11 Neck Lift Recovery Tips for a Better Recovery
- How long is the recovery after a neck lift?
- How can I make my recovery after a neck lift less painful?
- How do I speed up recovery after neck lift?
A neck lift is a facial rejuvenation surgery that can help make you look younger and healthier. But the recovery period is sometimes one of our patients’ main concerns. Recovering from a neck lift can take several weeks, often with undesirable side effects like bruising, swelling, and numbness. Find out how to have a better neck lift recovery
Dr Micheal Kernohan is one of the most distinguished Plastic and Cosmetic Surgeons in Australia. He specialises in facial surgery, including face and neck lifts, in Southwest Sydney and Southern Ranges in New South Wales.
With his extensive experience, Dr Kernohan is offering his top tips for smooth healing and recovery after your neck lift. From ice packs to clothing choices, these tips give you the best chances for a speedy neck lift recovery.
What Is A Neck Lift?
A neck lift, also known as a platysmaplasty or cervicoplasty, is a surgical procedure to improve signs of aging in the neck and achieve a smoother, tighter contour. Dr Kernohan can perform a neck lift alone or as part of a facelift.
A neck lift can reduce the appearance of common signs of aging around your neck and lower part of your face, such as
- Sagging skin
- Double chin
- Turkey neck
- Excess skin or loose skin
Dr Kernohan makes small incisions behind your ears and under your chin during neck lift surgery to tighten and lift the underlying tissues and muscles.
He often performs liposuction with neck lift to draw out excess fat, effectively improving the “turkey neck” and “double chin” look.
Neck lift surgery is a simple, yet major cosmetic procedure. You will need to follow Dr Kernohan’s post-neck lift aftercare instructions to ensure your recovery is smooth-sailing with no complications.
What to expect with Recovery After A Neck Lift
Like most surgical procedures, it’s common to experience some post-surgery symptoms after a neck lift.
After neck lift surgery, you may experience a few side effects in and around your neck:
- Tight feeling
These side effects of neck lift often last about 7 to 10 days after surgery before they subside. However, we urge you to contact Dr Kernohan if you notice:
- Swelling, bruising, or redness worsens with time
- Pain persists even after taking pain medications
- Pus from the wound
One of the most common concerns among our patients is the recovery after neck lift surgery. And we understand entirely. Recovering from a neck lift can be a long and frustrating process, often taking several weeks to a few months to recover fully.
Here are a few tips that Dr Kernohan always recommends for a fast and better recovery after a neck lift.
Eleven Tips For Better or Faster Neck Lift Recovery
1. Be Prepared
The first day after a platysmaplasty or neck surgery is often the most uncomfortable. Your neck may feel stiff and sore, so you will need all the help you can get to keep yourself as comfortable as possible.
Having a family member or a friend help you after surgery can make your recovery a smoother process. Having someone take you home, prepare your meals, and help you with strenuous daily activities can help you heal faster after neck lift.
Preparing your home ahead of time makes for a better recovery period after a neck lift. Set up a resting place to keep your head and neck comfortable as much as possible.
2. Wear Your Chin Strap
Dr Kernohan will provide a chin strap for you to wear after neck lift; it prevents unnecessary movement and reduces swelling. Wear this consistently for around 2 weeks after surgery, but you can remove it during meals, showers, or cleaning your incision.
3. Keep Your Head Elevated
A great tip to boost recovery after your neck lift is to lie on your back and keep your head elevated when you sleep. It’s as simple as that.
Keeping your head elevated is excellent for improving circulation to reduce swelling after your surgery. This position places the least amount of stress on your neck, allowing you to heal faster.
4. Use An Ice Pack
Ice packs can help you recover faster after a neck lift. You can apply an ice pack around the painful area to reduce necklift swelling and bruising and relieve pain.
Avoid using ice directly on your neck. After a neck lift, the skin of your neck is sensitive and tender. When you directly apply ice to your skin, it disrupts your blood flow and can cause harm and pain.
5. Avoid Strenuous Activity
We recommend avoiding any kind of strenuous activity and vigorous exercises during the first few weeks of your recovery after neck lift surgery. Rest is the easiest way to speed up recovery post-neck lift.
Any twisting, bending, and abrupt movement can be painful to the newly operated area and interrupt a smooth recovery. If you want to stay physically active, opt for light strolling instead.
6. Avoid Hot Showers
One of the best ways to speed up your recovery from a neck lift is to avoid hot showers. While long, steamy showers can be relaxing, hot water and steam can irritate and even infect the incision site.
For the first 48 hours after surgery, keep the incision site as dry as possible to allow your surgery wounds to heal faster. You can opt for a sponge bath with lukewarm water after your neck lift.
After a week, you can gradually add showers back into your routine. For a better neck lift recovery and faster healing, Dr Kernohan recommends a few tips when getting into the shower:
- Use a gentle shower setting
- Keep showers short
- Shower with lukewarm water
- Use gentle patting motions when drying yourself
7. Wear Comfortable and Loose Clothes
An easy way to heal from a neck lift faster is to wear loose clothing.
Dr Kernohan recommends staying away from pull-over shirts for the first few weeks after your neck lift. Instead, opt for comfortable and loose clothes that do not irritate your neck.
If something is too tight and requires a lot of manipulating and stretching, avoid it. The more gentle you are with your incisions, the quicker you can recover from your neck lift.
