Recovery after Eyelid Surgery – Timeline & Best Tips

Top Tips for Eyelid Surgery Recovery and Preparation

When thinking of eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) many patients are concerned about the recovery, the duration of time it will take to go back to work. So we will be discussing how long it takes to recover from eyelid surgery, factors affecting the blepharoplasty recovery procedure and how to recover faster, and what you will require to avoid throughout recovery.

Recovery Timeline for Blepharoplasty – Eyelid Lift

Blepharoplasty recovery differs from person to person. While we can offer an overall eyelid surgery recovery timeline, the range of your recovery period and what you experience during it will depend on a variety of factors unique to you, including:

  • Your age and general health
  • The quality of your skin
  • Your body’s tendency to swell or bruise
  • Your pain tolerance
  • How closely you follow Dr.Turner’s postoperative instructions
  • Which types of eyelid surgery are done (upper blepharoplasty and/or lower blepharoplasty)
  • If you have additional procedures at the same time as your eyelid surgery

Preparing for Eyelid Surgery

  • Avoid aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, Vitamin E, herbal supplements, or any medications containing these compounds for two weeks before surgery. Acetaminophen and a daily multivitamin are fine.
  • Refrain from smoking two weeks prior and two weeks after surgery. Nicotine and tobacco smoke delay healing and can result in scarring. It is the ideal time to give up the habit.
  • Avoid sun damage two weeks before surgery. While we recommend wearing an SPF 30 or higher every day.
  • Your prescriptions for after surgery (typically an antibiotic and pain med) will be given to you the day of surgery.
  • Do not eat or drink anything, including water, after midnight the night before your surgery.
  • Arrange for someone to take you home from the hospital. You will not be allowed to drive or leave alone. Arrange for someone to stay with you for the first 24 hours after surgery
  • Make arrangements to stay in the City area on the night of your surgery if you live more than an hour’s drive away.

Day of your Eyelid Surgery

  • Do not eat or drink anything, including water, the morning of the operation. Necessary meds may be taken with a sip of water.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes that fasten in front or back. Keep away from slipover clothing.
  • Leave all valuables at home; do not wear ornaments.
  • Do not wear any facial or eye make-up. Avoid nail polish.
  • You may wear glasses however do not wear contact lenses.
  • If you wear dentures, keep them in.
  • Bring your ID and insurance card with you.


It might seem a little scary, but once you wake up from your blepharoplasty surgery, the first thing you will notice is that your vision is blurry. This is nothing to worry about and does not mean the surgery has been unsuccessful, but rather because of a thick antibiotic ointment that is applied to the eye area to stop the surface area from becoming dry. This should be used for one-week post-surgery, four times a day, on the inside of the eye and the wounds.

Blepharoplasty Recovery Time

Recovery can be broken down into 3 parts: bruising, swelling, and the maturation of the incision/scar. Bruising goes away first, taking about 2 to 3 weeks. Next is swelling which is much more variable, lasting upwards of 8 weeks or more. It is a slow gradual diminution. Going back to work or out in public will begin in 5 to 10 days after your surgery and will be determined by your comfort level rather than a medical reason.
It is important to note that you will have scars from surgical incisions after your eyelid surgery. It can take up to a year or more for those scars to reach their maximum improvement. Using proper eyelid surgery recovery methods can ensure your skin heals properly during this time.

Eyelid Surgery Recovery Instructions

Now that you know what to expect from your blepharoplasty, here are a few blepharoplasty recovery tips. With these tips, you can improve your recovery time and make sure you heal properly.
Please follow Dr. Turner’s specific instructions! Do NOT under any circumstances decide on your own to make changes in those instructions without clearing it with the doctor or his/her staff first.

