My neck is really stiff 4 months after Facelift, is this normal?

I haved a facelift and neck lift 4 months ago but i still feel my neck so tight is an horrible sensation and I went to see my sergeon but he insist that it take some time. My prosedure wasn't drastic it was practically a refreshness is that may be the reason? I am really sad I've try warm wraps, i massage myself too even those icy-hot patches please there is something else I can do and it really will go away. Thanks

Doctor Answers 14

Stiffness of the neck four months after facelift is unusual.

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Patients heal at different rates but most the time of four months stiffness of the neck is not an issue. I think it will improve as time but this is something worthy of reporting to your plastic surgeon.

Tightness after a lift

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I concur with the other opinions that at 4 months after surgery it is unusual to still feel tight.  If the neck lift was done with spanning sutures, these may be the cause.  Ask your surgeon what procedure he performed and when he expects normalization of these symptoms.  

Facelift tightness

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It is a bit unusual for you to have a tightness sensations after a facelift 4 months after surgery. You should be seen in person.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

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Neck tightness after a facelift

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Tightness is a very natural sensation following a facelift. It is a bit unusual for it to persist for four months. It sounds like you are taking the correct steps to address it. As one of the previous surgeons suggested, you may want to see a physical therapist. I would also consult with an experienced facial plastic surgeon to ensure that you are healing normally.

Todd C. Miller, MD
Newport Beach Facial Plastic Surgeon

My neck is really stiff 4 months after Facelift, is this normal?

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I recommend IN PERSON consultations as second opinions to examine the tightness issues...Very hard to determine what to offer without seeing the problems...  

Neck Stiffness after Facelift

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Having next stiffness four months after a facelift is a bit unusual. It sounds like you've done all the things that you can to alleviate the symptoms and the problem. At this point I would recommend physical therapy. Also possible evaluation buy a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician.

Earl Stephenson, Jr, MD, DDS,FACS

Facelift tightness

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I am sorry about your continued tightness following your facelift. Full healing takes a year. Your symptoms are a little unusual at this time, but everyone heals at a different rate. What you are doing to help alleviate the uncomfortable sensations is correct. Massage and heat treatments are the best therapies. You might also try some ultrasonic therapy. Please be patient, it will go away.

Robert M. Wald, Jr., MD
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Facelift, neck lift

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I am sorry to hear about your problem.  Generally speaking,  a well done neck/facelift surgery can take some time for the sensation of the tightness to improve.  Skin is generally not designed to hold tension for a long period of time. So in time, it will relax. Unfortunately, it is difficult to say how long that may take. It depends on the person and this is why generalizign about surgery and medicine is very difficult.  
But, rest assured, in overwhelming cases, it does improve. So hang in there.

Tight neck 4 months after a face lift

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  • Yes, muscle pain can take some time to subside after a face lift.
  • It is also possible that you have persistent muscle spasm from holding yourself in a protective position for weeks after surgery.
  • Assuming your surgeon approves, consider a consultation with a physical therapist to see if this is muscle spasm that might be relieved with massage or other therapy. 
  • Ibuprofen, if you can take it, often relieves this pain.
  • Often cold packs work better than warm ones.
  • Icy-hot patches tend to give little relief. Best wishes.


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To best answer this question you should be examined in person. There are several reasons that you may feel stiff.  Numbness of the neck after surgery alone can give one the perception of stiffness. This can take 6 months are greater to improve. Also, some people subconsciously reduce the amount that they move their neck after surgery, which can lead to stiffness in that area.  Other reasons are possible as well but an examination would be necessary. Discuss your issue with your surgeon.

Jacob D. Steiger, MD
Boca Raton Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 71 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.