Blepharoplasty Recovery: What To Expect

Sep 8, 2022 | Face, Facelifts, Plastic Surgery

We all know how vital a cracking pair of sunglasses is for that perfect Gram beach shot. However, if you dread taking off your sunglasses post-shot, there might be a problem. Sagging skin, excess fat, and inflamed tissue can make us self-conscious of one of our best assets – our eyes.

Fear not, for there is a safe and seamless solution for those who wish to rejuvenate the area surrounding their eyes and, by extension, their entire face. Blepharoplasty, also known as an eyelid lift, is a cosmetic procedure that removes the fat pads and skin that give the face an aging, puffy, and/or tired look.

While many who consider this facial rejuvenation procedure are hesitant due to several factors, we have broken down the treatment from A to Z to wash away your anxiety and make you feel comfortable taking the plunge!

What Is a Laser Blepharoplasty?

If you struggle with puffy eyelids that don’t resolve or asymmetric or “hooded” eyelids caused by sagging, wrinkled skin, then it might be worth considering a blepharoplasty, often called eyelid surgery.

Blepharoplasty is a cosmetic surgery focused on reducing excess skin on the upper and lower eyelids. A traditional eyelid surgery utilizes a scalpel, whereas Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. William J. Vinyard, MD, FACS, and his team of experts minimize side effects by using a laser, a perfect combination of a cutting instrument, and a cautery device. The improved and advanced laser technique reduces bleeding and swelling and thus has become the technique of choice. Specifically, Dr. Vinyard uses a CO2 laser for his blepharoplasties, allowing him to produce the best results with the tiniest incisions.

Laser blepharoplasty is a minimally invasive in-office treatment performed under local anesthesia in an office setting rather than an outpatient surgery center. It is a simple and efficient way to achieve a more youthful, refreshed aesthetic. The treatment focuses on the periorbital area of the eye, with its target being to reduce sagging skin and remove the offending fat pads. Laser blepharoplasty may also improve visual impairments, such as from “hooded eyes” and overlapping skin.

What Is Dr. Vinyard’s Preferred Blepharoplasty Technique?

Both treatments — the traditional blepharoplasty and laser blepharoplasty — are available at the Vinyard Institute of Plastic Surgery to combat tired, aged eyes. Dr. Vinyard and his team of experts recommend laser blepharoplasty due to the laser’s unique ability to reduce swelling and bleeding and minimize the incision size.

The laser works like a scalpel; it removes excess skin while simultaneously cauterizing blood vessels. This approach results in a faster treatment and recovery process.

What Are the Different Types of Laser Blepharoplasty?

Each patient’s aesthetic goals differ; as such, there are two blepharoplasty treatments to choose from. Upper eyelid laser blepharoplasty resolves various aesthetic and functional concerns, whereas lower blepharoplasty tends to be generally for cosmetic enhancement. You’re not limited to one or the other. You may find during your consultation that both are necessary!

Upper-Eyelid Laser Blepharoplasty

Upper eyelid surgery focuses on restructuring and tightening excess or loose skin on the upper eyelid for aesthetic purposes or to improve the field of vision. The incisions are made in the upper eyelids, and fat and excess skin tissue are removed to produce a more “open-eyed,” youthful appearance.

Lower-Eyelid Blepharoplasty

Lower eyelid surgery is a treatment that improves the appearance of the lower eyelid by reducing wrinkles and removing sagging skin and puffy fat pads below the eye resulting in a reduction in “under eye bags” and a more rested appearance. A lower eyelid blepharoplasty is performed underneath the lower eyelashes or inside the lower eyelid.

An infraciliary blepharoplasty’s incisions are usually made one to two millimeters underneath the eyelash line. They are always sutured at the end of the procedure.

Transconjunctival blepharoplasty is performed within the lower eyelid. The eyelid retractors allow excess fat to be removed. If necessary, the incision is closed with dissolvable sutures.

How Long After a Laser Blepharoplasty Will You See Results?

After the procedure, you will notice a slight difference in the appearance of your eyelids. The swelling and bruising may prevent you from seeing the full results, but after four to six weeks, you should notice an impactful difference!

While each patient’s results are different, you can rest assured that you will have brighter, smoother, more youthful eyes. The days when you wake up looking more tired than you feel will be gone — you will look naturally young, well-rested, and vibrant!

The Day of the Procedure Is Here! How Do I Prepare Myself?

You’ve had the initial consultation, your treatment plan drawn up, and made the appointment. What next? Preparing for blepharoplasty surgery!

Pre-surgery preparation will most likely include removing any blood-thinning supplements and medications from your diet. It would be best if you stopped smoking and consuming alcohol at least 72 hours before the day of your eyelid surgery. Getting plenty of rest and ensuring you are well-hydrated will speed up the recovery process post-blepharoplasty surgery.

We recommend organizing someone to drop you off and pick you up from the clinic. There is a short downtime period, meaning you may need to take some time off work and have someone supervise you for the first 24 hours after the procedure.

The Blepharoplasty Procedure Is Over: What’s Next?

At first, your eyes may feel tight and have blurred vision. You may be sensitive to light, too. While it may feel a little disorienting, these side effects are nothing to be alarmed about. On the day of the procedure, Dr. Vinyard and his team of experts will apply a thick gel to your eye area to keep it well-lubricated. Antibiotic drops should be used as part of your aftercare routine for at least one week, multiple times a day.