1. Take Time Off

  • Remember, your blepharoplasty recovery time mentioned earlier. It is important to prepare to take time off from work, school, or daily activities. You will need this time to heal properly.
  • If you need to, ask someone to cover your primary responsibilities for you. For example, you might need someone to take your kids to school and pick them up. You might need someone at work to handle your responsibilities as well.
  • Make sure to stock up the fridge and pantry with foods that are easy to prepare before the day of your surgery.
  • Otherwise, keep your schedule clear and give yourself time to heal.

2. Follow Self-Care

Follow the instructions given by Dr. Turner for quick recovery. It includes:

  • Use ice packs on your eyes. The constant use of ice during the first 3 days is crucial.
  • Clean your eyelids gently.
  • Use the eye drops or ointments you are prescribed.
  • Avoid rubbing your eyes.
  • Not wearing contact lenses for about two weeks after your procedure.
  • Sleep with your head raised above your chest the first few days after your procedure.
  • Stop smoking

You might also need to return to Dr. Turner’s office to have your stitches removed. You shall be provided the appointment for stitch removal time.

In the meantime, make sure to avoid using:

  • Ibuprofen
  • Aspirin
  • Naproxen sodium

You should also avoid any medications or supplements (fish oil, vitamin E, cranberry extract, etc.) that might increase bleeding. Instead, you will be given approval for the use of acetaminophen products to ease your pain.
Make sure to review these self-care instructions before the day of your blepharoplasty. That way, you will have everything you need to prepare for your eyelid surgery recovery.

3. Stay Patience

  • It is important to have realistic expectations about your baggy eyelid surgery beforehand. Understanding the recovery process ahead of time can help you remain patient and keep your eyes on the end goal.
  • Your eyelids will probably look puffy after surgery. The incisions will probably look red, too. The swelling and bruising involved with blepharoplasty recovery tend to resemble a black eye.
  • That is all normal. Remain patient and you will see the results of your procedure in no time.

4. Protect Your Eyes

  • It is important to protect your eyes from wind, sunlight, and other elements during your recovery.
  • If you must go out, make sure to wear dark sunglasses and a hat for protection. You should also apply sunscreen and follow any other instructions you were given.

5. Don’t Strain or Stress

  • It is important to avoid straining your eyes during the recovery process. Try to avoid reading, watching TV, or checking your email the week following your blepharoplasty. Instead, give your eyes a chance to rest.
  • Avoid any other activities that can cause your eyes to dry up, too.

6. Sleep Soundly

  • Sleep will give your body a chance to heal. Try to get a good night’s sleep each night to speed up the recovery process.
  • If you feel tired, take a nap. Do not push yourself. Instead, relax and focus on your recovery.

7. Avoid Strenuous Activity

Make sure to avoid any strenuous activity or stress for the first few weeks after your surgery. Too much activity can increase blood flow to your eyes and cause bleeding. These activities include lifting heavy items, aerobics, intensive exercise, and sports. Read our blog on Resuming Exercise after Eyelid Surgery.

How do you prepare for Eyelid lift surgery?

Before eyelid surgery, detailed examination and conversation about the procedure and possible complications and benefits related to it should be discussed. You need to follow Dr. Turner’s preoperative instructions carefully and thoroughly check the postoperative instructions before the day of will give you time to prepare for any medications for pain relief or necessary items such a gel packs, artificial tears, and gauze at home before returning from the procedure.
A physical examination might be needed by your medical doctor to clear you for surgery if intravenous sedation or general anesthesia is used.

What are the possible complications of the procedure?

The possible complications include:

  • Changes in sensation or numbness around eyelashes
  • Dry eyes
  • Sensitivity to bright light, including the sun
  • Outward rolling of the lower eyelid
  • Lid lag, or pulling down of lower eyelid (usually temporary)
  • Difficulty closing your eyes
  • Temporary or permanent change in vision

Eyelid Lift Surgery Recovery FAQs

How long does it take to recover from blepharoplasty eyelid surgery?

