This is a common question for any surgery. Recovery usually takes two to three weeks, though many patients go back to work in two weeks. Scars are usually not noticeable after enough time has passed for them to mature. In any case, they are easily disguised in natural skin creases, by the hair, or, in persistent cases, by makeup until total healing has occurred. Bear in mind that the aging process continues after surgery and that some relaxation of tissues will occur during the first few weeks.
Dr. Johnston understands that recovery means different things to different people. Here are some guidelines specific to brow lifts, which apply whether you have had one or both brows done.
During the first week, you are likely to have some pain, swelling, and bruising after the procedure. You may feel fatigued. Some patients experience nausea, even vomiting, during the first 24 hours. We will provide you with a prescription to combat nausea just in case you need it, in addition to prescription pain medicine.
A sore throat can occur from the use of an endotracheal tube during the procedure to assist with ventilation. This usually lasts about five days.
If you undergo upper and/or lower eyelid surgery it is common to have bruising, swelling, and even blurry vision. Some patients have enough eyelid swelling that it obstructs their vision for a period of days. Significant pain or visual loss is not common, and you should call your surgeon or see a physician immediately if this occurs.
A sensation of tightness—around the eyes, the face, and the neck—is relatively common. Numbness of the ears, and forehead, can occur.
You may wear eyeglasses when you are comfortable doing so, but please refrain from wearing contacts until you have been advised that you can.
Light exercise, such as walking, is encouraged, but refrain from heavy, strenuous activity so as to minimize bruising after surgery.
The more dramatic swelling of the first 48 hours will resolve fairly quickly. The bruising is typically gone by 2-3 weeks after the procedure. During the first month you may notice a asymmetric swelling, some irregularities to the skin and underlying soft tissue (“lumpiness”), a sensation of tightness, numbness in certain areas, tingling, palpable sutures, mildly blurry vision, changes in the ear or brow position on one or both sides, and the like.
Your eyes may feel dry, and require you to apply artificial tears or prescription eye drops for a period of time.