If you don't mind wearing sunglasses indoors, you could theoretically return to a desk job 2-3 days later... otherwise your time off will depend on whether you develop any major bruising which can take up to 2 weeks for resolution. Since you invested in time in choosing your surgeon, follow your surgeon's advice as to when you should be able to return to your job.
In my practice, I find most people feel comfortable in a social situation after approximately 5 days following bilateral upper lid blepharoplasty.
Ask to see before and after photographs and consider obtaining second and third opinions before you make any decisions.
Trust your face to a board-certified facial plastic surgeon or a board-certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience in blepharoplasty.
Most plastic surgeons will recommend about 7 days after upper eyelid surgery. While minor healing continues for weeks, many patients feel socially presentable after about a week. Some swelling will still be present at this time, which may be passed off as allergies or contact lens irritation.
Without an in-the-flesh consultation or at least a good photo, it is really hard to know what procedure might be best in this instance. Aggressive, invasive surgery may very well be and downtime away from work and social activities may just have to be in the cards. However, if a nonsurgical rejuvenation approach may be helpful, this avenue should also be thoroughly explored, especially for a young person who does not wish to lose too much time from work.
With time (some people obviously much earlier than others), loss of volume (fatty tissue) in this region and the sinking of the areas directly above the upper lid and below the outer third of the eyebrow, leads to an unwanted downward turning of the outer eyebrows and in extreme case to a billowing of the redundant skin onto the upper lids. In this case, treatment with a volumizing filler below and above the eyebrow can secondarily help to lift the sagging skin. Perlane L or Juvederm UltraPlus XC, instilled in an oval fashion within the fleshy skin immediately above and below the brows can serve to both restore the youthful outward projection of this area and support the upward flare of the outer third of the eyebrow and secondarily lift the fleshiness off the underlying upper eyelid.
This approach, may or may not be combined with instilling a tiny droplet of Botox or Dysport directly under the outer one third of the eyebrows, which can relax the downward pull of the muscles in the region with the result that the eyebrows are freed to once again flare upward and outward.
The entire treatment may take about five minutes per brow. The results are usually quite gratifying and most people can return to work or social activities immediately following treatment. just a thought, especially for a young healthy person wishing little downtime.
The upper lids tend to bruise less than the lower eyelids. Most patients are able to return to work in approximately 10 days after the surgery for just the upper lids. When the combination of upper and lowers are performed, it takes 2 weeks to fully recover. Make up and thick-rimmed reading glasses can certainly camouflage some the swelling and bruising. For many examples, please see the link below to our eyelid surgery photo gallery
I understand your desire to get back to work, and you should be able to be working within a week with makeup. The bigger issue is to be sure you get a natural looking result. I see many people in my practice for eyelid revision surgery. This often happens when too much skin and or fat is removed.
Upper eyelid sutures are removed in 3-5 days, and fresh makeup may be applied a week following upper blepharoplasty surgery at which point, normal social activities may be resumed.
Hope this helps you.
A common question is "how long should I take off of work for upper blepharoplasty?" While every patient is different, one week is a good estimate for a straight-forward case. For most patients, 75% or more of the incision is hidden in the natural upper crease, so when the eye is open, 75% of the incision is no seen anyway. The lateral part of the visible incision usually healing quite quickly and is placed in a natural skin line. You will not be completely healed in a week, but will be well on your way. For any bruising, we offer our patients, V BEAM treatments which are amazing at quickly reducing any visible bruises after surgery - especially around the eyes. Other options are to wear glasses to work or some other distracting mechanism so that people focus on that instead of your surgery you just had.
Upper eyelid surgery tends to have less bruising and faster healing than both upper and lower eyelids. If you don't mind covering some bruises with makeup, The stitches are removed in four to six days. Makeup can be used as soon as a few hours after. I have had a number of patients return to work in less than a week. For all bruising to be totally gone, it may take up to two weeks. The only other precaution is no lifting or bending for two weeks. So, depending on how much you need or want to hide, the time back to work can vary from under a week to two weeks.
What do you do for a living? How do you feel about returning to work before your final "after" appearance is achieved? If you have a strenuous job that involves heavy lifting or bending, you will likely be asked by your surgeon to refrain from these activities after surgery. Lifting and bending can increase your bruising and swelling, extending your recovery time.
If you are hiding your surgery and are worried about other people noticing bruising or swelling, you may want to take more than 2 weeks off from your work.
Barring unusual circumstances, I typically recommend 1-2 weeks off from work. Most of the bruising is resolved by the end of the first week, but there is frequently noticeable swelling through the 2nd week. After the 2nd week, most people are ready to return to work. After 2 weeks, most colleagues will not notice the eyelid swelling, but the patient will. The patient is likely to notice swelling for several months before it completely resolves. Best of luck to you!