Cosmetic Surgery Tips

How Long To Recover From Eyelid Lift

Once you undergo eyelid surgery, also known as blepharoplasty, you can expect to spend approximately seven to 14 days resting and recovering. Once you reach the two-week point, you can enjoy your new, youthful-looking eye area.

It typically takes approximately six months to post-op to be free of any visible redness, but know that every day that passes after your procedure is one day closer to you experiencing and enjoying some long-lasting and noticeable results.

In this article we’ll consider upper eyelid surgery recovery day by day and one month after eyelid surgery.

The Recovery Process: What To Expect

It’s important to know what to expect post-procedure so that you can experience a quick, healthy recovery. After your procedure, you must spend the first four to five days resting and recovering before having the stitches removed. You’ll be able to apply makeup a few days after the procedure and, within 7 to 10 days, can resume your normal daily activities. After two weeks, you’ll be able to enjoy your results, and by six months, you will look completely healed.

How to Promote a Healthy Recovery

Before undergoing the procedure, we will provide you with aftercare directors that you must follow to promote a quick and healthy recovery. However, some of the choices you make during this recovery will influence your body’s ability to heal.

First, you must follow all of the directions provided by our surgeon. Doing so will ensure that you are taking every step possible to promote healing. Making the right lifestyle choices during your recovery can significantly impact your body’s ability to heal.

Plan Ahead

Planning for your procedure and your recovery is something that only you can do. We can’t do it for you, but we can tell you that it’s one of the best ways to ensure that you spend those first several days resting and healing.

Planning nutritious meals, finding someone who can help you with household duties or childcare immediately following your procedure, and tying up any loose ends before your scheduled procedure are all important. Planning ahead will make a significant difference in helping you feel relaxed during the recovery process.

Eat the Right Foods

After surgery, there are certain foods that can help you recover faster. Antioxidants and nutrients found in these foods will aid in healing and restoration.

From fruits to healthy fats, it’s important that you add the right foods to promote healing so that you can feel your best throughout your recovery and get back to the things you love as quickly as possible. Some of the best foods to include in your post-surgery include:

  • Fruits
  • Healthy fats
  • Lean proteins
  • Leafy greens
  • Whole grains


It’s completely normal for your body to become somewhat dehydrated after surgery. For that reason, it’s important that you hydrate so that you can recover as quickly as possible. You may even require more water than you would on a normal day during your recovery to help promote hydration and healing.

If you’re not a fan of drinking plain water, consider adding natural flavors to improve the taste. Additionally, non-caffeinated herbal teas and water or broth-based soups count towards your daily water intake, so adding those to your diet can help you get some essential nutrients and fulfill your hydration needs.

Avoid Unhealthy Lifestyle Habits

During your recovery, it’s important that you avoid unhealthy lifestyle habits like smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and even drinking too much coffee. Eating sugary or salty foods is an unhealthy habit because salt promotes bloating and water retention, while excess sugar promotes inflammation.

Reducing or eliminating processed foods rich in simple sugars can help reduce inflammation, which is counterproductive when your body is trying to heal.

How do you prepare for Eyelid lift surgery?

Before eyelid surgery, detailed examination and conversation about the procedure and possible complications and benefits related to it should be discussed. You need to follow Dr. Turner’s preoperative instructions carefully and thoroughly check the postoperative instructions before the day of will give you time to prepare for any medications for pain relief or necessary items such a gel packs, artificial tears, and gauze at home before returning from the procedure.
A physical examination might be needed by your medical doctor to clear you for surgery if intravenous sedation or general anesthesia is used.

What are the possible complications of the procedure?

The possible complications include:

  • Changes in sensation or numbness around eyelashes
  • Dry eyes
  • Sensitivity to bright light, including the sun
  • Outward rolling of the lower eyelid
  • Lid lag, or pulling down of lower eyelid (usually temporary)
  • Difficulty closing your eyes
  • Temporary or permanent change in vision

Exercise Only As Directed

After your procedure, you’ll receive detailed instructions on how to speed recovery and what to avoid doing while you’re still sore. While you should avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activity, you will be advised to get movement to keep your body as healthy as possible during your recovery. Following our guidelines for light exercise can make a big difference in how you feel during your recovery and can even promote healing.

