Asian Eyelid Surgery – Things You Need To Know About Your Recovery

Like any procedure, understanding the nature of what follows a surgery is one of the most important elements to solid patient education.  Unlike most procedures, the recovery time following an Asian eyelid procedure can be very long so it is worth exploring this topic in this short but hopefully informative blog article.

As a refresher, Asian blepharoplasty, or double eyelid surgery, entails creating a crease in the upper eyelid where there is not one to be found (or a very weak, partial crease that is present).  The three main methods to perform Asian eyelid surgery are the suture, partial incision, and full-incision methods.  The first two methods benefit from the relatively shorter period of recovery time that make them particularly attractive for that reason but that reason alone.  I have found that those two former methods lead to very short lasting folds that do not look as natural as a full-incision method.  For that reason, I exclusively perform full-incision double eyelid procedures, and this article will be focused on the recovery that follows that procedure.

Before Asian Eyelid Surgery and 1 Week After

1 Month After Asian Eyelid Surgery and 3 Months After Asian Eyelid Surgery

The first week after a full-incision Asian blepharoplasty, the eyelids will be markedly swollen and unnatural in appearance.  The crease will look way too high and the incision will be visible.  As the swelling subsides over the next few weeks, the skin will continue to fall over the crease so that the incision line should not be visible after about 8 to 10 days (but the crease will still appear too high).

It is important not to shower for 24 hours to allow the wound to seal and to limit contamination of the wound.  In that first week, sometimes it may be hard to open one’s eyes because the levator (to which muscle the skin is attached) may be irritated or bothered and not work perfectly.  In addition, the swelling may make it feel difficult to open and close one’s eyes.  There can even be some blurriness as the cornea adapts to the change in the eyelid shape.  This is typically normal.  During that week, it is very important to keep the incision line extremely moist so that the incision heals imperceptibly.  Antibiotic ointment is preferred, but if there is an allergic reaction to it then simply petrolatum jelly like Vaseline is completely acceptable.  Cleaning the incision with peroxide is a good idea but no more than twice a day and always followed by application of ointment.  Ice packs when possible will also help with swelling along with keeping one’s diet less salty and processed as well as staying away from activities that require a lot of bending over or straining.

Sutures are removed at one week after the procedure.  I like to apply anesthetic cream and use microscissors so that discomfort is minimal.  I typically ask my patients to use antibiotic ointment for one more day following suture removal and to refrain from shower for another 24 hours.  Make-up should be avoided in the upper eyelid for the first 10 days entirely, i.e., for the 7 days when the sutures are in place and for 3 additional days after they are removed.  Thereafter, makeup for women can actually help camouflage how high the crease can appear in the first few weeks.  I also suggest getting dark-rimmed, rectangular glasses that fit right over the crease so that the swelling is not so obvious during the first few weeks after surgery.  It typically takes 2 to 3 weeks before the crease looks a lot better and 2 to 3 months before it looks almost natural.  It will take approximately 1 year for all of the little bit of swelling to completely dissipate, a fact that patients should be aware of.  Understanding the prolonged nature of recovery after Asian double eyelid surgery is very important.

Please visit our Asian blepharoplasty page to learn more about Dr Lams’ Asian eye procedures including before and after photos, videos, Asian face tutorial with illustrations, FAQs, and forums or call (972) 312-8188 to schedule a consultation.