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What Is The Best Way To Recover From A Face And Neck Lift?


There are some simple things you can do after your facelift and neck lift that effectively ensure a faster recovery with minimal swelling and bruising. These are face and neck lift recovery tips that I have learned after many years spent in plastic surgery observing my patients’ recovery from this common procedure.

  • Invest in a neck pillow. They work wonders to keep your neck straight and limit turning side to side, and less movement leads to less swelling and bruising. I recommend the horseshoe-shaped neck pillows that are commonly used in travel. It’s a comfortable reminder that you should limit the movement of your neck.
  • Use ice. Patients who ice regularly and overnight for the first three days after their procedure often return for follow up with minimal bruising and swelling, not to mention that it also feels good.
  • Elevate your head and shoulders. Elevation helps with reducing the swelling as well, and you should maintain an upright position during the day and the nighttime. I recommend a recliner to many of my patients, as it is very comfortable and supports the head.
  • Stay calm and tranquil for the first three days. This means that you should really focus on recovery and limit activities that are unnecessary and can cause swelling and bruising. The first three days are particularly important because the blood vessels and tissues are “sealing.” This recommendation is particularly important for patients who are particularly active and restless. Exercise, household chores, running around with the kids and any other high-energy activities need to wait.
  • Maintain a positive attitude. Believe it or not, this helps with recovery! As with all difficult times, it’s always better to go through them with a great attitude.
  • Have patience. Rome wasn’t built in a day and no one recovers from a face and neck lift overnight. You will look worse before you look better, so don’t spend a lot of time in front of the mirror analyzing every detail of your recovery.

Most of my patients are out and about after 10 days to 2 weeks. It takes up to six weeks for everything to really calm down and up to six months for the result to be its very best. Follow these simple rules to a speedy recovery from one of the best investments of your life!

— Robert Caridi, MD
Diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery
Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS)
Member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS)
Member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
Founder of the Austin Gynecomastia Center

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