Why Do I Have a Rope Like Scar on Neck Where Drains Were After Neck Lift? Also Neck is Very Tight and I Cannot Look Up.

The Jackson Pratt drains were in for a week and where the tubes were is now a ridge around the front of my neck. There is a little fluid but mostly it feels hard. It has been 2 weeks. Also my ears are completely numb and the cut under my chin is 2 inches long and red and raised. My neck is so tight that I cannot look up. I am terrified that I will have an ugly rope around my neck forever. My ps says it is not a scar but what is it?

Doctor Answers 2

Rope-like firmness at drain site

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Two weeks post surgery is still very early for you to judge the results of your surgery - be patient and follow up with your surgeon.  This issue will most likely resolve with time and massage.  Rarely a steroid injection is needed.

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 231 reviews

Fullness from facelift drains

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Two weeks is early in terms of recovery after a facelift.  So although we often suggest you can get back in public at this time, or that recovery is described as two weeks, a number of the things you see in yourself might be still within normal range of recovery.  Drain use varies with docs, with some using none at all and some with prolonged placement. A week is pretty long in that continuum.  The drain pathway will often form focal thickening around that foreign body, which resolves with time.  The longer the drain in place, the more of this response.  So bottom line is that it will go away but will take time.  Usually you would aggressively massage that tissue, and your doc might even consider judicious use of the injectable steroid kenalog to nudge this process along.  Think weeks though, maybe up to six or eight for full resolution.  That thickness, along with the normal steps of the surgery, will make looking up tight. By now I suspect that is getting better.

The numbness around the ears is normal, and will slowly return to normal over months.  Think six months.  The cut under the neck should also be resolving.  Since I now realize this was asked over three weeks ago, I suspect you will be enjoying some resolution by this time.  So stay patient, the body has an amazing reparative potential.  

Kevin Robertson, MD
Madison Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 15 reviews

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