When can I easily turn head and neck after face and neck lift?

I am 3 weeks Post Op. My Doctor said I could return to bike riding & exercise.  Because my neck still feels really tight & swollen, I am hesitant to ride as it requires major head turning.  Will leaning forward on my handle bars & possibly turning my head quickly from side to side damage my neck & lower facelift in any way?    I also dance with lot of twirling partner's arms overhead. Not sure how comfortable I am returning to biking, twirling and yoga.  I appreciate your thoughts on when I can return to

Doctor Answers 12

Neck feels tight three weeks after facelift--when can I get back to activities?

Thank you for your question.  The first answer is that you should discuss this with your surgeon rather than on this forum, as he/she knows exactly what was done and what activities are safe for you at this point.
Typically I reposition the entire platysma musculature and this will cause a tight feeling that does go away with time.  I ask patients to return to activities 3 weeks after surgery, but to be gentle with excercises that require neck extension and twisting.  Your body will guide you during this process.

Hope this helps.
Dr. Most

PS-Some yoga poses are OK for my patients at 3 weeks (not just child's pose, but warrior 1, downward dog, plank, etc are ok). 

Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Stiff neck after a facelift.

Tightening of the platysma muscle causes stiffness of the neck. Rotation of the neck will not damage the repair. As time passes gradual increasing range of motion servers is physical therapy. Usually by three weeks full range of motion has been achieved although there may be exceptions.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 35 reviews

#facelift #cosmeticsurgery #recovery #scars #beauty #activity

Dear Adele91433

Thank you for your question!  Congrats and happy recovery!  I prefer my patients to ask me about their activities etc- generally after 10 days it is safe to resume your previous activities .  If you are concerned then slow return is recommended- so short bike rides, dancing with less aggressive spinning etc.

With Warmest Regards

Trevor M Born MD 

Trevor M. Born, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 115 reviews

Can I easily turn head and neck after face and neck lift?

I routinely tighten the platysma muscle during a neck lift procedure and this commonly causes a sense of thightness similar to what you describe.  The good news is that this disappears completely.  I would be guided by the gradual relaxation of the tightness that occurs naturally and gently and not push too hard to be able to turn your neck at this stage.
Enjoy your results.

Jon A Perlman MD FACS
Certified, Am Board of Plastic Surgery
Extreme Makeover Surgeon ABC TV
Beverly Hills, Ca

Jon A. Perlman, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Returning to activity after a facelift

Thank you for writing. I would recommend discussing with your surgeon that other activities may be better for you at this time. Excessive movements or increasing your heart rate can worsen swelling and widen scars if placed under too much tension. Maybe light elliptical or fast walking would be good alternative till you get to the six week mark. I tell my patients to continue with some form of compression, rest and icing for the first four weeks. It is good to return to some mild activity but choose something with less neck movements and listen to your body. If you see the swelling getting worse, apply ice and rest taking a day off from activities. Good luck with your recovery! 

Kouros Azar, MD
Thousand Oaks Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

How long after a #facelift can one resume bicycling and other high-energy activities?

Thank you for your questions.

In my practice, I ask my patients to refrain from bicycling and swimming for 6 weeks.  I am concerned that with quick and excessive neck movements the scars will widen sligthly.  It is also safer to wait until all is healed prior to restarting physcial activities, for your own safety.

Hope this helps!

Best regards,

Dr. Marc DuPere, Toronto Aesthetic Plastic Surgeon

Marc DuPéré, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

Face lift - how soon will the neck loosen?

Thank you for asking about your face lift healing.

  • Everyone heals differently -
  • The best guide to biking and dancing is whether you feel ready for it -
  • For safety, do not go biking unless your neck is comfortable - or in an emergency you may not react quickly or effectively.
  • It may take 6 weeks - most plastic surgeons have not had face lifts and do not fully understand the effects it can have for quite a while. 
  • (I have had one - I waited 6 weeks for any exercise except walking.)

Always consult a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon.
Hope you find this information helpful. Best wishes

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

When can I easily turn head and neck after face and neck lift?

Dear Adele91433, I would discuss your concerns with your surgeon and explain that these movements do not feel comfortable. I always tell my patients if it feels uncomfortable then do not proceed. I would suggest exercising in different modes that do not have the same movements that are currently distressing you. Often times the neck and face will feel tight and you will be overprotective of movement however I always say protect your investment! Best regards, Michael V. Elam, M.D.

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

Bike riding

I usually allow my patients to ride a bike after 3 weeks. I don't think this will be a problem for you

best of luck

Michael E. Kelly, MD
Miami Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

3 Weeks Post Op Activity

I would encourage you to wait at least 3 more weeks for the activities you mentioned.  You want to avoid stress on the incision sites and avoid anything that feels uncomfortable.  Contact your surgeon for his advice.

Robert E. Zaworski, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 60 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.