What to Expect during Neck Lift Recovery 

Preparing for your neck lift recovery is an important part of your surgery process, and can provide you with greater peace of mind. Every patient's recovery is different. Dr. Roger J. Oldham will provide you with specific recommendations, based on your lifestyle and medical needs. To learn more about neck lift recovery visit our Bethesda, MD, cosmetic surgery practice. Our team will be happy to answer all of your questions and help prepare you for what to expect after neck lift surgery. 

Your Recovery Timeline

You will be able to go home the day of your surgery, since neck lift surgery is typically an outpatient surgery. However, since you will be administered anesthesia, you will need to coordinate transportation with a friend or loved one to and from your surgery. In terms of what to expect during your recovery period, a typical timeline may resemble the following: 

First 24 Hours: You will feel sore in the treatment area immediately following your surgery. You should plan to have someone stay with you, to help for the first few days, until mobility returns. It is recommended that you stay in bed and elevate your head for the first 48 hours. It is important to follow your postoperative instructions regarding pain and swelling management. Pain medication may be prescribed, and should be taken as directed. 

During the first few days, you should avoid moving your neck, and should instead move your whole body. You will want to wear clothing that fastens in the front, to avoid pulling anything over your head and neck. You will also be provided with a garment to wear, which should be worn for the first few days. 

Week One: It is imperative that your caregiver take you on short walks around your home a few times each day. This will help keep blood flowing and aid with the healing process. Walking can also deter deep vein thrombosis, a potential painful complication. 

You should avoid drinking alcohol, smoking, or using aspirin or ibuprofen for one week after neck lift surgery. Do not lift anything over 10 pounds, including children and small animals.

Two to Three Weeks: For the first and second week, you should elevate your head when you are on your back, even when sleeping. Bruising should diminish over the first few weeks of recovery, and the tight feeling in your neck should loosen and relax. Some patients feel occasional pulling, pain, or burning in the neck, all of which are a normal part of the recovery process.

These side effects should go away within two to three weeks after your procedure. Depending on the type of work you do, you will most likely be able to resume work within the first few weeks of your recovery. Dr. Oldham will discuss this timeline with you. You should avoid vigorous activities, such as sports, and continue to avoid lifting or pushing heavy objects. 

Neck Lift Surgery Results

After three to six months, swelling and bruising should completely subside. At this time, the full results of your neck lift should be visible. The extent of change can vary from minor to dramatic, based on your treatment plan. For most patients, there is a significant reduction in wrinkles and fat, and the outcome can be quite transformative.

Dr. Oldham does his best to minimize scarring, by making small incisions, and by placing them in inconspicuous locations. Dr. Oldham usually makes incisions beneath hair or in the natural folds of skin, and most scars should continue to fade over the years.

Woman before neck lift surgery.Woman after neck lift surgery.

Patients should attend all scheduled follow-up appointments, and report any unusual or unexpected symptoms to our office immediately. If you use sunblock while outdoors, do not gain or lose weight, and lead a healthy lifestyle, your improved neckline can last for many years. Patients should be realistic with their expectations, and understand that their surgery will not prevent the natural aging process. 

Learn More about Recovery 

Less stress can mean faster healing. Dr. Oldham and his team want you to feel informed, prepared, and confident about your neck lift recovery. To learn more about your timeline and what to expect during your recovery, contact us today

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