During the first two days after surgery, ice packs will help keep the bruising and swelling to a minimum. Sleeping upright with your head raised, especially for the first few days, prevents fluid from pooling and helps to control swelling. Keep screen time and reading to a minimum for the first few days post-surgery to reduce the strain on the eyes and the tissue surrounding them.

You can resume most everyday activities after a week, such as light walking. You may begin wearing eye makeup 4-6 weeks post eyelid surgery, but be careful when applying false eyelashes and steer clear of waterproof eye makeup.

During your healing period, wear polarized dark sunglasses and a hat to protect your eyes from the sun and prevent any unnecessary straining that could affect the eyelid surgery results.

What Does the Blepharoplasty Recovery Process Entail?

The recovery process is unique to everyone, but don’t let recovery time get you down. It is heavily dependent on your age, genetics, and lifestyle. Here’s what to expect post-blepharoplasty:

  • 2-4 days post eyelid surgery: dressings will be replaced
  • 7-10 days post eyelid surgery: stitches will be removed
  • 10-14 days post eyelid surgery: stitches will be removed; most normal activities can resume, with the exception of exercise
  • 4-6 weeks post eyelid surgery: swelling and bruising will have subsided; you can now resume exercise
  • Six months post eyelid surgery: the scarring will have faded into thin, almost invisible lines

Which Blepharoplasty Recovery Tips Should I Follow?

You can do many things to improve your recovery period and make sure your skin heals properly. However, focusing on too many suggestions can leave you feeling overwhelmed, so here are a few essential tips that are easy to remember and follow for the weeks after surgery.

Follow Dr. Vinyard’s Post-Op Recommendations to the Letter

At the Vinyard Institute of Plastic Surgery, we are here to support you during your aftercare journey. Make sure you attend the required follow-up appointments and follow any advice given, such as using the prescribed eye drops that Dr. Vinyard and his expert team give you. We urge you to take any surgery seriously, regardless of how simple the treatment is.

Don’t Stress About the Swelling and Bruising

Swelling and bruising are expected for most patients. Stress and anxiety will only delay the healing process, so keep your blood pressure down. After 3 to 4 weeks, the bruising and swelling will have subsided, and you will now have an accurate idea of your results!

Cut Down on Sun Exposure

With no exceptions, your eyes should not come in contact with direct sunlight and other natural elements like wind and dust — especially for the first two weeks of your recovery period. Wear dark sunglasses that protect your eyes from harmful UV rays. The dark sunglasses should have fuller frames that cover your eyes. Wearing a wide-brimmed hat or cap is an excellent precaution for sun protection.

Allow Your Eyes To Rest

Straining the muscles around your eyes will only delay recovery time and, in some cases, may even negatively affect the incision sites. The first few days after surgery are not the best time to catch up on your reading list, the series your friend recommended, or work emails. These activities dry out and strain your eyes, prolonging your recovery.

Ease into these activities following the first week after surgery, all while ensuring you are adequately rested. Ensure you get a good night’s sleep for the first days after your eyelid surgery — there has never been a better excuse for an afternoon nap!

Cut Down On Smoking and Other Harmful Habits

Smoking negatively affects the body’s ability to heal, slowing down your recovery time. The risk of infection will also increase as the fumes will dry out and irritate your eyes. In addition, drinking alcohol causes dehydration which prompts your body to retain water which prolongs swelling.

Frequently Asked Questions About Laser Blepharoplasty

You may still have some questions about laser blepharoplasty treatments, some of which we have included here:

How Should I Wash My Face in the First Few Weeks After My Surgery?

During the first few days, the area should be kept dry while showering or bathing. After a few days, you can wash your eyes gently with water and unscented soap. The most important thing is to avoid rubbing and tugging on the skin or sutures. After a week or two, you can start washing your face as usual.

Will I Have Permanent Scarring?

Accepting scarring is part of deciding to have any cosmetic procedure. Laser blepharoplasty leaves minimal scarring compared to traditional eyelid surgeries. You will find that the pink scarring will have gone down substantially after six months, often becoming near invisible.

How Long Will the Results of My Surgery Last?

The results can often last for years if you maintain a healthy lifestyle and follow self-care instructions. It is also advantageous to follow and maintain an anti-aging skincare regimen to enhance and prolong the results of the eyelid surgery.

Will I Need Anesthesia?

Yes, local anesthesia will be administered around the eyes during an upper blepharoplasty. However, Dr. Vinyard performs all of his lower blepharoplasties under general anesthesia in the VIPS Surgery Center.

Start Your Blepharoplasty Journey at VIPS!

As you consider your eye rejuvenation goals, Dr. Vinyard and his team of experts wield many options for restoring a youthful look and feel for your eyes. A laser blepharoplasty can be an easy and incredible addition to your treatment plan, and Dr. Vinyard and his team of experts are ready to support you in achieving your aesthetic goals. Contact us to schedule a personal consultation with us, or call (772) 362-3357 to find out the next steps in your laser blepharoplasty journey! Our office at 291 NW Peacock Blvd, Suite 103, Port St. Lucie, FL 34986, proudly serves the South Florida area! We also invite you to check out our blog page, Facebook, and Instagram to learn more about the treatment options available at our office!

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