  • Blepharoplasty recovery differs from person to person. While we can offer an overall eyelid surgery recovery timeline, the range of your recovery period and what you experience during it will depend on a variety of factors unique to you, including:
    • Your age
    • Your general health
    • The quality of your skin
    • Your body’s tendency to swell or bruise
    • Your pain tolerance
    • How closely you follow Dr.Turner’s postoperative instructions
    • Which types of eyelid surgery are done (upper blepharoplasty and/or lower blepharoplasty)
    • If you have additional procedures at the same time as your eyelid surgery
  • Usually, you may need two weeks to recover from their procedure. Throughout the recovery process, you may experience some swelling and bruise around the eyelids. Those bruising and swelling will subside within two weeks after the procedure.

What is the fastest way to recover from a blepharoplasty?

  • The following advice will help you recover faster:
    • Keep your head elevated during sleep to alleviate the swelling.
    • Use cold compresses to manage to swell also.
    • Do not consume alcohol during the initial recovery phase.
    • Avoid physical activity such as exercise or even bending over and lifting objects.
    • Keep your eyes protected from sun, wind, and debris.
    • Don’t strain your eyes in the first few days. Avoid reading, television, and computer screens.
    • Apply antibiotics as prescribed

How long do eyelids stay red after blepharoplasty?

  • After eyelid surgery, presume to experience some bruising. Red discoloration of the eyes may occur if there is significant swelling, especially at the outer corners of the eye.
    This is painless, will not harm your vision, and will disappear. Bruising normally takes about two weeks to diminish. See Reduce Swelling and Bruising after Eyelid Surgery.

What can I expect after blepharoplasty surgery?

  • It will depend on the type of surgical procedure you went through. You may be admitted overnight at a hospital or a nursing facility center. Instead, you may be stable to go home if you have someone to care for you. You may have blurry vision for several days after surgery because of the medications that were placed on your eyes, as well as, eyelid swelling.
  • You should wear dark sunglasses or keep your eyes covered on the way home to avoid bright sun irritation. Have somebody dependable, ideally, a relative or dear companion carry you to medical procedure and from medical procedure. This person should be accessible to stay and help you the night after surgery In the event that you don’t have such an individual, kindly let us know ahead of time so we can suggest a few accessible after-care offices or overseers to you.
  • Usually, you can tolerate the recovery of eye surgery. It is most likely you will end up going home the same day of the surgery. If you do not have any evidence of active bleeding and pain and if you are stable, you can go home as long as you have someone to help care for them.

Is Blepharoplasty painful?

  • No, it is not a painful procedure and blepharoplasty recovery is quite easy. Any pain following surgery will usually be slight and can be managed with the appropriate painkillers. These should be distributed to you after the procedure. Most yous will also be able to get up and walk around as normal on the same evening, or the morning after the surgery.

Can I sleep on my side after eyelid surgery?

  • After eyelid surgery, for the first few days, it is ideal to sleep on your back, with your head elevated in order to decrease swelling, however, if you accidentally turn over during the night, and lie on your side, you are very unlikely to have any negative side effects from this.

When can I wash my hair after blepharoplasty?

  • This is generally 5 days after surgery. You can softly wash below your eyes with wipes or a soft washcloth. You can apply dry shampoo to your hair. Once you are able to take full showers, you can wash your eyelids and shampoo your hair with mild products, such as baby shampoo.

How long does bruising last after blepharoplasty?

  • Most visible bruising is gone within two weeks after upper or lower eyelid surgery. However, in some cases, it can persist for three to four weeks.

How soon can I wear makeup after blepharoplasty?

  • You’ll need to wait several weeks before resuming eye makeup use after blepharoplasty. For the first couple of weeks, your eyes will be sensitive and makeup use isn’t ideal. Generally, you can start wearing eye makeup two to three weeks after surgery.

Can you watch TV after eyelid surgery?

  • Avoid activities that raise your blood pressure, including bending, lifting, and rigorous sports. Keep activities to a minimum for 3-5 days; avoid strenuous activities for 2-3 weeks. Read or watch television after 2-3 days.