While you may feel like resting for the first few days post-surgery, it’s important that you get physical activity. Movement increases blood flow and helps promote endorphin release, which will help you maintain a stable and healthy mood during your recovery.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Happens During the Procedure?

Blepharoplasty is a completely customizable procedure; the surgical treatment plan will look different for different patients. Some patients choose to address their upper and lower eyelids, while others only want to address one area. Based on your treatment plan, the surgeon will make an incision in the upper or lower eyelid to remove excess tissue, fat, and skin, smooth wrinkles, and tighten the entire area.

How Long Does the Procedure Take?

Eyelid surgery can take anywhere from one and a half to two hours, based on the complexity of your treatment plan. Once we create your unique treatment plan during your consultation, we can determine exactly how long your procedure will take.

What Causes Aging Around the Eyes?

Aside from the aging process itself, many different factors cause the eyes to take on a more aged-looking appearance. Sun exposure, genetics, and lifestyle factors all play a part in the formation of wrinkles, lines, and drooping or sagging skin around the eyes.

It can also cause puffiness due to excess fatty tissue. Regardless of why your eyes have begun to take on an older and less aesthetic-looking appearance, we can use eyelid surgery to address each of your concerns and restore youth to the entire area.

What Is Traditional Blepharoplasty?

Traditional blepharoplasty is also known as stitching eyelids and is a technique that has traditionally been used to address the eyes during this procedure. It involves the creation of an incision in the upper eyelid near the temples. This location hides the scar once the procedure is complete. Traditional blepharoplasty can also address the lower lids and involves an incision along the lower lash line. That scar is then hidden once the surgery is complete.

What Is the Transconjunctival Approach?

The transconjunctival approach is an innovative technique used during blepharoplasty to help hide incisions. This technique has its advantages because it involves the creation of an incision inside the lower eyelid and allows the surgeon to remove excess fat.

However, the surgeon is unable to remove any surplus skin using this method, which is one of its drawbacks. Our surgeon will determine which of these methods is best for you based on your individual circumstances.

Will I Need Anesthesia?

Sedation will be necessary if you decide to go through with this procedure. Local anesthesia will be administered around the eyes, and an IV will be inserted into your arm to deliver the right amount of sedation to help you remain comfortable throughout the procedure. You will not go under, but instead, will remain awake throughout the entire procedure.

Where Does the Surgery Take Place?

All of our blepharoplasty procedures are performed at a local surgical center. These procedures are performed on an outpatient basis, and you can rest assured that you will be cared for by a qualified medical staff that will do everything possible to ensure your comfort.

How Long Will My Results Last?

Eyelid surgery is intended to be permanent. It removes excess skin and fat from the eye area to help restore youth to the eyes. However, because aging cannot be stopped, you may experience additional wrinkles around your eyes later in life. If you choose this procedure to remove bags from beneath your eyes, you can rest assured that they will be very unlikely to return since this procedure removes the excess fat causing those bags in the first place.

Maintaining Your Results Long Term

If at some point you do begin to notice wrinkles at the outer corners of your eyes years after your procedure, there is a solution, and it’s non-surgical. Laser resurfacing treatments provide an effective solution to help eliminate these wrinkles and restore youth to the area. Know that there are minimally invasive options that can help maintain youthful-looking eyes so that you can enjoy your results long-term.

Taking Preventative Measures

Additionally, taking steps to protect your eyes from accelerated aging will make a significant difference in helping you maintain your results long-term. Wearing a hat and sunglasses when exposed to the sun, as well as high-quality sunscreen each day, will protect the skin around your eyes from the sun’s damaging rays.

