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Neck Tightness Relief After Facelift?

I had a facelift, and found out that the hardness on the sides of my face may take 6 months to resolve. I ave tightness in my neck the throt area and have a "choking" feeling all the time. I was told that the tightness should be there, that's what the facelift is, but the constant feeling of a lump in my throat is aggravating, and I'm hoping it will relax somewhat eventually, maybe when the face swelling subsides, to give me some relief. Would heat help? The surgery was about 7 weeks ago.

Doctor Answers 12

Face lift tightness and swelling

Thank you for asking about your face lift tightness and swelling. This will improve. It takes time. It can be quite distressing but does go away. Best wishes.

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Neck tightness can be normal

While I'm sorry that you are experiencing this discomfort in your neck, please realize that this is completely normal.  While it does not aggravate many patients, sometimes patients do complain of this temporary feeling- it will go away, and realize that it represents great rejuvenation of what was previously excess tissue in the area. 

Tightness after a facelift

The tightness is normal. It comes from doing muscle work underneath the skin. This will resolve with time. You can help by taking anti-inflammatories (check with your doctor first) and by doing neck stretching excersizes. Neck massages can also help.

Andres Bustillo, MD, FACS
Miami Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Uncomfortable Neck Tightness After A Facelift

The very things that can make a facelift look good and last a long time, SMAS techniques and platysmal muscle tightening, can also cause uncomfortable neck tightness. The goods news is that such sensations will not last but can take several months for a few patients to have those sensations subside. While 7 weeks after surgery is an eternity when you have to live it, it is by facelift healing standards not that long.Other than neck stretching and massage, the tincture of more time will be the most beneficial in its resolution.

Neck Tightness Relief After Facelift?

 The tightness, in the throat, can be caused by plication of the anterior neck bands that will lessen over the subsequent several wekks, IMHO.  This sensation can often be lessened by using a muscle relaxer prescribed by your Face Lift Surgeon.  Ask your surgeon if this is what was done or if you have a suspension suture running from one end of your neck to the other which can cause a "clothes line" choking effect.  The latter may cause discomfort that persists for months and may require cutting the offending suture for relief.  Hope this helps.

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

Tightness following facelift

Hello, and sorry to hear about the discomfort you are experiencing following your procedure. 7 weeks is still soon after surgery, and it is not abnormal to be feeling tightness at this time. Light massage can help, but I would only recommend the massage if you can tolerate it.  I would recommend speaking with your surgeon regarding the issues you are experiencing and their specific guidelines. He/she may be able to provide some additional insight on your side effects and what may be done to provide some relief. Hang in there, and I wish you the best of luck with the remainder of your recovery.

Paul S. Nassif, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

Tightness of the neck following a facelift.

As part of a facelift procedure the muscles of the neck, called the platysma are usually sutured together   This helps make a smooth foundation to the neck.  If your muscles were extremely lax then  you will certainly feels some tightness of the neck.  In general stretching exercises and massage will help ease this feeling.  Also as the sensory nerves start to come back the sensation of heaviness can feel better. Usually this sensation will be gone by 3 months, post op.    Discuss your concerns with you plastic surgeon.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Neck tightness after facelift

Tightness in the neck after a face lift is common. This usually improves with time.  If concerned get evaluated by your surgeon.

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

Tightness of Neck After Face and Neck Lift

The tightness of the neck as a result of a corset type platsymaplasty would explain the complaints and should resolve over time. 

If your face and neck feel tight after a facelift its because they are

The key to a long lasting facelift is to tighten the underlying muscle called the SMAS and Platysma. Under the chin we often use sutures like a corset then pull the muscle and stitch it tight at the sides as well. This will soften as the weeks go by. But tightness even up to a few months is not unusual.

Steven J. Pearlman, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 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.