What’s the recovery and downtime for surgery to fix droopy eyelids?Aesthetic Medicine Plastic Surgery
I’ve been advised to do something about my droopy eyelids since people have been pointing out that my eyes look smaller than before. I have to make a big effort to open my eyes and they still look small. So I'm thinking of getting surgery done to fix this. What is recovery like post-surgery for droopy eyelids?
Dear Li Ping Chin,
Thank you for your question. This is certainly an important consideration for anyone considering ptosis repair for droopy eyelids.
Depending on the severity of the ptosis and the technique used, eyelid swelling can be quite variable, with some patients having little while other patients having more. Speak with your surgeon before your surgery to have an estimate of what your recovery will be like.
Nonetheless, let me share with you what I tell most of my patients who come in for ptosis correction surgery with levator advancement technique.
How is ptosis repair recovery different from standard upper bleph or eyelid crease creation? Upper eyelid ptosis repair is usually more invasive compared to standard upper blepharoplasty. To advance the levator aponeurosis (which is the key to fixing the droopy eyelids), the surgeon must dissect through all the layers of the eyelid to get to the levator muscle (we dissect less deep with a standard bleph).
Following that, we must fix the eyelid at the perfect height with sutures to the tarsal plate. Upper eyelid blepharoplasty compared to ptosis repair is much simpler and usually is associated with less swelling and a shorter recovery.
What to expect following Ptosis Surgery?
1. Bruising. Expect 5-7 days of bruising. This may be longer in smokers, patients who are prone to bruising or patients who have consume medications or food that may cause bleeding e.g. garlic, gingko or ginseng.
2. Swelling. The swelling will get worse initially over the first few days before it starts to improve around day 3. During the next few days, the swelling will improve. I routinely see them on day 5 to remove the stitches. Most patients should be ok to return to work and social activities by 1 week. Most of the swelling will resolved by 2-3 weeks but it may takes a few more weeks to see the final details of the lids, such as the lid creases and eyelid shape. A patient will have an idea of the final outcome by 1-2 months.
3. You may have occasional bouts of swelling during the course of the weeks to come. This can be due to sleeping posture, diet and menses.
How to get the best results after Ptosis Surgery?
1. Application of cold compress to reduce swelling and bleeding for the first 24 hours.
2. Use of warm compress after 24 hours to enhance blood circulation, reducing bruising and swelling.
3. Application of antibiotic cream or antibiotics as prescribed
4. Sleep with your head elevated so that the blood can drain from the face due to gravity.
5. Use of Sinnech to reduce swelling.
6. Avoidance of high salt diet.
I hope this helps you to prepare for your ptosis correction surgery. All the best!
Dr. Terence Goh
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