If you desire to rewind the effects of age and gravity, a neck lift is one of the best ways to achieve the slender, contoured neck of your youth.
Some candidates are nervous about the recovery process, and that's okay. A neck lift is a surgery and some discomfort is to be expected. But you may be pleasantly surprised to discover that many patients don’t report experiencing a great deal of pain.
With a shapely neck and defined jaw line in your future, the benefits of a neck lift greatly exceed the temporary discomfort.
Knowing what to expect goes a long way to making the experience easier.
Neck Lift Recovery Time
First of all, you should understand that there are no absolutes in the healing timeline. How long it takes to fully recover depends on the individual, as well as the extent of their surgery.
The First Few Days
After neck lift surgery, it is imperative that you follow your doctor’s orders. Expect to wear a special supportive chin strap for 3 to 7 days. You will be required to sleep with your head slightly elevated to minimize swelling.
For the first week, you will experience some degree of soreness and a good bit of tightness. Most neck lift patients describe their pain as being mild.
More often than not, these patients list their main cause of discomfort as a feeling of tightness. For some, this tightness can be anxiety-inducing; however, most people describe more of a “tight turtleneck” sensation. This feeling is only temporary as your body acclimates.
Other side effects you may notice during the first few days include:
After the first week, most patients can return to normal everyday activities.
The Second Week
Most patients can perform light activities after 3-5 days and resume their work within 1-2 weeks. Bruising usually fades within the first couple weeks, while swelling will gradually diminish over time.
In the second week, active wound care is generally no longer an issue. Your doctor will instruct you to gently care for the surgery site and to monitor your activity level.
You may continue to experience some abnormal sensations, tightness, and swelling. After the second week, you will start to feel like your former self - only with a slender neck!
Getting to 100%
On average, patients feel relatively back to normal within 2-to-4 months.
However, just because you feel great doesn't mean you shouldn't still be careful. It's best to be safe and not overdo it with too much muscle strain. While you can exercise and even play sports, it's important to listen to your body and let it warn you when it's time to take it easy.
Expect your neck to feel tight for a few weeks. Bruising and swelling may also linger. Remember that healing depends on your body, the extent of your procedure, and the skill of your surgeon.
Once your doctor gives you the official thumbs up, you may resume all normal activities.
Speeding Up the Healing Process
Any surgical procedure requires patience during the recovery period. The neck lift is no exception.
Luckily, you can directly affect your healing process by:
- Follow your doctor's instructions. Your plastic surgeon will provide you with a list of detailed instructions regarding recovery items like medication, ice, heat, and supplements. Make sure to ask if you have any questions whatsoever!
- Don't overdo it. Even if you feel perfectly well, take it slow and listen to your body.
- Get plenty of rest and nutrition. Your body needs to recharge in order to properly heal.
- Avoid stress. Make sure you have help, especially during the first few days post-op. Clear your schedule and focus on resting during the initial part of your recovery.
- Have a positive attitude. Always think of your end result, and keep everything else in perspective.
- Stay away from all forms of nicotine, smoking, drugs, and alcohol. Take only the medications approved by your doctor. Call the office with any questions about medicine.
Although recovery takes time and patience, individuals tend to be extremely happy with their results. It’s essential that you find a skilled surgeon who will make your neck lift experience as smooth as possible.
The neck lift is a unique procedure that requires both expertise and an aesthetic eye for beautiful results. Dr. Larry Fan is a San Francisco-based, Harvard-educated plastic surgeon who is a veteran in a wide range of neck contouring techniques and procedures.
Book a free consultation and Dr. Fan will design a custom treatment plan based on your specific problem and desired results.