How long (ballpark) does recovery from a Neck Lift last?

How long (ballpark) does recovery from a neck lift last?

Doctor Answers 9

How long (ballpark) does recovery from a Neck Lift last?

 Hi, I have performed facelifts and neck lifts for over 30 years many of which have been minimally, invasive type facelifts and neck lifts.  Non smiling photos of your face from the front and side would help in the evaluation.  

 Following the beauty principles outlined in my book on face and body beauty, women look the most feminine, youthful and attractive with heart shaped faces.  Heart shaped faces have cheeks that are full and round in the front.  Cheek augmentation with a dermal filler or using cheek implants for a permanent enhancement will create full, round cheeks that will feminize the entire face.

 If the chin is weak, this creates an imbalance making the nose appear larger, the mid face top heavy and the lower face look short that de-emphasizes the lips and allows early formation of a double chin.  Chin augmentation using a chin implant will add projection to the chin creating harmony and balance to the lower face.   I have found that placement of a silastic chin implant, through a small curved incision under the chin (also allows excess skin removal) to be very safe, quick and highly effective.

 If you have "jowls” these are sagging facial tissues and an indication for some form of a SMAS facelift.  The underlying SMAS layer, of the face, must be dissected, lifted, trimmed and re-sutured (not merely folded or suspended with threads or sutures that will not last).  The excess skin is then removed and the facelift incisions closed.

My most popular facelift is the minimally invasive, short incision facelift that has all the benefits of more invasive facelifts (traditional, mid-face, deep plane, cheek lift and subperiosteal facelifts) but with these added benefits:

  • very small incisions and no incisions extend or are placed within the hair.
  • minimal tissue dissection = less bruising and swelling = rapid recovery ( several days instead of weeks or months with the more invasive type facelifts mentioned)
  • can be performed in 90 minutes or less, with or without general anesthesia
  • no incisions within the hair = no hair loss
  • excess fat can be removed
  • excess skin removed
  • cheeks, chin and jaw line can be augmented with dermal fillers (I prefer Restylane Lyft) or facial implants
  • most patients fly back home to parts all over the world in as little as 3 days post-op

 I combine facial shaping with every facelift procedure.  When jowls are present, these should be done in concert and not alone or separately in order to create a naturally, more attractive face.  A formal or full neck lift will have tissue dissection that begins approximately 3 inches inside the posterior hairline, crosses the entire neck to the opposite posterior hairline.  This extensive area of dissection is what takes time surgically and creates the extended recovery time (months).  In addition, the skin pull vector for a full neck lift is upward at approximately 45 degrees which means any excess skin above the jaw line will result in pleating unless an incision is placed around the front of the ear allowing that skin to be removed.

Hope this helps.


Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

How long does recovery from a Neck lift last?

In our practice, we do not use any bandages or pressure wraps, rather we place drains in the neck that are removed 24 to 48 hours after the procedure. Placement and usage of these drains removes the blood out from underneath the skin, therefore there is significantly less bruising. Visible swelling and bruising lasts approximately two weeks, however full healing is usually 2 to 3 months after the procedure. For more information and many before and after examples, please see the link and the video below

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 129 reviews

Different types of neck lifts have different recoveries

Hi clarice4517.  There are many ways to rejuvenate your neck.  Most surgical lifts with scars around the ears and under the chin, liposuction or just an incision under the chin to tighten the muscles will have a recovery of about 7 days (bruising, swelling, numbness).  If you have skin treatments to tighten the skin like Profound radiofrequency microneedling, the skin tightening is remarkable and carries about 5 days recovery.  Once you have the procedure determined, your PS will be able to give you more specifics on recovery requirements and duration.  Good luck!

Neck lift recovery

Thank you for asking about your neck lift recovery.

There is a great variation in recovery. I have had patients return to work and look great in 3 days - and others take a month or more. But on average, you will be swollen and sore the first week, look and feel ready for the public in 10 days but have swelling and numbness that - like all surgery - will not fully subside for at least 6 months and often takes longer.

Always see a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon. Best wishes. Elizabeth Morgan MD PHD FACS

Neck Lift Recovery

Hi and thanks for your question. When we do a neck lift an incision is made and we pull the skin up and back and tighten the loose skin. In addition, we may tighten the muscles below the chin. The aesthetic look of a neck lift usually lasts for about five years and may last for much longer, depending on one’s age, sex, health, lifestyle, and other factors.Following surgery, most patients return to work within one to two weeks. 

Janet Turkle, MD
Indianapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 52 reviews

Neck Lift Recovery Versus VASER/ThermiRF

On average, the recovery time is about two weeks. An alternative is VASER/ThermiRF combination to get great results with very little downtime. Please see an expert. Best, Dr. Emer

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 168 reviews

Neck lift recovery

Post-op instructions will vary from surgeon to surgeon. 

With some make-up, your hair worn down and a neck scarf, you should be able to go out in public within a few days with minimal attention drawn to yourself. Most patients take 2 weeks off from work after a rhytidectomy (face and/or neck lift) and are able to resume their exercise regimen within 3-4 weeks.

Be sure to seek the consultation of a board certified facial plastic surgeon or plastic surgeon.  

Parker A. Velargo, MD
New Orleans Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Recovery from neck lift

Most patients feel recovered from a neck lift within 7-10 days although minor swelling can persist for another 1-2 weeks.  Sutures are typically removed after one week. 

Steven M. Daines, MD
Newport Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Necklift recovery

Recovery can vary depending on the type of necklift that is performed.  Typically, a patient would be on pain medication a day or two and would wear a chin strap for about a week. Sutures would be removed, if they were permanent sutures,, in about a week.  There would be some moderate swelling and bruisin for a week or two as well.  I hope this helps.

Edward J. Ricciardelli, MD
Wilmington Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 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.