The neck lift procedure is a cosmetic surgery that can help to remove wrinkles and lines from the neck. It is also used to tighten sagging skin and correct excess fatty deposits around the jawline.
The procedure is performed under general anesthesia. The surgeon will make an incision on either side of the throat, depending on the amount of sagging skin present in that area. The incisions are usually made along the hairline so that they are not visible after healing has occurred.
The neck tissues are then lifted and tightened using sutures or other methods to remove excess fat deposits if necessary. In most cases, however, a neck lift will not require any additional procedures to address problems with fatty deposits or skin damage due to aging or sun exposure (photoaging).
Neck lifts can help restore youthful contours to your neck, but there are certain things that you can do before and after surgery to promote healing and ensure that you have a safe recovery period. Here are some tips for staying healthy during your neck lift recovery:
1. Get plenty of rest.
It is important that you get plenty of rest after having your neck lift surgery. During your first week at home, it is recommended that you only leave your house when necessary and try to stay in bed or on the couch as much as possible. This will allow your body to heal properly, which will give you better results over time.
2. Be careful about movement.
You’re likely to be sore after your neck lift, particularly if it was performed with liposuction. You should avoid strenuous activity for two weeks after the surgery so that you don’t risk injury or causing bruising or swelling. If you have a desk job, it’s best to take frequent breaks from sitting and stand up frequently throughout the day to walk around and stretch.
3. Ask for help when needed.
A neck lift is major surgery and can be very painful for some people for up to two weeks after surgery. The incisions are placed in the crease of your neck so they’re not visible once healed, but they will be tender for a while. It’s important that you allow yourself to heal before returning to work or other strenuous activities. If you feel like you need help from family members or friends during this time, ask them! It’s better to ask for help than push yourself too hard and risk complications later on down the road.
4. Stay comfortable.
It’s important to keep your head elevated during the first 24 hours after surgery. You may be able to lie on your back or side, but don’t try sleeping on your stomach until the numbness wears off completely. You also should avoid bending over, which could strain your neck muscles and cause pain or swelling.
5. Stay hydrated
Staying hydrated is always important, but it’s especially important during the recovery period. The neck lift recovery process is a time when you can easily become dehydrated because you’ll be limited in what you can eat and drink. If you start to feel weak or dizzy, it’s possible that you’re not drinking enough water.
6. Take your meds
Your doctor will give you a prescription for pain medication when you leave the hospital or surgical center. Make sure to take it as directed so that you feel comfortable during the first few days of recovery.
7. Keep your head elevated
When you wake up from surgery, the first thing your doctor will likely recommend is keeping your head elevated above the level of your heart. This helps reduce swelling and keeps the blood from pooling in the back of your neck.
8. Don’t Overdo It
Your body needs rest after any surgery. You may feel like going out and doing things, but it’s important to take it easy for the first few days after your procedure. If you do too much too soon, it could delay your healing time or even cause complications. Try taking walks around the neighborhood instead of going out on long runs or working out at the gym until your doctor gives you permission to do so again.
9. Eat a Well Balanced Diet
Prior to your procedure, your surgeon may recommend that you eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables. This will help you get enough vitamins and minerals before surgery so that you can recover faster afterwards. After surgery, it’s important to continue eating well so that your body receives all the nutrients it needs for healing.
10. Sleep on Your Back
The neck area is very delicate and needs to be protected during recovery. It’s important to sleep on your back after neck lift surgery so you don’t strain the new skin or cause swelling. Also, avoid sitting up in bed with your head turned to one side, as this can cause discomfort and pain. Lift up your head with pillows if needed so your body doesn’t have to stretch out the skin too much while sleeping at night.
11. Do your part to reduce swelling.
Avoid direct sunlight on the treated area for 2 weeks by wearing sunscreen, wide brimmed hats and long sleeves when outside in hot weather; avoid direct heat sources like saunas or hot tubs in the first few weeks after surgery; avoid exercise during recovery; ice your face regularly with an ice pack wrapped in a towel for 15 minutes at a time (never apply ice directly to your skin); take anti-inflammatory medications as prescribed by Dr. Lavin; do not drink alcohol while taking pain medication; do not smoke while taking pain medications; avoid sleeping on your stomach until all sutures have dissolved (usually about 4 weeks after surgery).
12. Avoid smoking.
Smoking is bad for your health in many ways, but there are a few things it can do to affect your healing process following surgery. Smoking can interfere with the blood supply to your skin and make it more likely that you’ll have complications. It’s best to avoid smoking altogether if possible, but even if you can’t quit completely, try to cut back as much as possible. Avoiding tobacco smoke also helps reduce the risk of infection at the site of your incision.
13. Know what’s normal and what isn’t.
After any type of surgery, there may be some pain or discomfort involved. For example, if you have stitches in your mouth from having wisdom teeth removed, you may experience mild pain or swelling as the weeks go by. You should also expect bruising around surgical sites because blood vessels were damaged during surgery. If you experience any unusual symptoms such as severe pain or swelling that lasts longer than 48 hours after surgery, contact your surgeon immediately.
14. Avoid heavy lifting for the first week following your surgery
You should avoid heavy lifting or straining for one week following your neck lift procedure. This is because you will have drainage tubes in place post-op and these tubes can be damaged if you strain yourself too much.
15. Avoid Blood Thinners
If you’re taking blood thinners (such as aspirin, Plavix) before surgery, make sure you stop taking them at least two weeks before the procedure. If your doctor recommends any other medications during this time, be sure to ask whether or not they thin the blood and if so, how long before surgery it’s okay for you to stop taking them.
16. Stay Sun Safe
Your skin has been cut open, so it is important that you protect it from the sun. You should be wearing sunscreen every day while you are recovering from your surgery, even if it is cloudy outside. The sun can still affect your skin even when clouds cover the sky. If you have any questions about whether or not your skin needs protection from the sun, talk with your doctor before going outside.
17. Follow all your doctor’s orders.
Your surgeon may give you specific instructions about what you can and can’t do after the procedure. This will help ensure that your wound heals properly and reduces the risk of infection or other complications.
18. Don’t wear a neck brace.
While some doctors recommend wearing a neck brace for several weeks after surgery, others say it’s unnecessary. Your doctor will probably let you know if he thinks it’s necessary for you to wear one. If he does, follow his instructions carefully — don’t go against them unless he gives you permission to do so in writing. Wearing a neck brace too soon can actually cause more damage than doing nothing at all, because it may prevent your skin from healing properly or cause other complications like infections and swelling.
19. Use Ice Packs
Ice packs are an effective way to reduce swelling after a neck lift procedure. You should use ice packs at least three times per day for 10 minutes at a time to help reduce swelling and bruising around the neck area. If you have any questions about how long or how often you should use these packs, please talk with your doctor beforehand so that he or she can provide more specific instructions for your situation.
20. Take a pain reliever.
If you’re experiencing pain, it’s important to take over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen every six hours for the first two days after your surgery. These medications will help reduce swelling and inflammation that can occur after surgery. Consult with your doctor before taking any medications or supplements, however, as some may interact negatively with other drugs you’re already taking or cause side effects that could interfere with healing.