What To Expect During And After Eyelid Surgery

Posted on

Having plastic surgery performed on your eyelids can be a bit intimidating. After all, this is a sensitive area and located so close to your eyes -- which you certainly want to protect! But if you really need to have your eyelids reduced or repaired, you should not let fear stand in your way. The procedure and recovery are much simpler than you might imagine. Here's a look at what you can expect.

During the Procedure

Usually, eyelid surgery is performed on an outpatient basis. This means you'll be sent home after a brief observation period rather than required to spend the night in the hospital.

Some surgeries are performed under general anesthesia (meaning that you're completely asleep.) However, the majority of eyelid surgeries are performed under local anesthesia (which numbs the area) and a sedative (which keeps you calm.) This is because having you awake is often essential for your surgeon to tell where the eyelid will fall when you move your eye in certain directions.

To protect your eye during surgery, your doctor will likely insert what's called a corneal cover into your eye. This is a smooth, contact lens-like device that protects your cornea from blades and other instruments used during surgery. Having this cover in your eye may feel a little strange, but it won't be painful. In fact, thanks to the local anesthetic, you really won't feel it much at all. 

The procedure will be over before you know it, and then your eye will be covered with a bandage or eye patch.


You'll probably be advised to wear the eye patch for a few days in order to protect the sutured eyelid from damage. You may also be given goggle-like glasses to wear while you sleep. It's important to wear them as directed so you don't accidentally scratch at your incisions during the night. 

Your doctor should prescribe pain relievers to keep you comfortable as you heal. Typically, most of the pain will be gone within a few days, though you may still struggle to open and close your eye for two weeks or so. Usually, self-dissolving stitches are used, so you won't have to worry about having them removed. But your surgeon will probably want you to come in for a checkup a few days post-surgery to ensure you're healing properly.

If your eye is sore, gently holding an ice pack against the area may help. You may also be given an eye-safe antibacterial cream to apply to the incision daily. However, before you know it, your eye will be back to normal and your scar will begin to fade, leaving you with the more attractive eyelid you've always wanted.