Neck Lift / Lower Rhytidectomy

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Neck Lifts are surgical procedures done to enhance the appearance of the neck.The results obtained are long-lasting.Neck lift procedures reduce the laxity of the neck tissues, and increase the tone of muscles in the neck region, reducing the fat deposition, and helps in creating a jawline which is defined. The different types of neck lifts are
Direct Neck lift (combination of both)
There are several variations of neck lifts.
A platysmaplasty alters the platysma muscle of the neck.
A cervicoplasty only addresses excess skin and excess fat.
A direct neck lift combines both of these procedures for a total rejuvenation.
Depending on the candidate and the surgeon’s decision, the surgical procedures can be to perform ‘awake’ like local anesthesia.
Some patients may opt  to combine neck lifts with other aesthetic procedures such as a brow lift, eyelid surgery, or facelift.
What to Expect During Neck Lift Recovery
The patient can expect
Bruising, following this cosmetic procedure.
The actual recovery takes time, but the period of discomfort might be around 2-3 weeks.
If general anesthesia is considered for the procedure, patients might feel nausea, drowsiness, in the following post-op period.
The above mentioned side effects of general anesthesia can be managed by medications.


Stop smoking, drinking alcohol, taking certain supplements, and reduce caffeine intake a few days prior to surgery. This reduces inflammatory markers and promotes overall health optimizing you for a successful and speedy recovery.

Get your supplies together! Have the essentials like ice packs, pain and inflammation medications (like aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen), and any other medications your doctor advises (like antibiotic ointments). Check out our complete guide to recovering from cosmetic procedures in comfort and style to learn more.

-Immediately Post-Op

Depending on how you react to anesthesia, you may feel drowsy, disoriented, and nauseous. Even those of us lucky enough to tolerate anesthesia well should expect to feel sore and swollen. Your throat and mouth will be dry, your face and neck will feel numb and tingly, your shoulders and upper back may feel tight, and you might have a bit of a tension headache. These immediate side effects should wear off within a few hours.

Remember that part of your general anesthesia is usually stronger pain medications that will have you waking up with numbness but not sharp pain. As these medicines get worked out of your system, you should expect to feel a more intense (but not severe) pain. Your doctor will tell you what pain medicines are most appropriate for you post-op.

-Day 1

So, you hopefully got some sleep without putting too much pressure on your neck and shoulder… so basically sitting up (the right pillow can help with that). You ideally kept an ice pack and your pain or inflammation meds not too far away. Medicines like ibuprofen or acetaminophen are important not only for pain control, but also for keeping inflammation down. This promotes faster recovery.

You’re probably feeling soreness and discomfort in your shoulder, neck, jaw, upper back, face, and scalp. You may also feel some discomfort in your throat and you’ll be sporting some bruises.

Hopefully your appetite is ok and you can tolerate some soft foods. Some people may find chewing uncomfortable, but cold foods, like ice cream, can make your mouth numb, which may be helpful. Make sure to drink plenty of water!

Also, it’s not unusual to have some bleeding from your incisions. Remember that your body is working hard to heal your wounds and it’s sending a lot of blood with nutrients and infection-fighting cells to the area. This creates a lot of inflammation that you can control with meds and ice packs.

Remember to always keep your head elevated!

-Day 2 to Day 7

Each day, the pain, swelling, and bruising will progressively improve.

If you had bandages or sutures placed during the procedure, they will usually get removed somewhere between day five and day seven.

During this first week, don’t expect to go to work or be doing anything strenuous. This is the time to binge watch TV, finally organize your inbox, or learn a new language… whatever works for you.

-Week 2

Ok, so now you can probably start thinking about getting back to some normal activities. If you need to travel home from your procedure, it’s now safe to get on a plane. You can get creative with your makeup and clothing routine and think about heading out for some errands or back to the office.

It’s important to note that more invasive procedure candidates may spend week two recovering in a manner similar to week one. This will vary by individual. By the end of the two weeks, however, all candidates can expect to be out of the house again.

-Week 3 to Week 12

For most candidates, it’s safe to get that blood pressure up again. Your doctor will give you specific instructions, but, by week three or four, you can generally resume more strenuous activities and exercise and slowly ramp up the intensity over a few days as tolerated. Keep in mind, exercise at this time will most likely cause swelling to go up again, but this should go back down within a few hours.

It’s worth repeating that during this entire time swelling will continue to go down and it is important to protect your head and neck from trauma. Save playing catch for a while.

-6 months to 1 Year

Swelling will become considerably less noticeable and there’s not much to do during this time other than be mindful of keeping your head and neck protected from trauma and to continue to take general precautions to minimize swelling.

-12 to 18 months

By the one-year post-op mark, most neck lift patients see their final results now that skin, soft tissue, and muscle has healed and swelling has resolved. Depending on the patient, this process could take up to 36 months.

Tips to Improve Your Neck Lift Recovery


Neck Lift Side Effects & Complications

  1. Bruising on the neck region,which gradually reduces
  2. Neck tightness
  3. Shoulder and upper back tightness
  4. Scarring
  5. Numbness from damage to nerve
  6. Infection

The above mentioned side effects/complications generally resolve in 2-3 weeks of time and can be managed by medications.



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