What to Expect during Neck Lift Recovery
Loose tissue hanging from the neck, commonly called a “turkey wattle,” can age the face and cause patients to feel self-conscious. Neck lift surgery can tighten loose neck tissue, enhancing the jawline and producing a more youthful appearance. As with any surgery, neck lift requires some time for recovery.
Understanding what neck lift recovery entails can help ensure a smooth recovery so patients can get back to their daily routines as soon as possible. During private consultations, plastic surgeon Ken Smart explains what to expect during neck lift recovery. If you live in the Frisco, TX area and would like to know more about neck lift surgery and recovery, you're welcome to schedule a consultation with Dr. Smart today.
The Neck Lift Procedure
The neck lift procedure is generally performed under general anesthesia on an outpatient basis. During the procedure, an incision will be made behind each ear. In some cases, a small incision may also be made under the chin. These incisions are then used to tighten the neck tissues, including the underlying muscles. After the excess tissues are removed, the incisions are sutured closed and recovery may begin.
Recovery after Neck Lift Surgery
The specifics of each neck lift recovery will vary based on the extent of surgery, for instance how much tissue was removed, along with personal healing times. In general, most patients are recovered enough to return to work about two weeks after surgery.
Although each patient's recovery is unique, those who undergo neck lift surgery may expect some pain, swelling, and bruising after surgery and should be prepared to spend the first few days of recovery in bed. Pain medication will be prescribed to help alleviate discomfort and clean ice packs may be gently applied near the incision to help reduce swelling. Patients are encouraged to sit upright to further reduce swelling. Additionally, patients should prepare a supply of loose-fitting, button-up shirts or blouses to wear during the initial recovery phase to avoid complications from pulling clothes over the head.
Throughout recovery, it is important for patients to avoid strenuous activity, including heavy lifting, until approved by a physician. With that said, it is recommended that patients take light walks to encourage blood circulation and healing, and to reduce the risk of developing blood clots within the legs.
Once patients are well enough to return to work, care must be taken not to take on too much activity too soon and to avoid strenuous activity until fully healed in order to reduce the risk of complications. Complications may include torn sutures, infection, or problems with healing. Some signs to look for include redness or swelling that gets worse, skin that feels hot, or pus at the incision sites. If one or more of these issues is observed, it's important to contact your surgeon immediately.
Finally, because neck lift surgery is performed on an outpatient basis, patients should arrange to have a friend or family member bring them home. It is also beneficial for patients to have someone stay with them for at least 24 hours after surgery, as getting around may be difficult.
Schedule a Consultation
For answers to your questions about neck lift surgery, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Smart.