How long do stitches stay in for blepharoplasty?

  • It requires around 7-10 days for the main swelling and bruising to subside after eyelid surgery. Dissolvable stitches will dissolve by themselves whereas permanent stitches will be removed in 4-7 days.

What can I put on my scar cream after eyelid surgery?

  • You can start using a good scar cream immediately after the operation. Even if there is no scar, the cream does have a positive effect as it accelerates recovery after eyelid surgery.

How do you treat scars after eyelid surgery?

  • Scar formation is inevitable whenever there’s surgery involved. However, you can minimize its appearance by applying a scar cream within a few weeks after surgery. The good news is eyelid skin heals faster than the skin on the rest of the face.

How do you wash after blepharoplasty?

  • There are few distinctive requirements to follow:
    • 1-2 days after: You can still take a bath or shower, yet you need to guarantee the eyes are kept dry. In the event that showering, make certain to utilize the showerhead and keep it underneath the head. It’s best to wash your hair over the sink, ideally with the help of someone else. It isn’t such an issue if the eyes are sprinkled with small amounts of water – the issue happens when the injury is presented to longer periods of moisture.
    • 3-7 days after: Eyes can start being washed delicately with water and soap. At the point when towel drying, pat delicately. It’s critical to try not to pick at scabs as they will fall off when they are ready to – this is part of the natural healing process.
    • Day 7: Sutures are normally removed a week after surgery and then normal washing routines can be carried out.
    • 14 days after: You can use makeup again, as long as everything has healed correctly.

Medical References – Further Reading:

Your Consultation with Dr. Scott Turner – Plastic Surgeon

If you’re considering an eyelid procedure, the very first step will be to meet with Dr. Turner for a personal one-on-one consultation at one of his Sydney or Newcastle clinics. For many of you, we understand that this is a major decision, so we want to make the entire process as comfortable as possible. We’re here to explain each procedure in detail so that you’re confident with your final decision.

To begin, Dr. Turner will help you determine what procedure would be best, based on a number of key factors. Of course, every patient is unique, not only in terms of their skin and facial structure but also their wants and needs. Dr. Turner will guide you, discussing the options available from non-surgical techniques, to a range of upper and lower eyelid procedures for the maximum benefit so that you can achieve the results you desire.

Dr. Turner and his team will:

  • Review all blepharoplasty and facial procedures with you.
  • Discuss all potential risks involved with eyelid surgery.
  • Outline in detail how the surgery is performed
  • Provide an explanation of what you can expect before, during, and after the procedure.
  • Provide detailed cost and payment information.
  • Answer all your questions.

Next Steps

Always Do Your Research

  • Enquire to find out more about your surgery
  • Please read our website to learn more about your intended procedure

Do you need a Medical Referral to see Dr Turner?

  • A GP Referral is required to Consult with Dr Turner (under new AHPRA Regulations)
  • Please obtain a referral from your GP or Specialist if you want a consultation for an MBS item number surgery.
  • Please note that your Medicare Rebates will NOT be claimable without a valid recent Medical Referral

Making The Most Of Your Consultation

  • Please arrive slightly early for your in-person consultation
  • You are welcome to bring a friend or relative to help consider the information and discuss your options
  • Please be aware you may need to undress for a physical exam so wear simple clothes
  • Ensure you also take a lot of notes during the consultation and thoroughly examine all the documents provided

Want more information before scheduling your consultation?

How to Book Your Consultation

  • You can book your initial consultation by paying the $350 cosmetic consultation fee in advance – when you make your appointment


  • To find out more information about surgery you can book a FREE 15-minute phone conversation with our Friendly Patient Care team via Calendly- Book Consultant 1 or Book Consultant 2

Contact us or call on  1300 437 758  to arrange your surgeon consultation in Sydney.

Email us for more information: