A blepharoplasty, more commonly known as an eyelid lift, is a procedure involving the removal of excess skin from the eyelids. This surgery is usually performed for cosmetic reasons, although in severe cases the sagging skin can impair vision and so the procedure is carried out for medical reasons. Regular exercise can be resumed after the surgery, but it should be gradually phased back into your routine and coupled with consultation with your doctor.
What to Expect After a Blepharoplasty
After the blepharoplasty surgery, your eyes with be swollen and bruised, and you will have blurred vision as well as some pain. Holding your head upright and applying ice will help reduce swelling and pain. You will also be provided with pain medication and antibiotics while you heal to prevent infection.
Most patients can return home after a blepharoplasty the same day as the procedure. However, the next few weeks of recovery are important to the healing process, so heavy exercise should be avoided to reduce the risk of elevated blood pressure affecting your recovery. Walking is a good idea during the beginning stages of recovery, as long as you go at a leisurely pace and don’t overdo it. Rather than a brisk, heart-raising walk, it’s better to take a gentle stroll to stimulate circulation and aid in the healing process. Don’t engage in exercise that requires you to bend over or lift heavy weights, and avoid any aggressive contact sports and running for the first three weeks of recovery.
There will be a fair amount of bruising, swelling and bleeding – depending on your age, the method used by your surgeon and your healing abilities. To help with the recovery process, apply an ice pack on the affected area once every hour or as often as you can. This will bring the swelling down fast. Remember not to apply the ice directly on the skin – this can cause ice burns. Instead, make tiny packs of ice using mini ziploc bags, place r a thin cloth over your eyelids and then let the mini icepacks lie over your eyelids.
Your surgeon may prescribe medication to help with the healing. If not, try Arnika Montana – a staple for reducing swelling and bruising post surgery. In fact, most experience surgeons will recommend that you start taking some Arnika even before your surgery begins. Arnika is a supplement and not a drug, hence it is safe for consumption. Some good brands include Sinecch which contains a high amount of arnika montana.
Beginning Exercise Again
After three weeks, the swelling, bruising, and pain should go down enough for you to resume normal exercise, with your plastic surgeon’s permission. Take it easy at first, and if your face or eyes start hurting, swelling, or bleeding, stop exercising and consult your doctor. Recovering from blepharoplasty is a long process, and it will continue for many months after surgery.
Keep in mind that because this procedure is done on your eyelids (as is the case with other eye procedures like ptosis surgery), the surgery will affect your vision for the first several days of recovery. Avoid activities that require protective goggles, like swimming, skiing, or contact sports as the goggles might not fit due to swelling and they can further damage the already sensitive skin around your eyes. It is also not recommended to participate in activities that require you to track objects or that require good aim, as these can be dangerous with impaired vision.