Tightness after Eyelid Surgery and How to Deal With It

The surgeons at Jefferson Plastic Surgery offer people in the greater Philadelphia, PA area many options for facial rejuvenation and anti-aging. Cosmetic eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) is among the most effective ways of turning back the clock and looking your best. Drooping eyelids, sagging eyelids, and bags around the eyes can be eliminated thanks to this surgical procedure. 

Following eyelid surgery, patients may notice some tightness or heaviness around their eyelids. Rest assured that this sensation is normal and only temporary.

How Common Is Tightness after Eyelid Surgery?

A feeling of tightness around the eyes is a common side effect after cosmetic eyelid surgery. This tightness often occurs when people open or close their eyes. Some patients may also experience tightness when they try to look up or look down. The tightness may be accompanied by a slight tugging or pulling sensation.

How Long Does the Tightness Last?

For most patients, tightness around the eye area can last anywhere from several weeks to a few months. Patients heal at different rates and the surgical techniques used to perform eyelid surgery can vary.

With that in mind, patients should notice gradual improvements as recovery continues, with the eyes and eyelids feeling a little lighter and looser either day to day or week to week.

What Causes Tightness after Eyelid Surgery?

Tightness can be related to a number of factors.

First of all, there's the post-op swelling common after any kind of surgery is performed. The eyelids and eye area are puffy for a few days after surgery, which is a natural part of healing. This swelling is temporary, and some of the tightness will dissipate once major swelling has gone down (typically two weeks).

Even after the swelling has abated, some tightness may still affect the patient's eyes. This is often due to the eyelid(s) continuing to heal. Skin and muscle tissue could be in the process of mending, which will take time and may result in sensations of tightness while recovery continues.

In rare cases, the poor formation of scar tissue from the eyelid surgery may result in problems opening or closing the eyelids. For some patients, this can prevent them from fully closing their eyes. These matters may resolve with time, but they require monitoring to protect the patient's eye health.

Ways to Address Eyelid Tightness after Surgery

The best way to address tightness after eyelid surgery is to follow post-op instructions closely. Be sure to protect your eyes after surgery by wearing sunglasses if you go outdoors. Applying ointment to the eyelids in the early days of healing can help prevent infection and keep the eyelids lubricated and comfortable.

During follow-up visits with your cosmetic surgeon, be sure to discuss any new sensations when blinking or moving your eyes. Your surgeon will be able to examine the matter thoroughly and offer an assessment of your situation.

What if Post-op Tightness Persists after Many Months?

If tightness around the eyelids continues after a few months without improvement, it's important to meet with your plastic surgeon. This is especially the case when tightness of the eyelids prevents the eyes from fully closing. 

Measures must be taken to ensure the eyes can be completely shut. Temporary fixes might include the use of lubricated eye drops and ways of forcing the eyes shut at night. Corrective or reconstructive surgery may also be recommended to address these problems.

Contact Jefferson Plastic Surgery

If you are interested in undergoing eyelid surgery and would like additional information about the procedure, contact our skilled cosmetic surgeons. The team at Jefferson Plastic Surgery is here to provide you with the answers you need to determine if surgery is right for you.

Questions? Email us today.

To make or reschedule an appointment please complete the form below or call:  (215) 625-6630.

CALL US TODAY: (215)625-6630


Jefferson Plastic Surgery is located on the corner of 9th and Walnut streets in Center City, Philadelphia on the 15th floor of the Wills Eye Hospital Building.

Jefferson Plastic Surgery
840 Walnut Street - 15th Floor
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107
Phone: (215) 625-6630
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Out of town patients can take our simple 4 step online consultation. To make or reschedule an appointment please call:  (215) 625-6630.

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