These procedures are performed on an outpatient basis, and you can rest assured that you will be cared for by a qualified medical staff that will do everything possible to ensure your comfort.

Am I a Candidate?

Candidates for blepharoplasty include men and women who are unhappy with the effects of aging on their eyes and would like to restore a more youthful appearance. Whether you’re considering elective or emergency surgery, being healthy is a prerequisite for both.

Those who want to address some specific signs of aging around their eyes, including excess skin, excess fat, under-eye bags, skin laxity, lines, and wrinkles, or vision that has been impeded by drooping skin, make a good candidate for this procedure. The best way to decide if eyelid surgery is right for you is to schedule a consultation with one of our skilled surgeons.

Upper Eyelid Surgery Recovery Day By Day

One day, you look in the mirror and suddenly realize that you look old way too soon because your eyelids droop, or little pads of fat make your eyes look puffy.

You decided to restore your youthful appearance with eyelid surgery and now that your surgery is done, you can’t wait to see the results. Here at Hooman Khorasani, MD, we understand that it’s hard to wait for your eyelids to heal. Here are our best tips for ensuring that your recovery goes as quickly as possible.

Prepare for your recovery time

Most people get back to their normal activities in about 10-14 days after eyelid surgery, but you should be prepared to take time off to let your eyelids heal. A good way to speed your recovery is to cover your primary responsibilities ahead of time.

Whether you need to stock the pantry with easy-to-prepare foods or ask a friend to take children to their activities, it’s important to clear your schedule so that you can focus on resting.

Eyelid Surgery Recovery Time Photo

Visit our Before and After Gallery for more photos from past patients.

Diligently follow your self-care instructions

Talk with the team at Hooman Khorasani, MD before your surgery to learn what you’ll need for self-care after your eyelid procedure. That way, you can get what you need before surgery and have it ready when you get home.

Some of the basics for eyelid care following surgery include cold compresses to reduce swelling, eye drops to prevent dry eyes, and an ointment to keep them lubricated. You’ll also need to have gauze in the house. If your incision oozes while it heals, you can dab it (don’t rub!) with a sterile gauze.

Keep your eyes on the prize

You’re not going to look great for a short time. Your eyelids will be puffy, your incisions will appear red, and the swelling and bruising may resemble a black eye. This is a hard time for most of our patients because they’re anxious to see results. Don’t let recovery time get you down.

The swelling goes away in about two weeks. Shortly after that, you’ll see the change — and what a difference it will make. You’ll look younger, your eyes will look brighter, and you’ll feel on top of the world.

Upper and Lower Eyelid Before and After Case

Sun protection is essential

There’s no getting around it — you must protect your eyes from sunlight and other elements like the wind. Wear dark sunglasses with frames that cover your eyes from the sides. Add a hat for extra protection. And follow your post-surgery instructions about applying sunscreen.

Don’t stress your eyes

Don’t check email, read a book, or catch up on a full season of your favorite TV show for at least a week following eyelid surgery. These activities are notorious for causing dry eyes, and that’s something you need to avoid if you want to speed up your recovery.

Get plenty of rest

Getting rest applies to your body as well as your eyes. In fact, getting a good night’s sleep is one of the best ways to accelerate your recovery because lack of sleep slows down wound healing.

Healing demands a lot of energy, so you’ll probably feel more tired than usual. Plan to take naps when you feel tired. This is not the time to push yourself to keep moving — not if you want to heal as quickly as possible.

Before and After Lower Eyelid Surgery by Dr. Hooman Khorasani

Skip strenuous activities

During the first two to four weeks after your eyelid surgery, it’s important to avoid activities that increase blood flow to your eyes. This means you’ll need to avoid the obvious culprits, like jogging, aerobics, sports, and intensive exercise.

You’ll also want to be mindful about everyday activities that increase pressure in your head and force more blood into your eyes, such as bending, lifting heavy items, and lying flat on your back.

