7 Recovery Tips for a Better Neck Lift Result

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Article At A Glance

  • Neck lift procedures often have dramatic results with an intensive healing process.
  • Since neck lift recovery can take weeks, many patients want to know how to speed up the process.
  • Practicing healthy habits before and after the procedure can significantly influence your overall recovery experience.

Your neck has delicate skin that external factors and lifestyle habits can easily impact. Sun exposure, tobacco or alcohol use, and weight loss can cause this skin to sag and develop wrinkles. Your neck muscles gradually weaken while elasticity degrades throughout the years. 

The results, frequently called crepes or turkey necks, look like loose, untoned skin that significantly ages your appearance. While neck lift surgery offers an effective solution, it also comes with an intense recovery experience. Dr. James C. Wang of Northwestern Memorial Hospital helps you navigate neck lift rehabilitation below. 

What Do Neck Lifts Entail?

Neck lift surgery—the layman’s term for cervicoplasty or platysmaplasty—refers to a procedure where your surgeon makes incisions beneath your chin and behind your ears to tuck the excess tissue back, resulting in smoother, firmer skin. Patients pursue this treatment to combat:

  • Sagging neck skin
  • Neck bands
  • Fine lines and wrinkles

You can schedule a neck lift with a cosmetic facial procedure, making your glow-up treatment a one-and-done experience. However, anticipating postoperative neck lift care is essential to proper healing, better comfort, and achieving your desired results. 

Preparing for a Neck Lift

The first step to healing from neck lift surgery involves preparing well in advance. Planning for your recovery makes your post-op experience stress-free and restful. Get ready for the procedure two months before by:

  • Establishing a support network: Everyone needs a supportive social circle. The people closest to you will become essential to your recovery and can help you manage your recovery and reassure you throughout your healing process. 
  • Planning meals and shopping for groceries: Have healthy meals prepared before your surgical appointment. Prepare for at least three to four days following your procedure. 
  • Eating healthy and exercising: Establish a healthy routine before your neck lift surgery to fall back into it quickly. Consistent nourishment and movement primes your body for optimal healing. 
  • Cutting substances out of your daily habits: If you use tobacco or alcohol, you have an excellent reason to drop the habit. These substances can slow neck lift recovery and cause premature aging. 
  • Preparing a wardrobe: Do a few laundry cycles to ensure you have enough clean clothes throughout your recovery. Pick outfits with loose-fitting clothes to prevent irritation at the surgical site.
  • Tidying your room: You need clear paths leading to doorways and restrooms. Remove any belongings that might cause you to trip or stub your toes when navigating to other areas. 
  • Picking up your prescriptions: Many surgeons will make antibiotics, pain medications, and other prescriptions available before the procedure appointment. Grab and store them in your medicine cabinet as soon as possible. 

How Long Does Recovery Take?

Recovery after a neck lift depends on factors like age, health status, and access to foods and other items promoting general health. However, discomfort can last up to two weeks before fully subsiding. Complete neck lift recovery may take up to two months. 

Seven Neck Lift Recovery Tips

No matter how long you need for neck lift procedure recovery, you can follow the seven tips below to make the most of your healing process. 

#1 Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate! 

First and foremost, focus on drinking low-sugar beverages with electrolytes and other nutritive components. Drinking water alone will help your body flush out toxins. Electrolytes supplement the water by enhancing hydration and regulating your nerves and tissues. 

Beverages containing caffeine or sugar can promote inflammation and restrict blood vessels. You need proper circulation throughout your recovery. 

#2 Follow Your Surgeon’s Advice

Your surgeon will create a personalized neck lift aftercare strategy to help you heal quickly. The plan may consist of:

  • Supplements
  • Prescriptions
  • Precautions
  • Compression bandages
  • Chin straps

Use each recommended item according to your doctor’s instructions. 

#3 Eat Nourishing Foods That Promote Healing

Patients ideally have healthy, prepped meals ready to eat after their surgeries. Alternatively, you can request a friend to cook for and monitor you during the first few days after your procedure. This assistance will also promote rest and reduce excessive, aggravating movement. 

#4 Engage in Light, Gentle Exercises

After two or three days, you might feel up to moving around again. However, you should avoid strenuous movements, which can strain your incisions. Short, slow walks offer an optimal outlet for your desire to move. They also promote appropriate circulation to help your skin heal. 

#5 Keep Your Head Lifted

Avoid the urge to revert to that texting posture that might have contributed to those turkey-neck woes in the first place. Bending your neck forward puts pressure on the incision sites and causes inflammation and discomfort. 

Use pillows to prop up your head when sitting up in bed. Hold hand-held devices level with your eyes when keeping your head in a natural, straightforward position. 

#6 Stay Cool and Avoid Heat

Hot showers offer the pinnacle of relaxation. The soreness and discomfort might persuade you to take a long, hot shower. However, you should nix this temptation until a week into your recovery. 

Alternatively, you can soothe the soreness with cold compresses. They will prevent bruises from forming and effectively relieve inflammation. 

#7 Stay out of the Sun

Finally, stay indoors for two weeks. The sun’s harmful UV rays significantly influence your delicate, healing skin. If you do venture outdoors, remember to:

  • Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen
  • Wear a hat, scarf, or similar covering that protects your neck’s skin
  • Stay in the shade as much as possible

Maintain these habits even after you have healed, as the sun causes numerous aging effects all over your skin. 

Consult With Dr. James C. Wang About Your Neck Lift Candidacy

Do you think this procedure is worth the neck lift recovery? Let’s find out whether you’re a candidate! Book a consultation with Dr. James C. Wang at 312-695-8182.

About The Author

Dr. James Wang - Facial Plastic Surgeon

By Dr. James Wang MD PhD

Dr. James C. Wang, MD and Ph.D., is the Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. He graduated with Honors from the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Sciences Program at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas.