Eyelid surgery, otherwise known as blepharoplasty, is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures on the market. This is because the delicate skin around the eyes is so thin that the eyelids are one of the first places to reveal the signs of aging. Today, our aesthetic experts at Nuance Cosmetic Surgery in Folsom, CA are discussing how long it takes to recover from this procedure and what steps you can take to recover faster.
How Long Does It Take to Recover From Eyelid Surgery?
As a good general rule of thumb, you should expect to need 10 to 14 days off from work to recover from eyelid surgery. However, several factors affect how quickly you will recover, including your age, health, whether you had one or both eyes worked on, and whether you had your upper, lower, or upper and lower eyelids improved. Also, be aware that you will need to avoid strenuous activity for six weeks regardless of how soon you feel recovered.
How Can I Recover Faster From My Procedure?
Don’t Drink Alcohol
One of the most important things you can do to recover from your eyelid surgery as quickly as possible is to refrain from drinking alcohol. Alcohol is viewed by your body as toxic. Therefore, when you drink alcohol, your body focuses on eliminating the toxin as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, in its haste to purge the alcohol from your system, it flushes out crucial micronutrients and water, too.
However, your skin needs as much water and nutrients as it can get to heal quickly. Also, you cannot safely mix alcohol with analgesics that you may want to take. It is very important that you wait at least a week or two after your procedure before enjoying an alcoholic beverage. If you focus on doing everything you can to recover as quickly as possible, you will be visiting the finest breweries and wineries in Sacramento before you know it.
Drink Lots of Water
Unfortunately, it isn’t enough for you to avoid drinking alcohol if you want to recover from your procedure as quickly as possible. You also have to make sure you’re drinking enough hydrating fluids to stay hydrated. How much you need to drink to remain hydrated depends on your sex, weight, and activity level. However, women tend to need 64 ounces of hydrating fluids daily. Men tend to need 128 ounces of hydrating fluids daily.
Note, these daily fluid requirements assume an average-weight male or female with a sedentary lifestyle. If you have an active lifestyle, you will need to drink more. Fluids that will help you achieve your daily hydration goals include water, sparkling water, tea, and coffee. While tea and coffee have caffeine in them, there is not enough caffeine in these beverages for a diuretic effect to occur.
An Additional Note
It is also very important that you rest if you want to recover from your blepharoplasty as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, people who are chronically dehydrated often find that they struggle to sleep through the night when they finally start drinking enough fluids due to the need to urinate. If you find during your recovery period that bathroom visits are keeping you from sleeping through the night, try to frontload your fluid intake.
If you find yourself waking up to go to the bathroom even if you drink most of your fluids early in the day, increase your sodium intake a little. Just make sure that you don’t increase your sodium too much. Doing so can result in elevating your blood pressure to an unhealthy level. Depending on how high your blood pressure naturally is, you may need to also increase your potassium intake to partially negate the effects of your sodium intake increase.
Get Lots of Sleep
As noted above, rest is crucial for a rapid recovery. Specifically, you need to spend as much time as possible in the REM (rapid eye movement) stage of sleep. This is when your body does most of its healing. It is so important to sleep soundly through the night because when you fall back asleep after waking up, you start over in the first stage of sleep.
Therefore, even if you get 7.5 to nine hours of sleep nightly, your body will not heal as quickly as it should if your sleep is nonconsecutive. For at least a week after your procedure, nap whenever you are particularly tired. Depending on the type of anesthesia you receive during your procedure, you may find that you feel unusually tired for one to three days post-op. Also, you need to make sure that you do not set an alarm so you can wake up when fully rested.
Sleep On Your Back
In addition to napping when you need to and sleeping for at least 7.5 hours nightly, it is crucial that you sleep on your back for a couple of weeks post-op. If you sleep on your side or stomach, too much pressure may be placed on your eyelids, significantly slowing the rate at which your incisions heal. Also, to heal as quickly as possible, you need to make sure your eyes are elevated above your heart. To accomplish this, you may need an extra pillow.
To ensure you can sleep soundly throughout the night, it is advisable to practice sleeping on your back if you usually sleep on your side or your stomach. In addition to sleeping with an additional pillow under your head, you may find that you need to sleep with a pillow or towel under your neck. Moreover, you may find that you need a mattress pad to make your mattress medium or medium-firm so you can be comfortable enough to sleep soundly.
Going on regular walks will also help you heal faster following your procedure. Walking, like all other moderate cardiovascular activity, supports a strong circulatory system. Having a strong circulatory system will significantly speed up your healing process because your blood carries nutrients and growth factors that your skin needs to heal itself. The more your blood flows through your body, the more nutrients are delivered to your eyelids.
It is highly advisable to walk for at least 30 minutes daily at a moderate pace starting the day after your procedure. However, it is also important that you don’t push yourself too hard. We recommend walking in your house or yard so you can easily rest whenever you need to. Also, we recommend getting up and moving around hourly to keep your blood flowing more than it would if you were sedentary.
We also recommend downloading audiobooks before your procedure. When you get home from your procedure, you will have plenty of entertainment that will not strain your eyes. You may be used to reading, playing video games, or watching television when you’re bored. However, these activities can strain your eyes and slow your recovery down. You need to rest your eyes as much as possible.
Eat Lots of Protein
Eating lots of protein will also speed up your healing process. Since you should avoid vigorous exercise for six weeks post-op, you should only need between 46 and 56 grams of protein daily during your recovery period. If you find that you don’t have much of an appetite after your procedure, drink protein shakes to ensure you are getting enough protein in. Yogurt-based smoothies and cottage cheese are also great ways to get in a lot of protein.
It is also highly advisable to eat plenty of vitamin C during your recovery period. It is essential that you eat plenty of protein after your procedure because protein is made up of amino acids. Amino acids are required for your skin to make a special kind of protein, collagen, that heals your skin. Vitamin C is also required for collagen production.
Learn More Today
Following your eyelid surgery, you may need to take up to 14 days off from work and other responsibilities to recover. However, it is crucial that you refrain from vigorous activities for 1.5 months while your incisions continue to heal. You can speed up your recovery process by getting plenty of rest, drinking lots of hydrating fluids, and eating plenty of nutritious foods.
Contact us today at Nuance Cosmetic Surgery in Folsom, CA to schedule your initial eyelid surgery consultation and learn more about this procedure. We look forward to meeting you and helping you achieve all of your aesthetic goals.