Keep recovery relaxing

Another way to promote better wound healing and hasten your recovery is to avoid stress. You can do this during your recovery by stepping away from work (no phone calls or emails) and by planning for ways to pass the time that are uplifting and don’t require using your eyes. You may want to beef-up your playlist or stock-up on audiobooks — whatever you’ll enjoy while you relax your eyes and body.

Stop smoking

If you smoke, you should know that smoking affects healing. It slows down healing, which means your recovery drags on. Smoking also increases your risk of infection following surgery. You can avoid these problems if you stop smoking at least six weeks before surgery.

Any time you have a question or concern about your eyelids while you recover, we’re here to help — the team at Hooman Khorasani, MD, are only a phone call away.

Why choose Dr. Khorasani for your blepharoplasty?

Dr. Khorasani is quadruple board-certified in Dermatology, Cosmetic Surgery, Facial Cosmetic Surgery and Mohs micrographic surgery. Additionally he led lead the Division of Dermatologic and Cosmetic Surgery at Mount Sinai for over 10+ years. His dedication to clinical excellence and constant innovation has led to numerous accolades, publications in premier medical journals, and authorship of a widely-used thread lift manual. He is considered an international expert in minimally-invasive rejuvenation and has spent a majority of his career training the next generation of dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons.

In most cases, your eyelid surgery will be performed as an outpatient, so when your anesthesia wears off you will be able to return home or to your hotel room. Your vision will be blurry and your eyes may be covered in gauze so you will need to have someone to drive you, or alternatively, our office will organize someone to accompany you.

As with most facial plastic surgery, in these first 24 hours it’s important to avoid any excessive physical activity and take bed rest with head elevated while sleeping. Using two firm pillows or a large wedge-shaped pillow is ideal. Try not to turn your head too much to either side and sleep on your back in a propped-up position.

Your eyelids may feel tight and swollen. Ideally, the cool gauze should be worn over the eyes off and on for three days post op.

Use eye drops or ointment as directed by your surgeon. Painkillers like Tylenol are available over-the-counter and can alleviate any suffering. You may also want to use a lightweight cold compress such as an eye-shaped cooling pack, or frozen corn or peas in a clean and sterile plastic bag applied to the eyelids.


In this first week there will be some puffiness or swelling around the eyes. This is completely normal and part of the post op healing process, and should subside within 7-10 days. The incisions around your eyes may be pink and quite visible, and your eyelids may feel numb for several days.

Your eyes may also be watery, dry, and sensitive to light. You may also experience some tenderness and bruising around the eyes resulting in a “black eyed” appearance.

Some recommended tips for reducing the swelling around your eyes include:

  • Sleep elevated on two pillows
  • Use ice and cold compresses – especially in first few days
  • Avoid wearing contacts for this first week but glasses are okay
  • Drink plenty of water and fluids, but avoid alcohol
  • Eat a light healthy food that is low in salt
  • Rest, rest, and more rest

You may also experience some double vision or blurriness a few days post op. Wear dark sunglasses during this period particularly if you’re going outdoors.

You should not take generic Cialis after surgery, read more here .


Typically our patients take at least a week or two off of work. If you can take more time off we recommend it, but at least two weeks rest is ideal. This gives you time to get back into your normal routine at your own pace and avoid any unnecessary stress.

During these first few weeks we recommend avoiding excessive screen time that may dry the eyes, such as computer or smartphone use, too much TV, or reading on an iPad.

Avoid running, gym, swimming, or any strenuous exercise for at least the first 2 weeks. Also avoid bending or lifting — both of these movements increase blood flow to the eyes. Light stretches may be okay, but avoid putting your head below your heart and stay upright.

After two weeks you can start to wear light makeup and contact lenses again. Sunglasses should still be worn outside to protect your eyes against harsh sunlight or wind.

After about six weeks you will start to see the final result of your eyelid surgery. At this stage, some very mild residual swelling may still be visible as the delicate tissues and muscles around the eye adjust to the surgery. At this point you will start to see your eyes in a new light. They will begin to appear rejuvenated, younger, and refreshed — your patience rewarded with the positive benefits of the surgery and careful recovery period.


