Eyelid surgery Recovering after blepharoplasty

A number of precautions can help speed up recovery after eyelid surgery and reduce the chance of complications.

Vigorous activities

It is important to avoid vigorous activities or stopping at least for the first five days after the surgery, primarily to avoid bleeding. Bleeding can occur even at an interval after the operation, and because the eyelid surgery is generally pain-free, it can be tempting for people to feel that normal activity levels are safe.

It is possible to clean around the eyelids gently with splashed water but rubbing should be avoided.


Sleeping with two or three pillows after the surgery can help reduce the swelling around the eyes. Application of cold packs on the eyes can also be beneficial, and this can be done either using a wet flannel or an eye mask.


At the time of the discharge, an antibiotic eye ointment will be provided and should be applied for the first week after the surgery. When the eye ointment is applied, it is common to experience a short period of blurring of the eyesight.

Although genuine pain is unusual after the surgery, discomfort is usually alleviated using paracetamol with codeine. Aspirin should be avoided after surgery as it significantly increases the risk of bleeding.

Eye dryness

In the early stages after blepharoplasty, it is possible that the eyelids do not close fully and this can lead to dryness of the eye and irritation. The antibiotic ointment also functions as a lubricant, but during the daytime it is also possible to use artificial tears.

Contact lenses

Contact lenses need to be avoided for the first three weeks after the surgery, so unless you also have already a pair of correction spectacles, this needs to be organised prior to the surgery.

It is a good idea to have large sunglasses to work after the operation, as it allows for good masking of the tapes and swelling when going out, and walking after surgery helps reduce the risk of clots in the leg veins.

Scars and makeup

In the beginning the scars appear somewhat pink and will take weeks or sometimes months to fade. They can be relatively easily hidden using make-up. The sutures used at the end of the surgery are typically removed 6 to 7 days after the operation.

Gentle massage applied for the lower eyelids can help reduce the swelling and soften the lower eyelid tissues. You will be instructed on the technique to use and it is beneficial to be systematic with the massage and start early after the surgery.

Get in touch. Talk to our helpful team or book a consultation with Mr Lucian Ion. Call 0207 486 7757

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