and Bromelain. At this time, ice packs are probably not doing much. You might want to try to apply warm soaks to increase the blood supply to the region. This should help improve the swelling and bruising. Be sure not to use something that is too hot, though. I have seen people burn themselves because the skin is usually numb and they can’t tell if the temperature is too hot. Try using your inner arm as an indicator to see if the temperature is too hot. I would also confer with your plastic surgeon with all of the above suggestions to see if he or she has any objections. I wish you a speedy recovery.

Bruising Will Fade Over Time

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Thanks for your question. The extent of bruising you are currently experiencing is common after undergoing a mini facelift. The skin of the under-eye area is particularly vascular and delicate, so this kind of bruising is normal. Now that you have passed the 3- to 4-day mark in your recovery, the icepacks will likely be less effective. Switching to a heated compress may be appropriate, but it's difficult to say without having the details of your treatment plan and medical history. Keeping your head elevated will also make sure the healing process is as expedient as possible. I would consult with your plastic surgeon before pursuing additional remedies.

No magical cures for bruising

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Thank you for your question and I am glad that you are happy with your result.  Your bruising looks pretty normal for this period of time. There are no magical treatments to remove bruising; everything that you read about or are told by others are anecdotal experiences and not clinically study proven. Ice is only good for the first 24-48 hours. Keep your head elevated and let time do it's thing. Just be patient and the bruising will go away. 

James McMahan, MD
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Post op bruising

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Cold, elevation, topical arnica and time are the best treatments for bruising. Be sure not to use ice directly on your skin. 

Good luck.

Dr. J

Bruising after surgery

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Bruising is fairly common after eyelid surgery.  The skin is thinner so the bruising shows up faster. It also seems to resolve faster though.  Ice is helpful especially in the first few hours but may be beneficial for swelling during the first few days. Arnica and Bromelain are two commonly recommend supplements that may also be helpful but usually arnica is recommended before the procedure for best results. At this point, whatever bruising is there will need to resolve with normal healing. I usually recommend warm (not hot ) compresses after a week in areas where there is no surgical dissection.  Please consult with your surgeon on their recommendation on this. Dermal blend or other green tint make ups can help until it resolves. 

Stephen Fink, DO FAOCO
Newport Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 13 reviews


{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Thank you for your question.  The bruising will go away but it will take time.  Arnica in various forms will help.  At this point, the ice packs become a diminishing return on effort.  It will unfortunately just take time.  Keep in contact with your plastic surgeon about any concerns.  All the best, 

Keshav Magge, MD
Bethesda Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 60 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.