Eyelid surgery recovery time - how long until someone can go back to work?

How long generally until the stitches won't be noticeable and swelling goes down?

Doctor Answers 5

Eyelid Surgery Recovery Time

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Thank you for your question.  We advise a recovery period, of 5 - 7 days, for an upper eyelids and two weeks for lower lids.  For patients who bruise easily, recovery may be slightly longer.  Cool whitchazel compresses (dampen cotton pads with whitchazel, cooled in the fridge), post surgery, are very helpful in reducing swelling and providing relief.  Sleep with your head elevated, for the first few nights, this will also aid in reducing swelling.  Best of Luck!

Eyelid surgery recovery

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Most patients are pleasantly pleased with how quickly and easily they recover from eyelid surgery.  All sutures are removed in 4 to 6 days. Bruising and swelling are resolving by one week and essentially gone by two weeks.  Many people will go back to work after one week (or two weeks if their job is more strenuous).  Fortunately, most patients feel fine after several days to resume fairly normal activities.  

To answer patient question: Eyelid surgery recovery time - how long until you recommend going back to work

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For most people who are otherwise healthy and not on blood thinners, the swelling and bruising are mostly improved by 5-7 days and gone by two weeks. During this time, most people also report minimal pain and no significant problems with their vision, so that they could return to work as soon as a few days after surgery if their job doesn’t involve interaction with the public. Sutures are usually removed at about 7 days. For people in sales or other jobs with public exposure, they may choose to take 7-14 days off to be safe.

Robert G. Fante, MD, FACS
Denver Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Eyelid surgery recovery time

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In our practice, we recommend patients do not go back to work for at least 2 weeks if they do not wish to have anybody detect that they had the surgery performed. Many patient's work from home, and are able to go back to work from home within a few days. Most patients have visible bruising and swelling that lasts upwards of 2 weeks after the procedure. It's important to not have any strenuous exercise for at least 2 weeks after the surgery to prevent swelling, and delay the healing. In our practice we use dissolvable stitches  and Histocryl tissue glue that falls off in about one week. 

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 157 reviews


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Most patients are sociable after the stitches are removed 5-7 days after surgery. Please follow your surgeon's pre and postop instructions to minimize bruising and swelling.

Suzanne Kim Doud Galli, MD, PhD, FACS
Washington Facial Plastic Surgeon

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.