What is the recovery time for double eyelid surgery?

I'm interested in having double eyelid surgery, but first I need to know how much time I'll have to be off from work. It's not necessarily a big surgery, but if my eyes hurt a lot, I probably won't be able to do much work shortly after the surgery. I can't really take a vacation, but since I have a home office, nobody will see how bruised I am. Hypothetically, would I be able to do a few tasks the next day? I know I should be resting...


F, 31, New York

Tags:woman age 25-34 eyes recovery bruising double eyelid

An Asian double eyelid surgery alters the eyelids to improve their aesthetic appearance.

There are two parts to the procedure: An upper blepharoplasty, which surgically adds an eyelid crease in the upper eyelid, and a lower blepharoplasty, which removes fat and excess skin from the lower eyelid.

The procedure can be performed on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia.

The recovery process can take a couple weeks and it's usually not possible to work for the first week to 10 days or so after the surgical procedure. If you try to read, use a computer or even watch TV too much over the first week you may well prolong the recovery process and increase pain and swelling.

I would caution strongly against attempting to resume any normal activities just one day after surgery.

If your work demands are such that you can’t take any days off from work, I would advise against this procedure at this time.

There are other non-invasive cosmetic procedures like Botox and dermal fillers which require significantly less downtime. I would advise you to contact a plastic surgeon who has experience with Asian eyelid surgery to discuss what options make the most sense for you given your schedule -- and I would advise you to plan sufficient downtime for an eyelid surgery recovery should you decide to go that route.

The double eyelid surgery (or Asian blepharoplasty) is a cosmetic procedure that involves creating a crease along the upper eyelid and removing skin and fat from the lower eyelid.


To answer your question about recovery time: You shouldn't plan on getting much (if any) work done for the first 10 to 14 days after surgery.

You can expect to have bruising and swelling around the incisions, and it's common to experience blurry vision and a sensitivity to light during the first week of the postoperative recovery period. It won’t be easy to get much work done at this time -- even if you're at home.

My recommendation is to stay off your feet for the first few days while keeping your head elevated. You'll need to apply ice packs or cold compresses to the incisions for 20 minutes out of every hour. After the first two days post-op you should be able to move around more and apply cold compresses less often.

It's still best to avoid reading, using a computer, looking at your phone or watching TV for the first week of the healing process. (It's a great time to listen to music or podcasts). You should also avoid wearing contact lenses and wear dark sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun.

Bilateral upper and lower blepharoplasty generally requires 10-14 days of recovery before going back to work or school.  The first few days should be spent mostly in bed with your head elevated and icing for 20 minutes out of every hour.  After 48 hours, you can ice less frequently and be up and around more.  I would not plan on doing many tasks for the first 5-7 days.  The more you are up and around in the first few days, the more swelling you will get, and your recovery will take longer and become more painful.  It also increases your risk of complications.  I strongly recommend you just take it easy and give yourself time to heal.  Good luck!