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 18

How Long Does Neck Lift Swelling Last?

After the neck lifting operation the recovery period depends on your physical status, age, general health and condition mainly. The operation itself does not take too long therefore you receive a mild anesthesia. Since the anesthesia that you receive is mild; you will not have problems associated with anesthetic agents after the operation. You can start to do your daily activities just after the operations but we do not advise you heavy lifting, running or activities that require excess physical activity. The more you rest, the faster your recovery will be.

Turkey Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

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.

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 96 reviews

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 J. Roth, MD, FACS
Las Vegas Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 16 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
4.0 out of 5 stars 7 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
4.6 out of 5 stars 24 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 Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 37 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
4.9 out of 5 stars 50 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
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Neck Swelling after Lower Face Lift Surgery


Many patients see immediate improvement in wrinkles from excess skin and sagging neck tissue after lower facelift and neck lift. At 2 weeks, many still have some swelling, while the bruising has mostly resolved. Also, incision lines may still be a little red at this time. Patients typically report the area feeling tight or snug. Numbness, especially around the ears, is common after face lift surgery and generally improves over time. The recovery period is largely dependent on the specific face lift procedure performed, for example more extensive plastic surgery procedures require longer recovery.

While healing & tightening occurs slowly over months during the first year, swelling like a "watermelon" is uncommon, especially 6 weeks after plastic surgery. You should speak with your face lift plastic surgeon regarding these and any concerns you have. Best of luck.

Dr. Chaboki

Houtan Chaboki, MD
Washington DC Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 79 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.