9 Weeks Post Neck/Face Lift: Neck is Starting to Sag

Nine Weeks Post Neck/face Lift with Undermining and Submental Incision, my Neck Skin is Starting to Sag and Creep. Does the neck skin tighten over time (next 6-12 months of healing) or become more lax? What has been your experience?

Doctor Answers 20

Neck is Starting to Sag

I notice you say you had a submental incision with undermining, skin I presume. here's a general rule, skin cannot hold tension. if your infrastructure of your neck (muscle, fat, glands, etc.) is saggy then no amount of skin undermining or tightening will give you a long lasting youthful neck. Of course an exam would be critical to determine why your neck "sags", but dollars to doughnuts you need more done...again....correctly. good luck

Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Skin Relaxation after Facelift

Although the majority of the swelling after facelifting resolves after a few weeks, the remainder will resolve over three to six months. During this time you may notice fullness in some areas, and relaxation in others. There is alot of healing that takes place under the skin as well. For this reason you will notice fluctuations as well. Be patient, feel free to discuss your concerns with your doctor, as I am sure they are as concerned about the final result as you are.

Brian Maloney, MD, FACS
Atlanta Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Neck Skin After Facelift

Great question!

The neck skin is initially fairly tight after facelift.  Over the next several weeks, the skin does relax a bit, but then tightens up as the collagen/scar tissue contracts.  This process takes about 1 year to complete, though the majority of the healing takes place in the first 6 months. The final result of a facelift depends on many factors:

  • Age
  • Smoking
  • History of excessive sun exposure
  • History of professional skin care

Take care of your skin with ritual sunscreen use, exfoliation with chemical peels, lasers or microdermabrasion and avoidance of tobacco use to yield the best and longest-lasting facelift results!

Andrew Winkler, MD
Lone Tree Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

Usually recovery from facelift and neck lift

It appears that the early post operative swelling is subsiding, and you are noticing a bit more laxity in the neck. I doubt the results of your facelift will change greatly in the next 4 months. The best recommendation I can make is for you to discuss your concerns with your surgeon. I believe with passage of more time you will become more comfortable with your results

Maurice M. Khosh, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Face Lift Recovery

The recovery from a facelift is quite variable, with the most important consideration being the quality of your skin before surgery. Your results will evolve over the first six months and I recommend that you wait at least that amount of time to assess your results.  Consult with your surgeon at that time if you have concerns.  You may for instance benefit from laser resurfacing at that later date.  Good luck.

David Stoker, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

9 Weeks Post Lift - Neck is Starting to Sag

Some level of sagging and settling is normal after surgery and the extent of this depends on the condition of the skin before surgery.

Sam Naficy, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 183 reviews

Facelift surgery turns the clock back, but it does not stop it!

During every pre-surgery office visit for rejuvenation surgery, I talk to my patients about what to expect immediately after surgery, as well as what to expect once the healing is complete. All patients need to know about the phases of tissue healing: early swelling, followed by stiffness, which gradually softens to a natural feel, over about 90 days after surgery. After all the healing is done, every one will notice some laxity. This represents the true, end result of the surgery. Often, it is at this time that I recommend laser skin resurfacing  with a fractionated Carbon Dioxide laser to repair and minimally tighten the skin envelope. Depending on the person's age, some of the new skin-tightening systems may be beneficial.

Edward Szachowicz, MD, PhD
Minneapolis Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Sagging Skin 9 weeks after a Facelift

Sagging skin 9 weeks later can mean many things.  You probably aren't going to have significant tightening after 9 weeks.  The most helpful thing to do is review your before and after pictures and see if you made any progress from you were before your procedure.

There is a saying that after plastic surgery, or vision gets better, and our memory gets worse!  We start to see and notice things we never saw before, and no one can remember what they used to look like.  That is why pictures are so valuable.

You will always have some laxity - if you don't have laxity the result won't look natural.  If you have excess laxity, you might require a touchup or an larger procedure that what you originally chose.  Most facelifts fall into the general category of either a small, medium, or large lift.  Watch the attached video to learn more.

The most important decision you make is the artist/surgeon that you choose - please let us know if you have any additional questions!

Richard Castellano, MD
Tampa Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 55 reviews

Neck skin will not tighten further after Neck and Face Lift

 IMHO, 9 weeks after a Face and Neck Lift the skin won't magically tighten against the pull of gravity.  Although, the final result takes several months to be revealed after a traditional Face and Neck Lift, this refers more to the swelling, lumps and bumps that occur from the tissue dissection and not to the degree of skin tightening.   The degree of skin tightening is determined by the amount and degree of SMAS and Platysma muscle tightening and skin removal which occur during the Face and Neck Lift....not in the post-op period.

Francis R. Palmer, III, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Skin relaxation after facelift

Initially the skin around the cheeks and behind the ears will feel firm and tight after a face-neck lift. As the skin swelling goes away over the first 2-3 months after surgery, it is common for the skin to relax a little and for the lines and creases to return. This should not be seen as a failure in the surgery, but a natural part of the healing process. However, if a minilift was performed and the emphasis was placed on skin tightening, not tightening of the foundation of the face (SMAS and platysma), then you may see a minimal difference compared to your profile before surgery. There may be some mild scar contraction that occurs during the first year of healing, however, this will not relift sagging skin. If you have concerns, I would discuss them with your surgeon, but would definite postpone any touch-up procedures until one year after your surgery.

Gregory J. Vipond, MD, FRCSC
Inland Empire Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 6 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.