A neck lift, also referred to as a lower rhytidectomy or platysmaplasty, revitalizes the appearance of your neck and is one of the most common surgeries performed to reverse the signs of aging.
A surgeon performing a necklift will remove excess skin and fatty tissue, tightening the skin and underlying muscle to give you a more contoured and youthful-looking appearance. However, undergoing surgery is just half the process. Your recovery process will also have a significant impact on your experience and your results.
To help you prepare for your upcoming neck lift procedure, I have provided a day-to-day timeline of the neck lift recovery process.
Neck lift surgery is typically an outpatient procedure, which means you will return home the same day as your surgery to begin your recovery time.
You will be monitored in our private surgical center for several hours after surgery, ensuring you do not have any reaction to the anesthetic or other possible complications. Once cleared, you will be discharged with a dressing on your incisions and possibly a tube for fluid drainage. as We will also make sure you have a comprehensive list of post-surgery care instructions to ensure your recovery process is as safe and comfortable as possible.
You may feel groggy from the anesthesia or pain medications, so be sure to have someone else drive you home.
The first day after your neck lift will typically be the most uncomfortable. You will likely experience some tenderness, swelling, and bruising at this time. I will prescribe pain medication, which you can take as needed for the first few days.
This is a good time to apply ice packs intermittently to relieve any pain and swelling.
Avoid strenuous activities and keep your head elevated above your heart’s level while recovering. This includes sleeping with your head propped up on pillows or using a reclining chair. The elevated position will help avoid swelling and fluid build-up.
Day three is usually when you have your first follow-up appointment with our office to monitor how your recovery after your neck lift is progressing.
The rest of that week will likely be spent resting and taking your medications as directed. Focus on taking care of yourself –eat healthy, drink lots of fluids, change your bandage regularly and as instructed, and give your body time to recuperate and heal.
By the end of the first week, swelling and pain will improve and most patients stop taking pain medications by this time.
We might recommend light stretching activities, such as neck mobility maneuvers after the first week. If you have a desk job that does not involve active or strenuous movements, you may return to work after 1-2 weeks. However, you will still have lingering swelling, so don’t push yourself too hard too soon or you could compromise your recovery process
Stitches are removed 5-14 days (usually 7 days) after surgery. The specific timeframe will depend on how quickly your incision sites heal.
You’ll probably feel more like yourself by the second week, but keep in mind you’re still in the healing process.
After the first month, you may return to most of your exercise program. However, monitor your body. If you’re doing anything excessively, your body will let you know you should take it easy.
It is possible to still have some minor swelling and bruising, but any outward signs of your surgery should only be obvious to you. You can go out in public without feeling too self-conscious about your surgery. Your incision sites might appear darker or raised, but this will subside over time.
By the end of the first month, swelling will significantly improve, revealing the new contour of your neck and jawline.
Over the course of the first six weeks of your recovery, you will steadily heal as your bruising and swelling go down. You will be more active with each week that passes, and you will find more and more opportunities to love your new neck as you return to your normal routine.
Recovery time for a neck lift will vary for each patient. The timeline mentioned above only represents the general neck lift recovery time, and the neck lift recovery process is a unique journey for every patient.
Learn more about neck lifts and their recovery here.
Contact our Charlotte Plastic Surgery Clinic to Learn More About Neck Lift
At Carolina Facial Plastics in Charlotte, NC, my team consists of myself, a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon, two board-certified physician assistants, Heather Bryant, MPAS, PA-C, and Amanda Piligian, PA-C, and a board-certified nurse practitioner, Courtney Whitley, FNP-C. We emphasize the patient’s comfort and goals throughout all steps of our face and neck procedures.
We also understand that an educated patient is in the best position to enjoy exemplary neck lift results. Knowing what to expect can go a long way in making your neck lift recovery time as smooth as possible.
Carolina Facial Plastics is an all-inclusive aesthetic destination where our staff will ensure you have a comfortable and welcoming experience. We will be available throughout your entire experience, whether a first consultation or a surgical facial rejuvenation procedure. Patients also have the option of spending some of their recovery time at our Fairview Recovery Retreat, a luxurious respite with an on-call nurse, medical staff, and medical supplies to ensure your safety and comfort throughout your stay.
If you’re considering getting a neck lift or would like to learn more about the procedure, contact Carolina Facial Plastics in Charlotte, NC to schedule a consultation.
Next, learn about the questions to ask your surgeon before undergoing neck lift surgery here.