A neck lift is a procedure designed to reduce the fullness in your neck and to create a lovely angle between your neck and jawline. It provides elegance to your profile. While the procedure takes only about 1 ½ hours to perform, you need to consider recovery time in your plans.

For that reason, patients considering neck lifts want to know how long convalescence will take. How long will it be before they can return to regular daily life? 

Usually, you will need to take between five and seven days off work, followed by several weeks of limited physical activity.  By seven days, there is generally little or no bruising, and while there is still some swelling, the fullness from the swelling is generally less than the fullness of your neck before surgery. So while you will not reach your final result in a week, you will probably look better at one week following surgery than you did before. And… it’s going to get even better!

Neck Lift Walnut Creek

*Individuals Results May Vary

How a Neck Lift is Performed 

There are several different techniques that I use to improve the appearance of your neck. 

Sometimes, you only require liposuction – the process of removing fat from in the neck under the chin using a small tube called a cannula, with applied suction. This works for the superficial fat – fat that is on top of the muscles of your neck. Typically, recovery from this procedure takes only one to two weeks – you’ll be driving at one week and at the gym doing a light workout by two weeks. You will need to wear a compressive sling around your head to help the neck settle into its new position and that sling is worn for one week following surgery. By three weeks following surgery, there are no limitations on activity.

The next step, depending on your particular anatomy, may involve working on the muscles and deep fat of the neck. The angle between your jaw and neck might not be 90-degrees because of the shape of a vestigial muscle called the platysma. This muscle doesn’t perform any critical function in the body, but it can lead to a “turkey neck.” Platysma muscle surgery is a minor procedure that takes place under local anesthetic with sedation or general anesthesia. It focuses on restructuring the muscular sling that defines your jawline. Recovery typically comprises five to seven days off work and then limited physical activity for several weeks after that.

If the skin around the neck is very saggy or droopy, we may need to go beyond the procedures described above. Often, the only option is to remove skin behind the ear if excess skin is an issue and your skin elasticity is not good. Also, enlarged glands in the neck and deep fat that exists below the muscles in the neck may need to be reduced. Recovery here depends on your age and the extent of your procedure. I can provide an estimate on a case by case basis. Again, most patients are presentable and back at work within 7 -10 days, and at 6 weeks there are no restrictions. Between week one and week 6 I grade your activity depending on the speed of your individual recovery.

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Neck Lift Recovery Overview

Following your neck surgery, I place a bandage just for cosmetic purposes, if you are going home. If you choose to stay overnight in the hospital following your surgery, no bandages are used. I typically use a drain that is removed one or two days after surgery. The drain reduces swelling and bruising and is easy to manage.

You will get a set of instructions on how to manage your recovery. Typically, you will need to keep your head elevated (to prevent excess pressure), and to avoid twisting or bending your neck. You will also need to abstain from placing any ice on the neck since this can reduce blood flow to the affected tissues and cause scarring.

In conclusion, recovery from a neck lift usually requires around five to seven days off work and then a couple of weeks of reduced activities. The results, however, are long-lasting and profound, making it a popular procedure.

Am I a Good Candidate for a Neck Lift?

The best candidates for a neck lift are typically people in their forties or younger who want to enhance their neck profile. Ideally, you should have good skin tone, even if you have poor definition around the jawline and neck. Older patients typically require a face and neck lift performed together. There are of course exceptions and this age rule is merely a guide. At your consultation, I’ll review your options in detail.

“After thoroughly consulting with 5 top surgeons in the Bay Area, I chose Dr. Barnett. My surgery for neck, lower face, upper eyelids, upper lip, brow lifts were done 11 weeks ago. He is incredibly talented, skillful-a fantastic surgeon! And my results are fabulous and I hear will only get better with time. I’m very happy! About me, I am a RN and work in the Bay Area and as a RN I am very thorough and knowledgeable. And, very picky. Dr: Barnett from the first consult (he spent over 1 hour with me, no one else did) and throughout the whole course (pre and post-op) of surgery has been wonderful! He’s patient (I’m a list person), considerate, hands on, pleasant and a caring surgeon. He always put me at ease at every step. 10 days post op I bumped and opened up the incision in my upper eyelid (I had watched 3 episodes of GOT before bedtime and had a nightmare :(-not recommended). I called and spoke with him at 1am and he was so supportive and kind and mended me the very next morning. I highly recommend Dr. Barnett.”

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Take the Next Step

Would you like to improve the way that your neck looks and feel your best? Get in touch with Dr. Barnett M.D. today to discuss your needs. Consultations are available at our San Francisco and Walnut Creek offices and Virtually online. Call (415) 879-8735 to make your booking and ask any pre-consultation questions you may have.