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Recovery from Neck Lift Surgery

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Long Term Recovery

Immediately after your neck lift, you will feel tired, sore, swollen, and bruised. This will last for about two weeks, though it can be longer. Prescribed medication will alleviate most pain experienced. If something goes wrong, if you have a sudden increase in pain, chest pains, shortness of breath, unusual bleeding, or any signs of infection, call your surgeon immediately. This is unlikely and is especially unlikely if you are sensible when recovering. If you do follow all medical advice, you are more than likely to heal well and quickly.

Things to Avoid During Recovery from Neck Lift Surgery

Being sensible during your recovery means forgoing a few things.

  • Exercise is completely forbidden for around a month after surgery. This is because the raising of your heart beat increases blood flow. This increased blood flow, when you have just had surgery, could cause internal bleeding.
  • Saunas and steam rooms must not be used, because they too increase blood flow. This is due to the dilation of your veins and arteries when you are hot. The neck area must be kept dry for the first two weeks. It is still best, though, that you keep away from swimming pools and spas in the weeks after initial recovery, because infection could still be caught.
  • Any strenuous lifting is prohibited for around a month; therefore, if your work requires you to do such a thing, you simply cannot go back to work until your surgeon says you are healed enough.
  • As with the preparation for surgery, smoking is not allowed. It is especially important for you to not smoke in the initial recovery period, but in the months after the surgery it is also important that smoking is not picked up again. This is crucial, because smoking can cause necrosis (death) of the skin. Recovery, then, would very much be impeded.
  • Do not take Aspirin products
  • Avoid alcohol. This is because alcohol inhibits clotting and could therefore cause bleeding.

Do check with your neck lift surgeon for how long it is necessary for you to avoid aspirin and alcohol and smoking.

Fading of Scars

The most important concern for people after neck lift surgery is usually the scarring. Usually the surgery is done for cosmetic reasons. Any obvious and disfiguring scarring would be hugely disappointing; however, since the cervicoplasty incisions are made behind the ears, with neck lift surgery the scarring is fortunately kept to a minimum. Even so, for the first six weeks the scarring is firm and pink. Remembering that scars take time to grow fainter. In some cases it can take up to 2 years for scarring to properly fade. This can be rather unfortunate if the incision for the platysmaplasty is in a slightly more visible place i.e. under the chin.

Hopefully it is clear that any hope of instantaneous cosmetic gratification is a delusion. Healing takes time. Keep in mind that skin has been re-sculptured on your neck and muscles have been moved about and stuck together again. Your body needs to recover from that. Don’t hide away from the world though. When you feel ready to face the world after your surgery, you can cover up the initial signs with scarves, make up or a polo top. Once recovery is over you should have a smoother, younger-looking neck to show the world!

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