Eyelid surgery, like all surgery, has risks. Minor complications associated with blepharoplasty include temporary double or blurry vision, temporary swelling, and tiny white pimples around your eyes.
In upper blepharoplasty, the incision is hidden in the crease of the eyelid and is often difficult to see even 1 week after surgery. In lower blepharoplasty, the incision is placed either in the conjunctiva (termed transconjunctival) of the eyelid in which case it is completely hidden. Or the incision is just below the lower lid eyelashes (termed transcutaneous) within several weeks this incision is hidden by the eyelashes of the lower eyelid. The eyelid skin is unique in that it is very thin, and although rarely patient who are predisposed to scarring my have keloid scars, keloids on the eyelids are rare.
Recovery from eyelid surgery generally takes several weeks. Within two days to a week, the stitches will be removed. In the first week, patients will want to make sure that their eyes receive plenty of rest. The redness and swelling occurring after the blepharoplasty procedure will fade with time. Recovery will also include ensuring that any exertion that may increase blood flow to the eyes is avoided. Patients may be able to return to work approximately 10 days after the surgery.
Healing after surgery includes a process of inflammation, this process attracts cells and other healing agents to the area of surgery that leads to repair of the soft tissues and the healing process. As a consequence of inflammation, the eyelid swells, this can be variable and unique to each person. In general the inflammation and swelling gets worse for three days before improving on the forth day, for some people the time course is shorter. There are steps that you can take to reduce swelling and speed up the recover period, including the use of cold compresses on the eyelids after surgery and sleeping with your head elevated.
Immediately after surgery it is very common that the eyes do not close completely as there is swelling, the eyelids are impaired by local anaesthesia and this impairs closure of the eyes. Over the first 6-weeks, it is common that the eyes may be slightly open as they will not be blinking 100% as a consequence of swelling and the surgery. After this the blinking and closure of the eyes will return resulting in normal eyelid closure.
You can wash from the day after surgery, the eyelids will be stitched together, however avoid rubbing or scrubbing the eyelids as this will encourage swelling and may lead to mild bleeding. Any crusting on the eyelids can be cleaned with water and cotton buds or eye pad. Avoid using a hand towel or flannel to clean the eyelids as this may not be adequately clean for the healing eyelids.
The dark circles that may occur around the eyes may be a combination of aging changes of the eyes and the resulting changes in eyelid contours in addition to actual pigmentation changes in the skin. Blepharoplasty may improve the appearance of dark circles around the eyes as a result of recontouring, however surgery does not result in a complete cure of dark circles. The treatment of dark circles often involves a multi-disciplined approach using both medical and surgical tools to reduce their appearance.
Smoking has a negative impact on surgery by delaying healing and may lead to unsatisfactory results. If you are a smoker you are advised to stop smoking or at least to cut down on cigarettes for at least one week before surgery. Smoking slows down the recovery process and it can also increase the risk of complications.
Blepharoplasty is a long lasting surgery and generally speaking has a life long result. All of us will have further ageing with time and if you have blepharoplasty in your 30s to 40s, you will have further ageing with time.