The jawline and neck area are usually where some of the most prominent telltale signs of aging are first noticeable. Younger faces are more heart-shaped, with fuller cheeks and higher cheekbones that slope down to a sharp jaw. Over time, however, we lose some of the definition in these youthful facial contours. Even if you don’t have many wrinkles or fine lines on the rest of your face, it’s common to develop skin folds, jowls, and sagging due to gravity and the gradual depletion of the skin’s collagen. A lower rhytidectomy, also referred to as a neck lift, is what Sonoma County’s Dr. Stanley Jacobs uses to restore firmer and smoother contours.
It can take about two weeks for the initial side effects to resolve after a neck lift and several months before any residual swelling goes away completely so that the results are visible. Most patients can return to work within around 10 to 14 days.
Here are some tips for having an easier, faster recovery at home after your surgery.
Be Careful About Icing Your Neck
Even though your neck will feel swollen, tight, and uncomfortable, don’t just apply ice or a cold compress directly to your skin for hours at a time. Too much cold concentrated in one place for too long could inhibit blood flow to the area and lead to tissue damage. Keep ice or an ice pack covered in cloth, then alternate applying it for 20 minutes, then keeping it off for an hour, for 24 hours. Apply it for 20 minutes four to five times a day for the next two days, for a maximum of three days of icing.
Check for Signs of Infection
We will advise you on which side effects are normal and what symptoms are signs of possible complications. If you are having any symptoms associated with infection—such as fever, severe pain, or redness—get in touch with your surgical team right away.
Avoid Heavy Exercise
Don’t engage in intense cardio that raises your blood pressure and heart rate, nor any heavy lifting, for at least two weeks.
Keep Your Head Elevated and Straight
Patients need to avoid bending, turning, or twisting their neck too much and keep their head elevated to reduce swelling.
Want a more sculpted jawline and youthful neck? Learn more about how to make your recovery easier after a neck lift at the Jacobs Center for Cosmetic Surgery. If you’re thinking of having a facial procedure, please call us at 707-473-0220, or submit a contact form to request a personalized consultation.