How Long After a Neck Lift Surgery Will I Look Normal?

Neck lift Surgery Before & After Photo

Are you tired of seeing excessive skin or fat around your chin? Do you want to define your jawline and enhance your beauty? Neck lift surgery is the answer for you.

Neck lift surgery is the most effective way to tighten the appearance of your chin and neck area. However, investing in a neck lift surgery is a financial and time commitment.

At Northwestern Facial Plastic Surgery, we like to ensure that our clients understand plastic surgery procedures, recovery times, potential risks, and future benefits of receiving surgery.

What Is the Goal of Neck Lift Surgery?

The primary goal of neck lift surgery is to flatten and tighten the appearance of the skin and muscles surrounding the neck. It is a surgery that helps rejuvenate your youthful appearance and contour your jaw area. When coupled with liposuction and Botox, neck lift surgery can completely reshape this area of your face and make you more attractive.

The benefits of neck lift surgery include the following:

  • Enhanced youthful appearance
  • Repairment of neck muscles
  • Removal of excess skin
  • Creation of a more chiseled jawline
  • Combats advanced aging
  • Quicker recovery time than other surgeries

Neck Lift Surgery: What to Expect

Because it is a less invasive plastic surgery procedure, neck lift surgery recovery is simple; therefore, you can heal in the comfort of your home. The surgery involves making incisions in the skin, often along the hairline, and then tightening the underlying muscles and soft tissues. This can help to create a more youthful appearance by reducing excess skin and improving the definition of the jawline.

How Long Does Neck Lift Surgery Recovery Take?

Recovery from a neck lift takes time, but most patients report feeling satisfied with their results. The final outcome may not be fully visible for several months, but many people find that their neck looks noticeably better after surgery. A general timeline can be found below.

Day of the Procedure

Neck lift surgery requires about one and a half hours to complete, though you should arrive before your appointment so we can prep you for the procedure. Neck lift surgery also calls for general anesthesia, meaning you’ll need a ride home. We also highly recommend that you ask someone to spend the first night at home with you.

First 24 Hours

During your recovery from a neck lift, the day after your procedure will be the most uncomfortable. Our specialist, Dr. Douglas M. Sidle, will prescribe pain medications and explain how to care for your wounds. He will tightly bandage the area around your chin and neck and provide a method to help with fluid drainage (normally a tube).

During the recovery period, you should always keep your head propped up to prevent potential damage to your wounds. Be sure to sleep with a few extra pillows or sleep in a chair to help the healing process go more smoothly.

You will likely feel discouraged or emotional during the first 24 hours of recovery. Remember that as long as you rest, take your pain medication, and follow Dr. Sidle’s instructions, your neck lift should heal in no time.

Day Two and Three

Normally, Dr. Sidle will schedule a follow-up appointment with you on the second day after surgery. He will use this appointment to check the affected area, clean it, and possibly redress the wounds with new bandages.

You will likely notice increased swelling and bruising during days two and three. This is completely normal. The swelling should not get any worse after day three.

If you feel better during days two and three, be careful about how much you increase your physical activity, as swelling and bruising could get worse. Continue to relax as much as possible and avoid intense or strenuous activities.

At the End of the First Week

You should feel much better by the end of the first week. At this point, we suggest that patients take short walks and do easy chores around the house. However, do not push yourself too much, as you could inhibit the healing process.

You should notice that the swelling has noticeably gone down and that the bruising has decreased. It is around this time that Dr. Sidle will also remove your stitches, though he might wait a bit longer, depending on your unique recovery process.

At the End of the Second Week

By the end of the second week of neck lift downtime, you should see significant improvements in swelling and bruising. Some patients look almost completely normal after two full weeks, though recovery times vary depending on each person’s specific body.
Though you shouldn’t return to your normal physical routine, you can likely begin work again. You can also begin to take longer walks and do other light exercises. However, ensure you still get lots of rest and do not overdo it.

At the End of the Third Week

By the end of the third week of neck lift healing, you should have little to no swelling around the area where the procedure occurred. You may notice pink coloration and slight bruising around the wounds, but it should look much less visible than before.

If you feel comfortable and well-rested at this point, you can resume your normal physical routine and any strenuous sports. This no longer has the potential to affect your healing process, as the wound should be almost fully healed at this point.

After a Month

By week four, your neck lift surgery should look and feel almost completely healed. Though everyone has different recovery processes and bodily reactions, you should feel confident enough to show your neck in public and re-adapt to your normal routine.

Click here to see Before And After Photos Of Neck Lift Surgery

How to Streamline the Recovery Process Post Neck Lift Surgery

To help yourself heal quickly, we recommend following these care instructions (along with specific advice from Dr. Sidle):

  • Follow pain medication instructions: Take your medicine as Dr. Sidle recommends, and call us if you need something a bit stronger. We discourage self-medicating, even if you are in more pain than expected. We can guarantee the best results using the input of a qualified medical professional.
  • Prepare your home, loved ones, and yourself for the healing process: Make sure that your loved ones are aware of the surgery that you will undertake and how they can help you ahead of time (such as driving you home after surgery). Be sure to have extra pillows accessible in all parts of the house where you sleep and nap, as well as enough loose and comfy clothes to last you the first few days (so you don’t have to throw in a load of laundry until the end of the first week). Mentally prepare yourself for the pain and recovery period, so you know what to expect.
  • Buy all necessary medical supplies before surgery: Make sure that you buy over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen and compression wraps to help with healing. If you feel like you need any other medical supplies to help with your specific recovery process, buy them as well.

Read more: Post Operative Instructions For Neck Lift Surgery

Looking for More Information About Neck Lift Recovery Time and Surgery in Chicago, IL?

If you are ready to invest in neck lift surgery or want to know more information about the process, contact Northwestern Facial Plastic Surgery. Dr. Sidle and his team are always happy to help and put your mind at ease. Call our location in Chicago, IL, at 312.695.8182 for expert advice on facial plastic surgeries today!

About Douglas M. Sidle, MD, FACS

Dr. Sidle specializes in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the face, head, and neck. His services range from minimally invasive office procedures with little to no down time to major operations leading to dramatic improvements in appearance. Dr. Sidle is one of a select group of cosmetic surgeons who are “double boarded”. He is Board Certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and by the American Board of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.