My Eyelid Surgery with Brow Lift From Start to Finish. Part Three: the Recovery

This is a 3-part series written by NuBody patient Eva G about her eyelid surgery with brow lift performed in November 2021 by Dr. John Rosdeutscher at the NuBody Concepts Nashville practice on Old Hickory Blvd. We invite you to follow her experience all the way from consultation to procedure and recovery. If you have any questions about a blepharoplasty or any cosmetic procedure, please contact us und let us know how we can help!

Today’s installment is Part Three: The Recovery. Links to previous posts: Part Two: The Procedure, and Part One: The Consultation.

By NuBody Concepts Nashville patient Eva G.

Ok guys. I know the only thing anyone really wants to know is, what does the eyelid surgery / brow lift after picture look like? I’ve been stringing you on long enough, so here right off the bat are my Before & After pictures, taken at 19 days – so almost 3 weeks:

NuBody Concepts eyelid and brow lift surgery patient before and after picture 3 weeks - front view
At 3 weeks with eyes open, you can see some slight scarring at the outside corners. Also note the thin scar along the hairline.
NuBody Concepts eyelid and brow lift surgery patient before and after picture 3 weeks - eyes closed
At 3 weeks with eyes closed you can see more of the scars on the eyelids that are hidden with eyes open.
NuBody Concepts eyelid and brow lift surgery patient before and after picture 3 weeks - side view
The side view obscures the scars almost entirely as it is tucked inside the fold.

If you want to know about the recovery (and see some more in-between pictures that are not quite as pretty 😃), read on…

For me, the most pressing concern about my eyelid surgery recovery was how long it would take and how bad I would look before it was presentable.

Recovery time estimates are, by necessity, very vague, because no plastic surgeon wants to overpromise anything. So in the case of any facial surgical procedure, you might be told anywhere from 3-10 days. I figured I’d settle somewhere in the middle and assume I’d stay home for about a week. This is also the time you’ll need before the stitches come out. If you’re traveling to have your procedure elsewhere, like I did, staying there for one extra week is perfect.

7-Day Eyelid Surgery Recovery Day by Day

Each patient is different, but here is a day-by-day summary of my post-op journey:

Day 0 (procedure day)

I am driven home by my friend at 11:00 am and go to lay down, dozing on and off to sleep off the rest of the anesthesia. By 2 pm I am hungry enough to eat a light lunch and take my antibiotic and prescription painkiller, to stay ahead of the pain as advised. I was also given Zofran against nausea but don’t need it. My forehead feels numb the rest of the day. My face looks great, no bruising yet. Just two neat rows of stitches along my forehead, and two smaller ones across the eyelids. I was surprised there were no dressings – somehow I have expected bandages.

Day 1

I didn’t get much sleep the first night, but not because of any pain. It was more due to sleeping on back with head elevated as advised – not my favorite sleep position. When I get up, I see that bruising has set in under my eyes, but fortunately no swelling. You’re allowed to apply ice after 24 hours, so I start doing that in 20-min intervals, which provides relief. I take one more painkiller around midday but don’t feel like I need more after that. I also apply saline eye drops to relieve dryness. Sensation has come back to my forehead and it feels like eyebrows are frozen in place, but not painful. I can already see the elevated arch of the eyebrows and LOVE it.

Day 2

I wake up refreshed after a good night’s sleep and check out my face in the mirror. I looks a little rough, like Rocky after 7 rounds of boxing, but aside from the bruising under my eyes everything looks pretty normal. My eyes aren’t red or swollen anymore, I can open and close them without problem, and the itching and dryness from yesterday are almost gone. My forehead still feels tight when trying to raise my eyebrows. By now I am allowed to gently wash my face without scrubbing, and I dab the stitches along the eyelids to remove dried blood. I am careful to always reapply the ointment given by Diane to keep it from drying out (the Soothe & Protect Recovery Balm by Alastin, although the Biocorneum Advanced Scar Treatment by Sientra also works well and contains a sunscreen of SPF 30.)

Day 3

My eyes feel great and I feel totally normal. The bruising has traveled down a bit lower on my face so that there is now a gap between eyes and bruises. At times my head tingles, almost as if water were dripping onto it. It must be due to the scalp coming out of being numb.

Day 4

Still feeling great. Bruises slightly smaller but still there, slowly changing color. Since I basically had no swelling at all on any of the days, the bruising doesn’t really bother me. I go out and about wearing sunglasses and it is no problem. Just make sure that if you do go outside you wear a hat and/or apply sunscreen to your scars. You’ll want to do this for at least six months, if not a year. The SPF strength is less important as long as you make sure it contains zinc oxide.

Day 5

By now the bruises have gotten slightly smaller and the rings around my eyes have morphed into this sickly mustard color, which at least means the bruising is going through the tail-end.

Day 6

I have a morning appointment at NuBody Concepts to get my stitches out. This takes all but 15 minutes. The doctor is happy with the way everything looks. Some stitches on the outside edges of my eyelids have already come out by themselves. I think I could have tried to more diligently sleep on my back as side sleeping is probably what rubbed them out. But according to Dr. Rosdeutscher this is not going to be a problem. The scars will fade either way and blend easily into my eyelid. The scars along the forehead are already much less noticeable with the stitches gone.

This sums up the first week of my recovery, and beyond that there is no news to report. The bruising faded more every day, and by day 17 was completely gone. I bruise easily and therefore think my bruising took longer to disappear than it would for most other people. But after about a week it was faint enough to use a bit of makeup to hide it.

Is Eyelid Surgery With Brow Lift Worth It?

If I had to summarize my eyelid surgery experience with a single observation, I’d say I was surprised how easy it was. I spent so much time mulling over the idea – years! – and then reading up on it and thinking about it some more before finally making the decision. And then it only took a few hours for the procedure itself, most of it blissfully asleep, and a few hours of grogginess afterwards before I felt more or less normal again, totally able to go back to my regular daily activities.

Granted, you’re not going to want to go back to any activities outside of the house until your bruising has subsided. This could be anywhere from 5 to 14 days. I’d say you’ll want to schedule at least a week of downtime with nothing much on your calendar, just to make sure that you don’t have to deal with any uncomfortable situations. But with a little bit of foundation, sunglasses, and perhaps a hat, running errands or going to the grocery store by day three was no problem at all.

Given the great results, the procedure was absolutely worth it fo me.

Results Vary by Patient

Again, every patient is different and will experience a different recovery. I’m a non-smoker, in relatively good shape with a BMI of 20, and have no prior surgical history. I also don’t take any prescription drugs. In other words I’m the kind of patient a surgeon loves to see, ensuring a fairly easy and routine recovery. Your recovery might be similar or it might take longer, depending on your specific risk factors.

One tip for you: If you do decide to have eyelid surgery, a brow lift, or even a face or neck lift done at NuBody Concepts, make sure you schedule an appointment with their aesthetician Diane well in advance of your procedure. She is fantastic when it comes to skincare and scar treatments and will make sure you have all the right ointments to promote healing. This includes preparing your skin before the procedure with the Alastin skin nectar. You will be amazed how great your skin feels and how fast your scars fade when you use the proper skincare regimen – and you will get great joy out of seeing the new shape of your eyes every day you look into the mirror!

This concludes this eye surgery series. If you have any questions about eyelid or brow lift surgery at NuBody Concepts, please contact us or directly schedule a consultation with Dr. John Rosdeutscher in Nashville or Dr. Marc Peters in Memphis.

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