The length of your eyelid surgery recovery, or to be specific, the moment when you look socially presentable, may take about a week. However, you may still need to use camouflage make-up or large sunglasses to cover the bruises and swelling around the eyes.
For a “quick” recovery, the general rule of thumb is to minimize eyelid motion in the first two to three days. Ideally, you should try to relax and listen to your favorite music, and avoid watching TV, reading books, and using computer because these activities will force the lids to open and close more frequently, which can increase postop bruising.
Aside from taking things slow, another way to speed up your recovery is to follow a strict diet—i.e., very little salt, lean protein, and more vegetables and fruits. Salty and fatty foods, meanwhile, can aggravate the swelling and possibly impede with your healing.
Some herbal and vitamin supplements are also known to aggravate bruising such as green tea, ginseng, and fish oil, although some doctors suggest that taking a small dose of arnica montana and bromelain can control postop symptoms and lead to quicker recovery.
While the effectiveness of arnica and bromelain is still up for debate, most Beverly Hills plastic surgeons agree that head elevation in the first 48-72 hours can do wonders. The idea is to help the swelling caused by the excess fluids to go down by relying on the gravity’s effect.
Cold compress is also believed to control swelling, although you should not put ice directly on your bare skin to prevent cold burns and blisters. For this reason, some doctors prefer using washcloth slightly moistened in ice water, a technique that eliminates the risk of frostbite.
But since time is the best treatment, a month after surgery there is no difference between a patient who did head elevation and cold compress versus someone who skipped these postop care.
And lastly, it is important that you avoid heavy lifting, bending over from the waist, and doing strenuous activities for at least three weeks because doing so can elevate your blood pressure and eventually lead to bleeding and poor healing. Just to be on the safe side, ask for your doctor’s approval before returning to your normal routine.