Is it Normal for Necklift Results to Look Worse After 2 Weeks Before Improving?

One day after having a face/necklift, to improve upper neck banding, my results looked good with very little brusing and swelling. My neck looked smooth and nicely angled. By day two I had quite a bit of swelling in my neck (incisions under chin and behind ears). Two weeks later the swelling has resided quite a bit but under my chin is lumpy, and there is very little contour of the neck and large swollen glands. It feels very firm and lumpy where my neck should be angled. Very concerned!

Doctor Answers 8

2 Weeks After a Neck Lift It Is Not Uncommon To have a Lumpy Result

It doesn't sound like you need to be concerned at this point. As you heal from neck surgery, several things happen. Swelling slowly builds over several days and then starts to recede. Inflammation develops over a week, and then resolves very slowly over many months.Because of this, the neck often looks great the day after surgery because you haven't created much inflammation and the swelling has not gotten bad yet. By the second day, the swelling has increased to a point that you can't see the developing inflammation. Over several weeks, the swelling improves, allowing you to see the underlying inflammatory response. The inflammation looks lumpy and uneven and is usually somewhat tender. You can get enlarged lymph nodes in response to the irritation and this may be the enlarged glands you mention (although it is also possible that you are seeing the normal submandibular salivary glands that were exposed as the neck was contoured- if this is the case, these will not improve), in which case these will slowly go away. As the swelling continues to improve and as the inflammation gets better, your neck should start getting smoother. If you have concerns, let your surgeon know. They are in the best position to help guide you (as worry free as possible) through the recovery process. Good Luck.

Greenwood Village Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Neck lift irregularities 2 weeks after surgery

Swelling immediately after surgery does tend to camouflage irregularities.  Swelling tends to increase for about 3 days after any surgery and does worsen for bit after drain removal.  Then as your swelling settles you will feel the irregularities from other issues such as stitches that you can feel or swollen glands or residual fat that may be in the process of absorbing.  Normal healing takes approximately 6-8 weeks and full remodeling takes up to a year.  My recommendation is try to be patient with this and realize it looked good initially and likely will look great eventually. 

Stefan Mark Szczerba, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

Neck Lift Final Result takes time

What you described might be totally normal and it takes a few months to glimpse at the end result. Edema shifts, relaxing of internal stitches and changes after they dissolve if absorbable, whether or not your submandibular glands swelled as a result of surgery, resolving hematoma or seroma and many other factors that resolve often are at their worst at this time as resolving edema unmasks their presence. Follow you plastic surgeon's advice and see him regularly. Massage, ultrasound are sometimes helpful

Larry S. Nichter, MD, MS, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 154 reviews

Swellimg post neck

This is not uncommon.I habe my patients wear a compression strap for at least 2 weeks post op or longer if they want.This helps with the swelling.

Robert Brueck, MD
Fort Myers Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Swelling after neck lift is normal but there are things that you can do.

Hello, Some swelling in the first week after your neck lift is normal. To.minimize this and help expedite healing wearing a neck compression garment will be helpful. Doing so as much as you can in the first 2-3 weeks will help expedite your healing. Massaging the neck area starting at 2-3 weeks will also be helpful. All the best, Dr Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 162 reviews

Lumpy under the chin NOT unusual

The reason this area is lumpy is because there was a lot of work done under the chin.  The neck may have been liposuctioned and the platysmal bands repaired.  With the dissolving sutures it is normal for temporary lumpiness under the chin.  The swollen "glands" or lymph nodes are also very common just from healing.  A this will also go away.  Sometimes after a facelift the submandibular glands may become more noticeable and this may be what you are seeing.  Speak to your plastic surgeon at your next visit and discuss this with him.  Good luck,

Steven Schuster, MD, FACS
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Is it Normal for Necklift Results to Look Worse After 2 Weeks Before Improving?

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.

Bulent Cihantimur, MD
Turkey Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 90 reviews

Lumpy 2 weeks after neck lift

1. The swelling after surgery is normal. It peaks on day 3 and slowly improves.

2. You swelling is subsiding as it should.

3. Swelling under the chin is normal at this point.

4. Lumps where the neck is angled is normal. These are probably sutures.

5. But having no contour and large swollen glands at 2 weeks is unusual.

I suggest that you see your surgeon.

There may be fluid (seroma), a gland infection or some other problem that needs attention. Best wishes! 

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