Eyelid procedure: Let’s look at what to expect

January 14, 2014 by
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blepharoplastyDo you feel like your eyes give you a tired appearance? That your eyelids are droopy? A surgical procedure called blepharoplasty is often the only way to lift and refresh your look. Dermatologic surgeons have refined blepharoplasty techniques so that this outpatient procedure can be accomplished with only local anesthesia under light sedation.

What might you expect if you decide to rejuvenate your appearance with this procedure?

In most cases, blepharoplasty is a safe and comfortable procedure with little to no pain. Often, patients experience swelling of the eyelids and occasional bruising afterward, but these symptoms disappear almost completely within two weeks. After this time, most patients can participate in their daily routine again.

Your dermatologic surgeon will keep bleeding during the operation to a minimum, but it’s a good idea to avoid blood thinning medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen or ginkgo biloba at least two weeks before the procedure. Even green tea, vitamin E and vitamin C can promote bleeding and should not be consumed 10 days before the procedure.

It is important that you rest and restrict activities during the first 48 to 72 hours after the procedure. You should not watch television or read – but it’s a good time to catch up on podcasts and audiobooks or enjoy your favorite music! Keeping calm after your blepharoplasty will significantly improve the outcome of your operation.

After a blepharoplasty, almost everybody shows some degree of swelling of the eyelids. This is more pronounced in the morning and diminishes during the course of the day. The swelling decreases significantly during the first two weeks after the procedure. Occasionally, some degree of swelling may persist for several months.

To reduce the swelling, you should rest with your head elevated with two cushions placed under your neck. It also is helpful to put cold packs wrapped in paper towels on your eyelids for 10 minutes every two hours in the first three days after the operation. The cold packs should be stored in the fridge, not in the freezer, to avoid frostbite. Your dermatologic surgeon may give you a prescription to help reduce swelling.

It is important to consult with your physician about when you can resume your physical activities. After two to five days, you might be able to go for a short walk. Apart from that, you should wait for six weeks before you start with strenuous physical activities such as jogging or working out in the gym. Nevertheless, the results will improve during the course of the next year as wound healing continues to tighten and contour your eyelids.

Blepharoplasty is a team effort, where your cooperation plays an important role in achieving the best possible outcome.


Robert Kasten, MD, is a German board-certified dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon. He is a member of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery. After serving in the Ludwigshafen Clinic of Dermatology, he founded a private practice in Mainz, Germany. He specializes in dermatologic surgery and cosmetic dermatology.Visit his website at: http://www.haut-mz.de/

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