8. Avoid Sun Exposure
For the first 2 weeks after your neck lift, avoid unnecessary sun exposure to your neck to minimise the risk of complications. The heat and ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun can promote inflammation at the incision site and increase the chances of bleeding.
The UV rays can also alter the pigmentation around any scars, making them more prominent.
Here are a few easy tips to avoid direct sun exposure and recover from a neck lift faster:
- Use a wide-brimmed hat to shield your incisions
- Use soft, breathable scarfs
- Choose shady spots when going out
- Apply a sunscreen with at least SPF 30 when your incisions have completely healed at about 2 to 3 weeks
9. Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle
Any kind of surgery, including neck lift surgery, can be exhausting. Keeping a healthy lifestyle is essential for a faster recovery process after your neck lift.
Eat a balanced diet to restock your energy and give your body the nutrients it needs to speed up healing after your neck lift.
We strongly advise you to avoid smoking, alcohol, or any other form of nicotine. These can cause healing problems and lower your immunity, making you susceptible to infection.
10. Listen To Your Body
One of the simplest ways for a better neck lift recovery is to listen to your body. Your healing process takes time and, often, it’s best to go at your own pace.
Resuming work, exercise, and other normal activities before your body is ready can affect the progress of your neck lift recovery and prolong it further. If you think you’re ready, start with light exercise and work your way up. This way you can stay physically active and boost your recovery.
Taking some time off from work after a neck lift is crucial for better healing and recovery after your surgery.
11. Stay Positive
A positive attitude and the right mindset are the best tips for a better neck lift recovery. It’s normal to be concerned about your neck lift and the post-operative care you have to follow. But your smoother, younger appearance after your neck lift will be entirely worth it.
Keeping that in mind and following our tips for a speedy recovery will make your neck lift recovery phase go by faster, and before you know it, you’re fully healed.
Neck Lift Revovery FAQs – Questions & Answers
How long does it take to recover from a neck lift?
- Recovery time from a neck lift surgery can take a few weeks to a month. Usually, it takes 2 to 3 weeks before the swelling fully subsides and the results become prominent. We advise you to stay rested and take care of yourself to speed up the neck lift recovery process.
How long will my neck feel tight after the neck lift surgery?
- It’s common to feel slight discomfort and swelling for around 2 to 3 weeks. However, you experience tightness and numbness around your neck area for a few months. Depending on how your body responds, your symptoms may resolve faster or last longer than others.
How painful is a neck lift?
- Dr Micheal Kernohan performs neck lift surgery under general anesthesia, putting you in a deep sleep and preventing pain. He also prescribes pain medication and support gear to restrict unnecessary neck movement after your neck lift. As long as you follow Dr Kernohan’s recovery tips for neck lift surgery, you can minimise pain and boost healing after your surgery.
How long should I wear a chin strap after neck lift surgery?
- Dr Kernohan determines how long you will need to wear a chin strap based on your conditions. Usually, he recommends wearing the chin strap consistently for the first 2 weeks. You can remove it when you are eating, showering, or cleaning the incisions.
Can neck lifts go wrong?
- You may experience a few side effects with neck lift surgery, like irritation, hair loss along the incision, scarring, and infections. However, neck lifts rarely go wrong in the hands of a skilled and licensed plastic surgeon, such as Dr Michael Kernohan.
Is neck lift recovery painful?
- Neck lift recovery is generally not painful. However, you may feel some discomfort. Most patients report feeling a tightness in their neck and not pain. Symptoms after neck lift surgery usually go away about 3 weeks after the procedure.
Can I take painkillers after the neck lift?
- You can take paracetamol every 3 to 4 hours if you’re experiencing mild pain. We usually do not recommend taking Ibuprofen a few days after your neck lift surgery because it may slightly increase the risk of bruising or mild bleeding. For severe pain, contact Dr Kernohan immediately for medical care.
How is the neck lift done?
- Dr Kernohan makes a small incision at the temple area, behind the ears, and under the chin. He then tightens your underlying tissues and neck muscles to improve the overall shape, symmetry, and contour of your face.
How long after the neck lift can I exercise?
- We recommend you avoid strenuous exercise during your initial recovery phase after neck lift surgery. Walking and light jogging are allowed just after your neck lift. When your condition improves, you may engage in higher-impact exercises- about 2 to 3 weeks after your neck lift.
Can I sleep on my side after a neck lift?
- Initially, after a neck lift, we recommend lying on your back with your head elevated when you rest. This method reduces irritation and swelling during your neck lift recovery. You may resume sleeping on your side or front around 2 to 4 weeks after neck lift surgery.
Further Reading – Medical References about Neck Lift Recovery
Dr Michael Kernohan – Specialist Plastic Surgeon in Sydney NSW
Dr Michael Kernohan is a Sydney Plastic, Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgeon providing a wide range of services from skin cancer to cosmetic surgery for the face, nose, breast and body.
He also offers complex reconstructive procedures following trauma and a range of cancer treatments using the most innovative and up-to-date treatment options.
Dr Kernohan is able to care for both public and private patients and currently has appointments in five Sydney hospitals and has an additional leadership role as Director of Surgical Specialities.
His main clinic is now located in Gregory Hills and he has 4 other locations – Bowral, Liverpool, Surry Hills (city) and Campbelltown Clinic – servicing patients in Sydney Southwest and Southern Highlands.