How Long Does It Take to Recover from a Neck Lift?

Neck lifts are routinely performed at Schaffer Plastic Surgery for men and women desiring a more lifted, youthful appearance. Often considered a lower rhytidectomy or lower facelift, neck lifts are an outstanding choice for addressing neck wrinkles, sagging skin, jowls or “turkey wattle.” Before deciding whether this procedure is right for you, it is important to understand how long it takes to recover from a neck lift.

Anatomy of a Neck Lift

To best understand the recovery experience of someone who has had a neck lift, you must first understand how a neck lift works. This innovative procedure works by repositioning the tissues underneath the neck skin and tightening the neck muscles. Additionally, fat may be redistributed from the jowls and neck. If needed, excess skin can be trimmed away or redraped over uplifted contours. In some cases, liposuction under the chin is used. Incisions are carefully tucked away around the ear. For older patients, a neck lift can address loose skin and tighten lax muscles. For younger patients, a neck lift can help smooth neck contours after weight loss or debulk fullness in the central neck, as seen in a “double chin.”

What to Expect After a Neck Lift

Neck lifts are performed as outpatient procedure at Schaffer Plastic Surgery, meaning that patients will go home after surgery. Most patients will wake up with a bandage around their face and neck to prevent further swelling and bruising. Patients may also be sent home with a drain (a thin tube) to get rid of excess blood and fluid. Rest assured that if you have a drain, you will be given instructions on how to care for it. All patients will receive instructions on medications to take or apply, care instructions (for example, ice should not be applied to the area) and things to keep an eye on in the area of the procedure.

Neck Lift Recovery Tips

Immediately after a neck lift, someone will need to drive you home and stay with you for a day or two. They will also need to drive you back to Schaffer Plastic Surgery for your follow-up appointment. Prepare for sleeping with your head elevated for several weeks to help reduce swelling and bruising and be sure to get plenty of rest. Avoid strenuous exercise, steamy showers or baths and the sun for several weeks while the skin is sensitive. Follow your bandaging instructions for the first week to avoid infection and take your pain medication as advised and on schedule.

Neck Lift Recovery Time

After neck lift surgery, patients can expect their bruising and swelling to go down within four to six weeks. It will take surgical scars around six months to a year to fade, although they will be hidden as carefully as possible by Dr. Schaffer. Usually, patients can return to work and be driving after about a week, depending on what type of job they have. At your initial consultation with Dr. Schaffer, these types of important details will be discussed based on your unique circumstances.

Combining Treatments for a Consolidated Recovery

We know how important it is to plan for recovery time after surgery. To avoid multiple separate recoveries, many patients choose to combine procedures for the advantage of going through only one recovery period. Commonly, facelifts are combined with neck lifts for a smoother, more uplifted appearance. Neck lifts can also be combined with chin augmentation for a svelte look. To explore the best combination of procedures for your unique goals, schedule a one-on-one consultation with Dr. Schaffer by calling 205-278-7969.