Looks like neck lifts have painful recovery. What percentage of your patients are in pain or feel tightness after two weeks?

I am concerned about the time it takes to recover from the surgery and also about the effects of the anesthesia. Is it better to have a local or general for a lower facelift/neck lift? I am worried about the after effects of the anesthesia

Doctor Answers 6

Looks like neck lifts have painful recovery. What percentage of your patients are in pain or feel tightness after two weeks?

Most patients will be pain free in the first few days following a neck lift.  The sensation of tightness may last for a week or two but usually doesn't require pain medication.  In most cases of a full face and neck lift, I would suggest having the procedure under general anesthesia.  You will be more comfortable and your surgeon will be able to better concentrate on your surgery, not having to worry about sedation.  The added cost of the anesthesiologist is well worth it.  Your surgeon can still inject long lasting local anesthetics so you will be comfortable when you awaken.  Seek out a plastic surgeon with extensive face and neck lift experience.  Best wishes, Dr. Lepore.

San Jose Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Neck lift versus face and neck lift

A face and neck lift is more extensive than just a neck lift only. In our practice, both  procedures are performed under general anesthesia for patient safety and comfort since it takes several hours to perform. We also use drains remove the blood out from underneath the skin for the first 1-2 days, so that significantly reduces the amount of bruising. Most patients experience some degree of visible bruising and swelling and tight neck feeling for the first 2 weeks after the surgery.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 143 reviews

Pain and Recovery after Facelift

Pain after a full facelift will typically last bout 48 hours but is easily treated with appropriate medications. Some degree of stiffness after a well done lift will last several weeks but will not limit your activities more than 12-14 days.  I tell my facelift patients to allow about 2 weeks for recovery; most can start to resume normal activities at that time. I recommend a light general anesthetic for this surgery.

Richard W. Fleming, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 38 reviews

Pain after neck lift?

There is no pain normally after a day or two. However there is tightness for several weeks. On the contrary I have to advise most patients to be less active!

Toby Mayer, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews


Dear esther4805, In my practice we spend a lot of money providing state of the art medications for our anesthesiologist that are short acting versus hospitals and other surgical centers who may use inexpensive gas or other agents that have lingering effects on many patients. Facelift patients wake up in the recovery room after general anesthesia and feel relaxed and state they had "the best nap of their life." Most patients do not complain of pain after facelift surgery. Some patients will however state that they feel tightness in their neck immediately following their procedure but not of pain or discomfort. Some patients may have difficulty getting used to sleeping on their back. Most patients do not take pain medications past the second day of surgery and recovery is surprisingly simple.  I performed a face lift on my wife last year and she was in the desert cooking Christmas dinner for ten people ten days post surgery. During consultation the surgeon can discuss with you your concerns with anesthesia and during your pre-operative appointment you may also speak with the anesthesiologist. See the video above of a patient with multiple facial procedures shortly after surgery and the link below of facelift before and after photographs. Best regards, Michael V. Elam, M.D.

Michael Elam, MD
Orange County Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 208 reviews

Looks like neck lifts have painful recovery.

I'm not sure where you got your information, but our patients rarely take any pain meds beyond the first or second day. 

Ronald V. DeMars, MD
Portland 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.