Before and after pictures of a neck lift

What Is Recovery Like After a Neck Lift?

Back to all posts July 31, 2023
Before and after pictures of a neck lift

What is a Neck Lift?

A neck lift is a cosmetic surgical procedure performed to address various concerns related to the neck area. It is commonly sought after to address sagging or loose skin, tighten neck muscles, and rejuvenate the appearance of the face and neck.

As we age, the skin on our neck can start to lose elasticity and firmness. Factors such as genetics, sun exposure, and lifestyle choices can contribute to the development of excess skin and a sagging neck. This can create a “turkey wattle” appearance or the presence of vertical bands on the neck.

A neck lift aims to tighten the neck muscles and remove excess skin to provide a smoother, more youthful contour. During the procedure, incisions are typically made behind the ears and under the chin to access the underlying muscles and tissues. The surgeon then tightens the neck muscles and removes any excess skin, creating a more defined and rejuvenated appearance.

By addressing loose neck skin and tightening the underlying muscles, a neck lift can significantly enhance the overall aesthetics of the face and neck. It can help restore a more youthful and toned profile, improving the contours and proportions of the lower face and neck area.

It’s important to note that a neck lift is a surgical procedure that should be performed by a qualified and experienced plastic surgeon. They will evaluate your specific concerns and goals, and determine if a neck lift is the appropriate solution for you. Additionally, they will provide guidance on the expected results and discuss any potential risks or complications associated with the procedure.

If you are considering a neck lift, it is advisable to schedule a consultation with a trusted board-certified plastic surgeon, like Dr. Jacono. They will assess your individual case, explain the procedure in detail, and provide recommendations tailored to your unique needs. With their expertise and your desired outcome in mind, you can make an informed decision about pursuing a neck lift to achieve a more youthful and rejuvenated appearance.

Neck Lift Recovery

A woman rubbing her neck with her hands.

After undergoing a neck lift, it’s essential to understand what to expect during the recovery period. This surgical procedure tightens sagging skin and rejuvenates the neck area. In this blog post, we’ll explore the traditional neck lift recovery timeline, the expected recovery time, and provide insights into the healing process.

  • Recovery Timeline: Neck lift recovery time can vary depending on individual factors and the extent of the procedure. When you go under general anesthesia for facial plastic surgery, that means that the surgery is going to be a longer recovery time than local anesthesia. Generally, the initial stage of recovery from a neck lift lasts about two weeks, during which swelling and bruising gradually subside. By the third week, most patients notice a significant improvement, and final results become more apparent over the following months.
  • Post-Surgical Care: Following a neck lift surgery, your plastic surgeon will provide specific instructions for a smooth recovery. This typically includes keeping the head elevated, avoiding strenuous activities, and taking prescribed pain medication as needed. It’s crucial to follow these instructions diligently for optimal healing.
  • Swelling and Bruising: Swelling and bruising are common after a neck lift. However, they will gradually diminish over time. Cold compresses and keeping the head elevated can help reduce swelling. Your surgeon may also recommend wearing a compression garment to aid in the healing process and minimize swelling.
  • Return to Work: The recovery time needed before returning to work varies depending on the individual and the nature of their job. For most patients, it is advisable to take one to two weeks off work to allow for proper rest and healing. However, it’s essential to consult with your plastic surgeon for personalized advice based on your specific circumstances.
  • Pain Management: During the initial recovery period, some discomfort and tightness in the neck area are common. Your surgeon will prescribe appropriate pain medication to manage any discomfort. Following their instructions regarding pain medication usage will help ensure a more comfortable recovery experience
  • Follow-Up Visits: Your plastic surgeon will schedule follow-up visits to monitor your progress and assess the healing process. These visits allow them to evaluate your recovery and address any concerns or questions you may have. It’s important to attend these appointments to ensure your recovery is on track.
  • Long-Term Results: A neck lift is a highly effective procedure for addressing loose skin and rejuvenating the neck area. The final results become more apparent as the swelling subsides and the neck fully heals. With proper care and a healthy lifestyle, the results of a neck lift can be long-lasting and provide a more youthful appearance.

It’s important to remember that every patient’s recovery experience may differ slightly. Following your surgeon’s post-operative instructions and maintaining open communication throughout the recovery process will help ensure a successful outcome.

What is Mini-Neck Lift Recovery Time?

The recovery time for a mini neck lift is typically shorter compared to a traditional neck lift. While individual experiences may vary, most patients can expect a shorter recovery period for a mini neck lift. Generally, the initial stage of recovery lasts around one to two weeks, during which swelling and bruising gradually subside. By the third week, most patients notice a significant improvement, and final results become more apparent over the following months.

It is important to follow your plastic surgeon’s post-operative instructions for optimal healing and to ensure a smooth recovery process. Consulting with your surgeon will provide personalized guidance based on your specific case and help manage expectations regarding the recovery timeline for a mini neck lift.


Recovering from a neck lift involves a healing process that requires patience and proper care. By understanding the neck lift recovery timeline, adhering to post-surgical instructions, and following up with your plastic surgeon, you can have a smoother recovery experience and enjoy the benefits of a rejuvenated neck with tighter, more youthful-looking skin. Please look at our before and after neck lift recovery photos:

Find out more about what a neck lift entails.

Dr. Andrew Jacono

Dr. Andrew Jacono, M.D., F.A.C.S., is a Dual Board Certified, Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon with a thriving practice on Long Island’s Gold Coast and in Manhattan on Park Avenue.

Dr. Jacono specializes in reconstructive surgery, specifically facelifts, rhinoplasties and eyelid lifts with flawless, yet natural results. He’s internationally recognized for his innovative non-surgical and minimally invasive facial rejuvenation techniques. As Director of the New York Center for Facial Plastic & Laser Surgery, Dr. Jacono's expertise attracts a wide range of clientele, from prominent celebrities to everyday individuals seeking various enhancements. He is also sought-after for his expert opinion as a lecturer and presenter. Dr. Jacono has presented his innovative techniques at leading universities in the US, and has conducted live surgery at over 100 global plastic surgery meetings and symposiums across multiple countries and organizations.

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