Are There Things Than Can Speed Up the Recovery from Eyelid Surgery?

Is there a recommended diet, cream, vitamin and/or medication that could be taken before and after eyelid surgery to make the healing process efficient and quick?

Doctor Answers 11

Speeding Up Recovery Post Eyelid Surgery

The key is to keep your head elevated, limit your salt intake, eat a high protein diet, and use cold compresses for the first 5 days.

Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

Eyelid Surgery Recovery

Eyelid surgery involves soft tissues that normally move a lot, in a highly visible area.  For a "fast" recovery, you want to avoid visible bruising, and also like to decrease swelling.  Technically, your surgeon will do their best to minimize bleeding and will be gentle with the tissues to minimize swelling.  After surgery, your activities are the most important determinant as to how quickly you will recover.  For the first 48-72 hours, swelling will normally increase, so you should work to combat swelling by keeping your head elevated and using mild cold therapy (I prefer wash colths moistened in ice water - frost bite is not possible with this technique).  Bruising is related to blood at the time of surgery, or new amounts of small bleeding after surgery.  The highest risk period for bleeding is the first 2 days, so you should minimize motion during that time period.  Since the eyelids move every time you open your eyes, ideally you should lay back, relax and listen to music (or an audio book) for the first 2-3 days.  If you read or watch TV, the lids will be opening / closing and the eyeball will be moving (in the area where fat was removed), which can increase bruising. 

Other, non-motion/position related issues for bruising / swelling are related to diet.  To decrease swelling you should avoid salty foods.  For bruising - avoid fish oil / oil vitamins and certainly don't take aspirin!  I think that Arnica Montana and Bromelain do help with resolution of bruising / swelling, and recommend them to my patients (as long as there are no allergy issues).  Speak with your surgeon before adding anything to your post-operative regime.

Best regards,
Dr. B

Speedy Recovery

There is not always a guaranteed speedy recovery with any surgery. However, there are guidelines and steps that I provide to my patients before surgery and typically at their consultation to be aware of the methods for optimum results. Below are the top points I would suggest for you to follow in order to ensure a great recovery. As always talk to your physician about any concerns and questions you may have. 

  • Correct any health problems prior to surgery especially blood pressure problems; in other-words be at your best health possible for surgery.
  • Eat a regular, well balanced diet
  • Take a multi-vitamin including iron and minerals daily prior to surgery
  • Two weeks prior to surgery stop medications that predispose you to bruising & bleeding. (i.e. Advil, fish oils) 
  • Make sure your physician knows all medications you are taking including any over the counter medication so he can assure there will be no adverse reactions.
  • If you have nausea or vomiting with prior surgery alert your physician or anesthesiologist so they can alter your medications to prevent the chance of nausea & vomiting after anesthesia.
  • It is advisable to sleep on your back with your head elevated at 45 degrees to minimize swelling. 
  • Refrain from any exercise or strenuous activity, typically for 4 weeks or as advised by your physician. 
  • Use a cold saline compress for the first 24 hours for comfort and to reduce swelling and bruising. 
  • Follow any further post op instructions from your surgeon & alert your him/her if you notice any problems right away.

Hope you have a wonderful upcoming recover! 

All the best, 

Dean Johnston, MD FACS 

Dean L. Johnston, MD
Orlando Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Things that may speed up the recovery from eyelid surgery

Thank you for your question.  Recovery can significantly differ from patients to patients, however a few things below are what I would advise my patients to do to help recovery, and make it more comfortable for them.

- Ensure you get adequate rest in the first 48 hours post procedure and ensure you are adequately hydrated and maintain a healthy diet.

- Avoid heavy lifting and bending over for 7 days post the procedure.

- Do sleep for the first 3 night with your head raised on a few pillows to prevent any further swelling

- Do use cold packs as a method of reducing any swelling.

- Do take paracetamol as required.

- Do shower the day after surgery although avoid the direct pressure of the water on your face/eyes.  You can wash your hair as normal and then use the hair dryer on a cool setting to dry the area around your eyes.  This help prevent any infection

- Soak sterile eye pads in witchazel and rest on eyes as often as possible, for first few days.

- Use Chloramphenicol ointment.  Drop ointment on inside lower lid and rotate eyeballs, to disperse over the eye.  This help minimise infection and moisten eyes. 

Eyelid surgery

There is some variability in the recovery process after eyelid surgery, and especially with regard to bruising.  It's important to stay off aspirin for two weeks prior to surgery.  After surgery, follow your surgeon's instructions.  I usually have my patients apply cold compresses and sleep on their backs with head elevated slightly.

Ronald J. Edelson, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

How to speed up recovery

There are a few tricks which might help to speed the recovery following eyelid surgery. Cold compresses for 3 days helps to diminish swelling and bruising. Keeping the head elevated even while sleeping for 1 week decreases swelling as well. Many people believe that Arnica helps with bruising and swelling. Some physicians promote Vitamin C and grapefruit for speeding up the healing process. Most important is to avoid blood thinners prior to surgery. 

Speed up the recovery after eyelid surgery

There a few things that patients can do to speed up the recovery after eyelid surgery, such as a low salt diet, and restricting activities. Also important to avoid aspirin

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 94 reviews

Aftercare and Recovery from Blepharoplasty

Hi there.  

Things to have (or do) after surgery:  the list below is from one of the many written handouts provided to patients after facial surgery.  Hope this is helpful.  Best wishes.  

  • Ginger Ale or clear carbonated soda
  • Dry toast or crackers
  • Prepared foods that are low in sodium and spices
  • Extra pillows
  • Clean linens
  • Baby shampoo
  • Gentle cleanser
  • Mild Moisturizer
  • Fresh Pineapple and Mango (to help reduce bruising and swelling)
  • Ice, for cold compresses (do not apply ice cubes directly to the eyes)
  • Arnica Montana (not the cream or the gel)
  • Throat lozenges (if general anesthesia planned)
  • Have lots of fluids on hand

Anand G. Shah, MD
San Antonio Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Recovery from Eyelid Surgery

There are a few things we can suggest to speed up the healing time after having eyelid surgery.  Taking Bromelain a few days before and few days after surgery can sometimes help to prevent bruising and swelling. We also suggest that patients do not lay flat for at least 2 weeks.  Elevate  your head when in bed with a couple of pillows. We suggest no heavy lifting, vacuuming or bending over from the waist.  These movements increase your blood pressure and in-turn can promote bleeding.   

David Alessi, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 10 reviews

Eyelid Surgery Healing

Although there are no proven "heal fast" remedies after surgery, there are certainly things that will make the swelling worse.  Therefore, we instruct patients to avoid strenuous activity, heavy lifting, bending over, or lying flat for 2 weeks after surgery.  Ice helps minimize swelling in the acute phase (12-24 hours after surgery), and Bromelain (found in large quantities in pineapple) can help minimize bruising.  That having been said, our bodies have a healing response to injury that follows a defined pathway written in our genetic code.  There is no such thing as a "no downtime surgery" or "surgery for an active lifestyle".

Stephen Prendiville, MD
Fort Myers Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 68 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.