What to Expect When Recovering from a Neck Lift

A neck lift is a surgical procedure that can help define your jawline and neck contours. Through this procedure, your surgeon removes the sagging skin on the jawline and neck, commonly called the “turkey neck,” obtaining a younger-looking and more defined profile.


Many patients decide to undergo this procedure to improve their neck contours. Although it requires general anesthesia, it is still an outpatient surgery performed in our own facilities. Most patients can go home a few hours after surgery, but there are some indications they must consider in the next weeks to ensure successful results.


After a neck lift surgery, you can expect the following recovery time:

The First 48 Hours

As soon as you leave the OR, you will spend a few hours in our recovery rooms, monitored by one of our nurses. When your doctor allows you to leave the facilities, you will be discharged and given post-op instructions. We recommend having a friend or family member drive you home, as the anesthesia can have side effects that prevent you from sitting behind the wheel.

The Following Days

When the anesthesia wears off, you will start feeling pain or discomfort in the area. That’s why it is essential to take painkillers and medications strictly, as indicated by your doctor. This will also reduce the swelling in the surgical site and prevent any infection. Besides pain, it’s also normal to experience redness, swelling, or itchiness in the surgical area.


You may have been sent home with a compressive garment around your neck and/or a drainage tube attached to the wound. Your doctor will explain how to care for these, but it is crucial not to touch them unless necessary. It’s also vital to keep your head elevated after surgery, ideally above your heart, to relieve pressure in the area. This may include sleeping with extra pillows in your bed or even sleeping in a chair. After one or two days, you will visit the doctor for a check-up. During this visit, you will probably have the drainage removed. Hopefully, things will get smoother.

Weeks 2 – 3 After Surgery

After seven days, most patients report feeling more comfortable and with less pain. Many of them stop taking pain medication and see a significant improvement in the rest of the symptoms. This week, you will be asked to stay home, take it easy, and avoid unnecessary neck movements.


After 14 days, your surgeon might indicate neck mobility or stretching maneuvers. Now, you may be able to return to work and start doing light exercises like walking, but strenuous physical activity will need to wait.

1 Month After Neck Lift Surgery

In a month, you will begin to see the new contour of your neck and jawline. You may return to heavy exercise at this point, and although the incision line can be darker than your skin, hardly anybody will notice the scar due to its location. However, you will still need to wait a bit longer before swimming, immersing in water, or taking hot, steamy showers.

Neck Lift Surgery in New Orleans, LA

A neck lift is an effective procedure to deal with the turkey neck and other issues in your neck and jawline. If you still have any questions about the surgery or post-op instructions, call us at 504.227.3873 or fill in our online form to schedule a consultation with our experts, Kyle Coleman M.D. and Lisa Donofrio M.D.

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