What Is Recovering From a Neck Lift Like?

Whether your neck lift is scheduled soon or you’ve just come through the procedure, you can barely wait to see your new look. But when it comes to neck lifts, patience is key. There are a few things you can do after your surgery to ensure that you heal quickly, safely, and with fewer scars. 

Dr. Michael Macdonald and our team at Aesthetic Surgery Center are here to make your neck lift a great all-around experience by equipping you with the tools necessary for a fast and comfortable recovery. Here’s what to expect.

The first few hours

Neck lifts are routine procedures, but they do require extensive surgical techniques. Depending on the type of neck lift you received, you may have had excess skin removed, neck muscles altered, and liposuction to remove fat.

Following Dr. Macdonald’s post-op instructions is crucial, especially within the first few hours of your surgery. 

Immediately afterward, keep your head elevated above your heart. This helps to minimize swelling. You should also try your best to keep your head straight and avoid excessive twisting or bending of your neck. 

It might be tempting, but avoid applying ice to your neck at this time. Your skin is extremely fragile right after your surgery, and ice can disrupt blood flow and even cause skin death. 

The first week

Once you’ve made it past the first few hours, the next 5-7 days bring their own set of challenges. 

You wear a light-pressure dressing or chin strap around your neck to control swelling. Dr. Macdonald removes this and your sutures at your first follow-up appointment. 

You should expect some mild swelling, bruising, and pain during this phase of recovery, but Dr. Macdonald can prescribe some pain medication to keep you comfortable. 

The first few months

Once you’ve had your initial follow-up appointment with Dr. Macdonald, he clears you to return to your normal routine and activity, though we recommend avoiding any strenuous activity for at least three weeks. 

At this point, you can apply makeup and other concealers to hide any faint residual bruising and scars. You may feel some numbness in your neck for the next 3-6 months until you’ve completely healed. 

The first year and beyond

For most, neck lifts last for years, but not even Dr. Macdonald’s expertise can stop the inevitable effects of aging. To make your neck lift last even longer, follow these basic healthy-skin tips:

Dr. Macdonald can give you even more suggestions to keep looking younger with every passing year. 

Investing in your appearance with a neck lift can be both exciting and scary, but we’re here to see you through — from your first consultation to your final post-op appointment. 

When you’re ready to look as young as you feel, call our San Francisco office at 415-956-3223, or request an appointment online to get started.

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