An eyelid lift can improve the fatigued and heavy-eyed look common to aging. Recovery from cosmetic eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) is relatively quick without significant discomfort or pain.

In most cases the sutures are removed 3 days after surgery and people are back to work in a week. There will be swelling and bruising around the eyelids for a short period of time, typically about 7 – 10 days. Swelling and bruising will subside naturally as your body continues to heal. It may take several weeks for all of the swelling to be completely resorbed from the eyelids.


Immediately after the procedure
You may go home after surgery as long as you have someone to observe you for a 24 hour period. To help speed recovery from cosmetic eyelid surgery you will need to make sure your eyes get plenty of rest. This means avoiding activities such as using a computer, or watching television as much as possible during the first week will be beneficial.

Ice after Eyelid Surgery
For 48 hours after surgery, keep ice water soaked pads on eyes, changing pads every 20-30 minutes. There are several techniques for icing which are effective. The glove with ice and cool compresses are the preferred methods. Icing for 24-48 hours is recommended, icing after this period can be used for comfort.

Sleep with head of the bed elevated or use two to three pillows. Absolutely no bending, lifting or straining. If you have little children, bend at the knees or sit on the floor and let them climb on to your lap.

Shower / Bathing
Bathing is ok as long as you don’t get your incisions wet for a minimum of four days after surgery.

Is there Pain after Cosmetic Eyelid Surgery
Many of our patients do not complain of significant discomfort, with the majority using only Tylenol as needed. Prescription pain medicine is made available to you and we recommend that you have it available in case it is needed.


Bruising can be camouflaged at one week postoperatively with make-up. It is recommended that you purchase thick cover-up make-up prior to your procedure. In some instances this may be useful to camouflage bruising or redness after surgery. A scarf can be worn around the head to hide the incisions if you had a brow lift as well.

Eyelid Exercises
Dr. Kolstad will instruct you on when (usually two weeks after surgery) and the type of eyelid exercises that are appropriate for your surgery. Depending on the procedures, there are three different types of exercises

Sun Exposure
Always protect your face from the sun. At this point, a hat and sunglasses are a good idea. Following eyelid surgery, our staff will tell you when it is ok to apply sunscreen, cosmetics or facial creams. Avoid unprotected prolonged sun exposure for three months following surgery to prevent pigmentation of incision lines.


Not everyone seeking younger appearing eyes needs surgery. Injectables can frequently be placed around the eyes to camouflage fat prolapse. Resurfacing peels and lasers can help tighten excess skin. And Botox can be used elevate the brow.

If you have questions about cosmetic eyelid surgery or blepharoplasty in San Diego, please contact Dr. Kolstad at his La Jolla Plastic Surgery office. We serve men and women in La Jolla, Del Mar, San Diego, Rancho Santa Fe, Encinitas and Southern California.