Even before we began wearing masks to slow the spread of COVID-19, people were beginning to recognize the impact that the eyes had on appearance. With mask-wearing, this awareness increased many times over. When the eyelids are puffy, baggy, saggy, and heavy, the face doesn’t look young and vibrant. It may look older and tired or even unfriendly. Eyelid rejuvenation can sometimes be achieved with dermal fillers and Botox. However, blepharoplasty can achieve more dramatic changes that last many years, if not indefinitely.
Moreover, this procedure is now regularly performed in the surgeon’s office using a local anesthetic to numb tissue. This can significantly reduce surgical risks, but must be done carefully by an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon. If you’ve been considering the benefits of blepharoplasty, you will want to know how to optimize your surgical recovery. We’ll discuss this here.
PREPARING FOR YOUR BLEPHAROPLASTY RECOVERY
One of the benefits of blepharoplasty surgery is that it has a relatively quick recovery period. Patients may feel well enough to resume light activities within a few days of their procedure. However, it can take up to 14 days for swelling and bruising to resolve well enough to go back to work or attend social engagements. Part of preparing for blepharoplasty recovery is to wrap up important projects at home and at work. We also recommend arranging for help with children and pets for at least a few days, and making healthy meals ahead of time that can be popped in the oven or microwave. Finishing all necessary tasks ahead of time allows you to focus on what is most important, self-care.
SELF-CARE FOR THE WIN
We hear a lot about self-care these days as a way of supporting our mental health needs. After surgery, self-care involves both physical and emotional necessities. First and foremost, it is essential to follow all post-operative care instructions. You should already have your prescription medication and medical supplies before the day of surgery. Some of the items that you may need include eye drops or ointments recommended by the surgeon, cold compresses, and gauze or bandages. On the emotional side of self-care, be prepared to rest. This may be a bigger challenge than you imagine, which is why we say “be prepared.”
Rest is one of the most essential ingredients for a smooth recovery after surgery. Because eyelid rejuvenation is an elective and conservative procedure, it is easy to overlook the importance of sleep and limited activity. You may feel like you could do all of the activities you normally would, but there will be limitations. Generally, patients should expect their eyes to tire more easily than normal. The eyes may feel dry as healing occurs. For this reason, doctors advise patients to strongly curb activities that involve focus. That’s quite a lot of activities. For at least one week, patients should limit screen time to a few minutes here and there (don’t plan on binging your favorite shows). Reading, as well, tires the eyes. So what is one to do if they must avoid screens and books? We suggest using the ears. During blepharoplasty recovery, listen to audiobooks and music and podcasts or Ted Talks. There are many options to consider, we just normally don’t.