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One Month After Eyelid Surgery

You may want an eyelid lift if sagging upper eyelid skin makes you look tired or grumpy when you feel fine. Removing extra skin from the upper lids will widen the eyes and may enhance your vision.

An eyelid lift could be for you if you have:

  • Drooping and sagging upper eyelids
  • Extra skin on the upper lids makes it hard to see from the corners of your eyes
  • Extra skin and bags on the lower lids

Some patients have other facial procedures with an eyelid lift, such as a facelift or dermal fillers.

If the eyelid lift is performed to improve your peripheral vision, your insurance may cover it. However, you will need to have this medical condition verified by your surgeon before insurance will agree to pay for the surgery.

Blepharoplasty Procedure

Eyelid surgery can be done on the upper lids, lower lids, or both. Based on a medical evaluation, the surgeon will determine how much tissue to remove:

  • The surgeon will mark on the upper and lower lids where extra tissue is present.
  • On the upper lid, the surgeon will make the incision in the natural fold of the upper lid.
  • The surgeon will hide the incision below the lower eyelashes on the lower lid. If fat is being removed from the lower lids, the incision may be put inside the lower lid.
  • The surgeon will take out skin, fat, and muscle from the incisions with a scalpel, scissors, and sometimes a laser.
  • Fat may be moved on the lower lids to reduce bulging and bags under the eyes.
  • The surgeon will remove less tissue if you have dry eyes.
  • They may opt for using dermal fillers on the lower lids to fill in bags. While this procedure needs to be repeated every six months, it is minimally invasive and doesn’t require anesthesia.

While patients sometimes worry about scarring, the incisions are small, thin, and well concealed. After a month or two or recovery, most people won’t notice you had anything done unless you tell them.

Blepharoplasty Recovery

Your surgeon made small incisions in the upper or lower eyelids during the procedure. So your eyes will probably feel sore and tight for a few days, and they also may be sticky, dry, and itchy. Some patients report having blurry vision for two or three days

The doctor will give you prescription pain medication to keep you comfortable during your early recovery. Remember to keep the eyelids clean and avoid rubbing them.

The stitches usually dissolve independently, or the surgeon may take them out after about five days.

After blepharoplasty surgery, the eyelids will be bruised and swollen for one to three weeks. However, most patients say their eyes look normal and better than before after one to three months.

However, people usually feel okay going in public and returning to work after 10 to 14 days. This depends on your job and whether you feel ok about others knowing you had surgery. After two weeks, you still could have slight bruising, but it will fade soon.

Self-Care Tips After Blepharoplasty

Fast recovery from eyelid lift surgery somewhat depends on how you care for yourself at home. Tips to speed up the recovery process are:

  • Rest if you feel fatigued. Getting enough sleep gives the body the energy to heal.
  • Keep your head elevated as much as possible for the first four or five days. After that, sleep with the head elevated with extra pillows.
  • Ask your physician when you can drive
  • Your eyes will tire easier than normal, so limit computer use and reading for about a week.
  • Don’t wear your contact lenses for two weeks.
  • Don’t put on eye makeup for 14 days, so the products don’t get into the incisions.
  • It’s OK to shower and wash the hair 24 hours after surgery but keep water and shampoo out of the incisions and eyes.
  • Don’t rub the eyes for at least a week.
  • Don’t do anything strenuous, including bend over, for two weeks.
  • Don’t swim or use a hot tub for two weeks.
  • Wear sunglasses if the sun is shining for one year after an eyelid lift.

Many doctors say the best way to recover quickly from the procedure is to keep the head elevated as much as possible for several days.

Blepharoplasty is an excellent choice for patients with sagging eyelid skin or bags under the eyes. After a few weeks of recovery, you’ll start to look like yourself again and notice how much wider your eyes look.

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