Dover, OH, facial plastic surgeon David Hartman, MD says, “Overall, eyelift surgery recovery is relatively quick and reliable with post-operative patients appearing 80-percent recovered by the time sutures are removed at post-operative day seven.” However, recovery from any procedure still requires time, patience and the right care. Experts have shared their best tips on how to improve your eyelift recovery time and comfort level.
New York facial plastic surgeon Konstantin Vasyukevich, MD said taking Arnica Montana, a homeopathic remedy, will help “reduce post-operative bruising and swelling.” Dr. Hartman also advises his patients to take Arnica capsules in addition to the tranexamic acid he prescribes, which he described as a “game-changer.”
Use a cold compress instead of ice
It may seem like a good idea to apply ice to your eyelids post-surgery, but Dr. Hartman advised against this. “I believe post-procedure inflammation is an essential part of the healing cycle and that recovery is best served when we allow the inflammation to ‘roar in and roar out’ unimpaired,” he explained.
Rather than use ice, opt for a cold compress. Dr. Vasyukevich said applying a cold compress can help soothe your eyes. “Applying cold compresses to the eyelids for the first 24 hours after surgery is the most effective way to reduce bruising, minimize swelling and decrease pain and discomfort,” said Dr. Vasyukevich.
Avoid taking anti-inflammatory medication
Because Dr. Hartman believes that inflammation is essential to healing, you should avoid taking anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen. He added that discomfort after this surgery is generally minimal, so take them sparingly or not at all.
Consider hyperbaric oxygen therapy
“Hyperbaric oxygen therapy works to increase oxygen to facial tissue and stimulate the growth of new blood vessels, which in turn, contributes to a faster recovery,” says New York facial plastic surgeon Andrew Jacono, MD.
Elevate your head when sleeping
Dr. Vasyukevich said you should keep your head elevated when you sleep using an extra pillow to reduce swelling for the first five to seven days after your procedure.
Use ointment on incision lines
“Incision lines are best treated with applying a small amount of ointment (such as ophthalmic Bacitracin or Lacri Lube),” says Dr. Vasyukevich. He added that washing your eyes before applying the ointment is essential to improve healing and avoid irritation.
Do light exercise
Dr. Hartman advised against laying low and resting after the procedure. “I believe clients do better overall if they are up and about starting the next day,” he added. He suggested avoiding strenuous exercise for at least 10 days following the procedure, but “light exercise is great.”
Use artificial tears
The sensation of dryness is common following an eyelift. Dr. Vasyukevich advised that frequent application of Lacri Lube of Artificial Tears to the eyes is a good treatment to relieve the dry feeling.
Don’t strain your eyes
To minimize discomfort and avoid straining your eyes, Dr. Vasyukevich said you may have to put down your phone and limit the time on your computer for the first few days post-procedure.
Change your diet
If excessive swelling is an issue after taking the above recommendations for a spin, Dr. Vasyukevich said altering your diet could be beneficial. “I recommend dietary changes such as: cutting out the salt and reducing the water intake before bedtime,” he explained.