Eyelid surgery, also known as eyelid lift or blepharoplasty, is a commonly performed plastic surgery procedure. Blepharoplasty typically involves correction of excess muscle, fat, and skin. In some circumstances, eyelid surgery also involves the correction of fascia and ligaments of the eyelids. Blepharoplasty is commonly done on the upper and lower eyelids.

There is some degree of swelling, also called termed edema, after most surgical procedures, including blepharoplasty. Swelling is a temporary (usually) part of the wound healing process and usually resolves relatively quickly. The healing potential, and the resolution of swelling that is a part of healing is somewhat dependent on the blood supply to the tissues. The eyelids have an excellent blood supply, so healing in this area is rapid compared to some other areas of the body.

The extent of eyelid surgery dictates the amount of swelling to some degree. The extent of the surgery is dictated by the severity of the eyelid problem. So, in general, the more severe the eyelid problem, the more swelling that will occur following surgery. As a result, the eyelid swelling following blepharoplasty will vary from patient to patient. There are other physical factors that can affect swelling that vary from patient to patient. Bruising, like swelling, can vary from patient to patient. There are many factors that can affect bruising after surgery, and these factors can vary from day to day in the same patient. In general, the resolution of bruising will follow the resolution of swelling.

Swelling associated with eyelid surgery may peak anytime between 24 and 72 hours post-op, and most commonly the peak is at about 24 hours. There are two aspects related to eyelid swelling after blepharoplasty. The first is minimizing the swelling that occurs after blepharoplasty. The second is shortening the time of resolution of swelling after blepharoplasty. To minimize eyelid swelling the head should be kept above the level of the heart by sitting slightly reclined for at least 24 hours. Cool (not cold) compresses can also be placed over the eyes during the initial post-operative period. The term compress is somewhat of a misnomer because this device should never place pressure on the eye or tissues around the eye. These measures should help decrease the amount of swelling after eyelid surgery. After the initial healing stages (72 hours after surgery) warm (not hot) compresses can be applied to help decrease swelling. Caution should always be taken when applying warm or cool devices to any area of the body after surgery to avoid thermal or cold injuries because normal protective reflexes are not present.

To make an appointment for a free eyelid lift consultation, call Herring Plastic Surgery at 910.486.9093.