Ask a doctor

How Long Does Neck Lift Swelling Last?

I'm 6 weeks into my healing and I'm still very swollen under my jaw. When I came home from the procedure I was swollen like a watermelon it was enormous. The swelling is about half the size it was but I'm concerned because it seems to have slowed down and staying the same size since about a week 1/2. I still can't go out in public because the swelling is so noticeable. I'm worried that something might be wrong and I don't see my doctor till next week. What can I do to help with the swelling until I see him again or should I ask to see him early?

Doctor Answers 17

Have a question? Ask a doctor

Consult with your surgeon

At this point, it is best that you follow up with your surgeon or his/her clinical team.  What you describe in your question should be addressed immediately.

Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

Neck Lift Swelling Following Surgery

Swelling following neck lift surgery varies from patient to patient and depends on the surgical technique and wound healing characteristics of the patient.  The majority of swelling usually resolves in about two weeks following neck lift surgery.  At this point, most patients can return to work and resume normal activities.  In most cases, total resolution takes about three months.  In rare cases, swelling may persist for up to six months following surgery.

It’s important to realize that more aggressive neck lift procedures cause more swelling, which can last for longer periods of time.  Elevation of the head and decreased salt intake may help decrease swelling after surgery.  Swelling is normal following surgery, but persistent or extreme swelling should be evaluated by your surgeon, especially if it’s accompanied by bruising. 

Swelling after neck lift

Hard to say without photos or exam.  Your descriptions of "watermelon" size swelling are a unusual.  While you are still early in your post operative course, I would suggest contacting your surgeon and letting him/her know what is going on. 

Jeffrey Roth, MD
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Swelling after Neck Lift surgery

Thank you for your question.

I always tell my patients that if they are concerned about recovery, to come in sooner (not wait until their next scheduled appointment) so I would recommend that you call your surgeons office and ask to be seen sooner.  Swelling is normal but a "watermelon size"? I am not sure.  Best to be safe and be checked by your surgeon as soon as possible.

Good Luck!

Contact your surgeon and schedule a follow up asap

I would contact your surgeon and schedule a follow up consultation asap to ensure there are no problems.

Babak Azizzadeh, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Still swollen 6 weeks after Neck Lift and Lipo

My rule of thumb is 3 months for the neck to have residual swelling after lipo and/or a Neck Lift however, this depends on how active you were immediately after the procedure and remain today.  Increased activity within the first few weeks, IMHO, causes increased swelling that will take longer to resolve.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Swelling after neck lift

It is better to be safe than sorry. Contact your surgeon and request a follow-up appointment to be evaluated and ensure that you do not have a hematoma (blood) collection or seroma (collection of serum) which may need to be drained.

Ronald Shelton, MD
Manhattan Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

How long does swelling last after a neck lift?

Most swelling should resolve in 4 to 6 weeks after a neck lift or face lift.  If the swelling is lasting longer check with your surgeon this may be due to a seroma or hematoma formation (fluid or blood) which may be easily treated by needle aspiration.

Vincent D. Lepore, MD
San Jose Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Neck swelling

The majority of swelling from a neck lift should dissipate after a few weeks.  If it truly is quite large, you should speak with your surgeon ASAP.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.