Very tight neck sore ears 4 days post op. Is this normal? (photos)

Is this normal for face and neck lift, find it very hard to look side to side and look up, also really sore ears 3 days post is this normal and will the neck feel better later

Doctor Answers 16

Tightness Is Very Normal After a Facelift

You're still quite early in the post-op period, and the symptoms you describe are quite normal at this point. Your photos don't raise any red flags for me. You most likely had some SMAS muscle manipulation with your facelift (the so-called 2-layer facelift that many of us plastic surgeons perform), and this would explain your diminished range of motion 3 days post-op. It will get better soon. My technique also includes anchoring the neck muscle, called the plastysma, to an area behind the ears; this may explain the slight pain behind your ears. Try to be patient during this time as your body works hard to heal itself. You'll experience a gradual reduction in symptoms over the course of several weeks. However, if you notice your pain getting worse or any specific areas of excessive swelling or bruising, please consult with your surgeon. Good luck during your recovery!

Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Pain after Facelift

Hi there! It is 100% normal to experience moderate discomfort a half week after a facelift.  Most of the uncomfortable feeling usually is around the ears since this is where the muscles are pulled to, and where the incisions are. Typically the third day is the worst as far as pain is concerned, so you should be on your way to each day being better than the last. Do as your surgeon if he/she recommends any topical treatment to help with the discomfort (ice, heat, headwrap, massage etc.).

Paul Lanfranchi, DO, FAOCO
Las Vegas Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Tightness at Day 4 Is Normal

At 4 days post-op, you're just beginning your recovery process. What you describe is quite normal and indicates that you're healing on schedule. Follow your surgeon's instructions for caring for yourself, and continue to listen to your body as you heal. You'll be feeling more like yourself as the weeks progress. Good luck to you.

Thomas McNemar, MD, FACS
Stockton Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Tightness Is Normal Early On

The symptoms you describe are quite normal, especially in the early stages of recuperation. As the days and weeks progress, you should notice a gradual, yet marked reduction in tightness. Based on your photos, you actually appear to be healing very well. However, it is worth a call or visit to your surgeon's office. Good luck as you continue your recovery.

James N. Romanelli, MD, FACS
Long Island Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 22 reviews

Tight neck and sore ears 4 days psot-op

The soreness and tightness are very typical in this time period following a facelift.  This will subside.  Sudden severe pain associated with swelling in the same location may indicate the presence of a hematoma (blood collection), and this should prompt immediate contact with your plastic surgeon.  Best wishes for a good recovery and a beautiful result! 

Alyson Wells, MD, FACS
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Face lift - neck tight and sore after 4 days

Thank you for your question about your face lift.

  • Yes, a tight, sore neck 4 days after a face lift can be entirely normal.
  • Swelling in the neck and the sutures will make it hard to move your neck.
  • It's important to report these concerns to your surgeon -
  • Then s/he can follow your recovery and be sure it goes well.
  • The first two weeks after a face and neck lift are quite difficult
  • Your photos do not show any areas of concern.
  • Always consult a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Hope you find this information helpful. Best wishes

Elizabeth Morgan, MD, PhD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 43 reviews

Tight Time

Good day! I would expect you are going to feel like this for a short time. It all looks very normal right now. The ear pain has been described to me as "sleeping on tiny boxes". Keep in touch with the surgeon's office for some reassuring information.

Kevin F. Ciresi, MD, FACS
Fresno Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 117 reviews

Very tight neck sore ears 4 days post op. Is this normal?

Thank you for your question.  Tightness, swelling, bruising and soreness is typical 3 days after surgery.  This subsides over time as you heal.  If you notice a focal area of expanding fullness however, this may represent a collection or hematoma.  Be sure to discuss your concerns with your surgeon and to maintain proper follow up.  Good luck.

Zachary Farris, MD, FACS
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Neck pain post Facelift?

Hello, Thank you for your question. You are still very early in the recovery time. Neck pain and sore ear will be very common after your procedure. Once the swelling goes down you will feel much better give yourself 2-3 weeks. Please communicate with your plastic surgeon and follow his/her recommendations. You have a nice result. Best of Luck !

Gabriel Del Corral, MD, FACS
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Tight neck and sore ears 4 days after face and neck lift

Your photos do not demonstrate anything unusual for 4 days after a face and neck lift.  It is very common to feel tightness during the recovery period and this should improve over more time.  Swelling that occurs after the surgery will contribute to the tight feeling and as the swelling resolves, the tightness will improve.  It would not be unusual to have some pain around your ears where there were incisions, but the inside of the ear should normally not be painful.  Your issues should be improving with more time, but if you feel things are not improving, you should contact your surgeon.  

Michael I. Echavez, MD
San Francisco Facial 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.