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

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
4.7 out of 5 stars 120 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 17 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!

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,498 reviews

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
4.1 out of 5 stars 9 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
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 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 29 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 85 reviews

Swelling after cosmetic surgery

The healing period is one year always.  The speed of resolution of swelling is variable.  Avoid salt.  Be patient.  Read all labels.  Salt is your enemy and the usual villain in prolonged swelling.  Yes, go see you surgon but you will likely hear what I have just told you.. Good Luck.

George Commons, MD
Palo Alto Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 36 reviews

Still swollen 6 weeks after neck lift! This is not normal!

"Half the size" of "enormous" or "like a watermelon" at 6 weeks post-op is concerning to me. How often have you seen your surgeon? Are you wearing an elastic chin strap to help reduce swelling and promote smooth healing? Are you sleeping with your head above heart level (sofa cushion under the mattress works great) to allow gravity to help reduce the swelling? Is there fluid or blood beneath the skin flaps?

See your surgeon, NOW, not at your next regularly-scheduled appointment. Even if everything is found to be "fine," you shouldn't have to be online seeking help with what is clearly out of the "norm!" Click on the link below to see a 66 year-old woman who had more surgery than you and is 6 weeks post-op in her "After" photographs. Case 3 shows a 73 year-old woman who also had more surgery than you and is 7 weeks post-op in her "After" photographs. These are just examples, but what you describe is potentially worrisome to a good long-term result!  Best wishes!

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 255 reviews

Neck Swelling

Neck swelling after a neck lift cna last for about 6 weeks or longer.  Howevre, you should see your plastic surgeon to make sure that you do not have a seroma.  This is very infrequent after a neck lift. 

Siamak Agha, MD, PhD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 106 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.