When the procedure is finished, you may feel sleepy due to the medications, and the usual office policy requires that you have someone drive you home. You may feel drowsy for the rest of the day and evening depending on how much medication you were given.
Because we often do a laser peel on the lower eyelids of our blepharoplasty patients, this recovery is similar to the facial laser peel recovery, but limited to the area around the eyes (please see chapter 6 for information on facial laser peeling). Usually, the lower lids just get ointment and no dressing. You may feel a slight burning sensation around the peeled areas, but this can be relieved by applying ice with a washcloth between the ice and the skin. Discomfort usually only lasts a day or two. If your upper eyelids were treated, you'll have about 15 tiny stitches in the eyelid crease. On the lower lids, stitches are rare if the incision was made inside. Skin removal on the outside involves stitches on the upper or lower lids. These should be removed roughly five to ten days after the procedure, depending on whether scalpel or laser was used.
There is virtually no pain during the recovery period from a blepharoplasty, although brow lifts may result in a headache requiring medication for a few days. Because your eyelids are swollen and the skin has been stretched, you might experience some difficulty closing your eyes properly for several days, longer in some cases. Rarely, patients have trouble sleeping in the beginning because their eyes don't close correctly. This should pass in time and can be relieved by using lubricating eye drops (we recommend Refresh-PM® brand lubricant for nighttime use) and/or sleeping with an eye shade. Occasionally the doctor may prescribe stretching exercises for your eyelid skin. Since your eyes will be swollen from the surgery, and your skin will look red and raw from the laser peel, you might not want to go anywhere for the first few days. Some people are able to return to work in one to two days, and others opt to stay out longer. The redness from the laser peel may sometimes last from one to two months, rarely longer. It will look like a sunburn, but will gradually fade away. During the first few weeks you may want to wear sunglasses. After new skin has grown back in one to two weeks, any remaining redness or temporary discoloration can be covered with makeup. In some cases brown color changes need to be treated with bleaching creams after a few weeks.
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