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Swelling is a common, normal side effect of blepharoplasty, also known as eyelid lift surgery. Swelling typically appears shortly after surgery, peaks two to four days after the procedure, and then slowly subsides over the next few days. Some residual swelling may remain for several weeks, but this is typically minor and shouldn’t interfere greatly with social commitments. The eyelid area heals quickly, and most patients are delighted by their new look just a few weeks after surgery.

Although swelling is normal and expected after blepharoplasty, there are things you can do to minimize it. This can lead to a more comfortable recovery and a shorter period of social downtime after your surgery. If you have questions or concerns during your eyelid surgery recovery, get in touch. Our surgeon, Dr. Adam Singleton, is committed to providing a superior patient care experience and loves answering questions as they arise.

We provide all patients with complete recovery information after their procedure, and we will schedule several follow up visits to assess healing. Dr. Singleton performs all follow-up checks himself and will play an active role in your post-surgical care.

3 Things to Do to Reduce Swelling After Eyelid Surgery

  • Use a Cold Compress- We recommend that patients use a cold compress for the first 24-48 hours after surgery. We’ll give you detailed information on the type of compress to use and how to apply it. Patients typically alternate, 10-15 minutes with a compress, 10-15 minutes without. Compresses are most effective in the first day or two after surgery; don’t delay this critical recovery step.
  • Elevate- Keeping your head up reduces the fluid pressure in the delicate eye tissues. Many patients sleep upright in a reclining chair for the first couple of days. Elevating the head of your bed and using extra pillows can also help.
  • Embrace the Sunnies- Before your surgery, invest in a pair of sunglasses you love. You’ll be using them a lot after surgery. Wear sunglasses any time you’re outside to protect your healing incisions from UV rays, wind, and other environmental factors. Too much sun before you’ve healed sufficiently can permanently darken scars. Irritating fresh incisions can increase swelling and slow healing.

Avoid These Post-Blepharoplasty Mistakes to Reduce Swelling

In addition to doing all the right things, we’ll ask you to avoid a few problem behaviors so that you can heal beautifully from your eyelid lift.

  • Smoking- Smoking inhibits wound healing and can lead to complications after plastic surgery. We recommend that patients stop smoking temporarily before and after blepharoplasty surgery. Any nicotine products should be avoided including cigarettes, cigars, vaping, nicotine patches, and gums, etc. If you do smoke or use nicotine, let Dr. Singleton know during your consultation so you can come up with a plan to avoid smoking-related complications.
  • Makeup- Makeup can interfere with healing and lead to infections in your incisions if you resume use too soon. Wait until Dr. Singleton gives you the go-ahead before resuming makeup products after eyelid lift surgery.
  • Exercise- Exercise, especially strenuous exercise or heavy lifting, can lead to complications after plastic surgery. Take it easy for the first few days and wait to return to work until Dr. Singleton says you’re ready. Most patients take 1-2 weeks off from work and limit strenuous activities for 3-4 weeks after their eyelid lift.
  • Contact Lenses- You won’t be able to use contact lenses, if you wear them, for the first few weeks. Dr. Singleton will let you know when it is safe to resume contact lens use.

Refresh your eye appearance with an eyelid lift at Capital Facial Plastic Surgery. Our conveniently located office serves patients throughout Washington, D.C. Eyelid lift surgery may involve some swelling, but with these simple tips, you can enhance your experience and reduce this common blepharoplasty side effect.

Call us at 240-630-8175 to schedule your cosmetic eyelid surgery consultation in Chevy Chase, MD today.