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Neck Lift Recovery

Neck Lift ResultsIf you are considering a neck lift procedure to get rid of sagging, loose skin under your chin, it is important to have a clear understanding of what to expect during the recovery process. With his years of experience, Dr. Kulbersh strongly believes in ensuring that his patients feel confident and comfortable prior to any surgical procedure, no matter how minor or intensive. For a natural looking neck lift, schedule a consultation at Carolina Facial Plastics today!

What to Expect Following Neck lift Surgery

Certain physical changes are expected following neck lift surgery.  Some individuals may experience all of the following and others only a few.  The degree to which each person is affected is variable and unpredictable.

BLEEDING – Oozing of blood and tissue fluid along the suture lines is normal for several days following surgery.  Bleeding that is severe or does not stop within 10 minutes of continuous pressure should be reported to our office.

SWELLING – Facial swelling is expected and may be more pronounced 24-72 hours after surgery. The neck lift dressing makes this swelling appear to be greater than it really is.  Excessive swelling of only ONE side of the face is abnormal and should be reported to our office immediately.  Sleeping with your head elevated and sitting upright during the day for several days following surgery will help minimize swelling.  Most swelling will gradually resolve in 14 days.

BRUISING – Bruising, too, is normal.  The bruises on your face may “fall” onto your neck and upper chest before disappearing.  Most bruising will resolve in the first 14 days and may be concealed by makeup after one week.

TIGHTNESS – Facial tightness is greatest in the first several weeks after surgery, but may persist to some degree for several months.  This is due to subtle swelling in the facial tissues that will subside.  Be assured, your face will again feel “normal.”

ITCHINGNUMBNESS – Itching along suture lines and in areas adjacent to the face (scalp, forehead) is common and temporary.  A feeling that the face, neck, and earlobes are numb also occurs.  Normal sensation usually returns within weeks to months.

HEAVINESS – Your face may feel “heavy” for 4-6 weeks following surgery.  This is due to swelling and changes that occur with healing.  Use of the chinstrap will help alleviate this sensation.

ASYMMETRY – For the first several weeks following surgery your face may appear to be slightly lopsided.  This is because swelling is not symmetrical following surgery and resolves at different rates on different parts of the face.  This “unevenness” will settle out as the swelling goes away.

Instructions for Neck Lift

Scarves should not be in direct contact with skin and telephones should be sterilized (disinfected) for two weeks because it may cause an infection.

Absolutely no smoking for at least three weeks to avoid healing complications.

Day of Surgery:

  1. Stay in bed and rest or sleep on your back with your head elevated on 2-3 pillows.
  2. You may get out of bed to go to the bathroom with assistance.
  3. It is normal to be drowsy, but try to eat a light, soft meal in the evening.
  4. Swelling, bruising and tightness of the bandages are normal complaints.
  5. Take medication only as instructed. Take Arnika Forte to prevent bruising.
  6. If there is excessive swelling accompanied by increased bruising and pain (especially on one side), call the office immediately.

Next Day:

  1. We will remove the tight bandages and apply a looser, lighter protective dressing for another 1 – 2 days.
  2. Eat something before coming to the office for the dressing change and before other post-operative visits.
  3. Always call the office prior to leaving to confirm the time of your appointment.

Follow-up Care:

  1. Your face may be visibly swollen and discolored for 2 – 3 weeks after surgery.  “Lumps and bumps” may last longer.   Please try to be patient and not let it upset you.
  2. Avoid sudden movements of your head to either side to prevent tension on the sutures.  Move your shoulders along with your head.
  3. Try to sleep on your back for 2 weeks after surgery to help decrease swelling.
  4. Eat a relatively soft diet and avoid hard chewing for 2 weeks.
  5. After the light dressings are removed, you may wash your face gently with a mild soap and cool water but avoid any rubbing or scrubbing.  Pat dry softly.
  6. You will be instructed to briefly wash your hair with sterilized or distilled water and antibacterial mild shampoo 2 days after surgery.  Avoid having the water beating upon your face.  Do not use a hot blow dryer.
  7. The chin strap (given at second post-operative visit) should be worn at all times except when showering/bathing for the first week. For the second week, it should be worn only at bedtime.
  8. All skin sutures and stainless steel clips in the scalp will be removed during the first week or two.    Make-up can be applied after this time.
  9. Clean your incisions twice daily with Q-tips and hydrogen peroxide, followed by an antibiotic ointment (Polysporin or Bacitracin ointment that can be purchased over the counter).

Post-Operative Healing

  1. Rest, both physical and mental, and adequate nutrition (including vitamin supplementation) are important factors in healing, so eat well and take it easy for a few weeks. We recommend Stress tabs with Zinc or the equivalent. Remember: avoid Vitamin E for 2 weeks before and after surgery.
  2. Alcohol can prolong swelling and healing, so avoid it.
  3. Numbness, swelling, tingling, itching, discoloration, bumpiness, hardness, crusting, tightness, and redness around incisions are entirely normal and should resolve gradually with healing.
  4. Do not wear earrings for 2-3 weeks.
  5. Avoid prolonged direct sun exposure for 6-8 weeks as it can cause swelling. Wear a hat and a #15 sunscreen.
  6. Do not color or bleach your hair for 6 weeks.
  7. Full healing takes a number of months. Please keep your routine post-operative appointments. A final check-up is highly advisable 6-12 months after surgery.

Schedule a Comprehensive Consultation Today!

If you would like to learn more about a neck lift and whether it will provide the solutions you are looking for, do not wait to contact expert plastic surgeon Dr. Kulbersh. Call our office for a comprehensive consultation today!

Next, learn about Facial Fat Transfer

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