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Healing Pains: Dealing with the Neck Liposuction Recovery

Updated on April 3, 2010

General bruising and swelling subside within three weeks from the neck liposuction

  • Now that neck liposuction is done and over with, it is time to look into the painful and slow healing process that ensues. From the moment a patient wakes up, he or she may immediately feel slight uncomfortable from the tightness of skin caused by swelling. This may last for about three weeks. A compression bandage or an elastic head and chin wrap or dressing is used on the patient to minimize the swelling and is usually removed by the first post-operative check-up with the cosmetic surgeon. In about one to two days after the operation, bruising may develop around the area operated on. Some suggest the use of a natural herb called Arnica before and after the operation as it supposedly helps minimize bruising.
  • Patients are known to feel stiff, sore, and tender for a few days following the neck liposuction. Mild pain may also be persistent in the first few weeks. The doctor usually prescribes patients with painkillers for the immediate weeks after the surgery until they can be replaced with simple over-the-counter medications as pain gradually subsides. Aside from medications that alleviate mild discomfort, postoperative prescriptions also include antibiotics that prevent infection, ointments to be applied on the sutures, and Vitamin C of 1000mg to be taken with food for a week to promote faster healing.
  • The patient’s sutures will also require proper care as it is important to keep them dry. This can be done by cleaning them with peroxide using cotton buds then applying a certain antibiotic ointment to keep the sutures soft. In about four to five days, the sutures used during neck liposuction are lubricated to gently guide them out, unless they dissolve on their own. Steri-strips (butterflies) are then applied. Once removed, keep the area dry for three more days. Within a couple of weeks, patients may return to work so long as their jobs allow for sedentary types of tasks while patients are still undergoing the healing process.
  • General bruising and swelling subside within three weeks from the neck liposuction procedure. It is during these weeks that patients gradually begin to look more and more presentable again especially once the compression bandages and stitches have been removed. By six months, facial expressions become more natural as the swollen areas reduce. Facial fullness, headaches and disrupted sleep will soon diminish as the months go by. Ninety percent of the recovery process is done after three months.
  • It takes about a year for the full results of a neck liposuction become apparent. This is also when the cosmetic surgeon evaluates the patient whether the outcome is as desired, whether there are unsightly scars or irregularities, if the neck contours came out naturally, and whether a patient still needs a  follow up surgery or not. Regardless of that, going through this process will take a lot of patience and motivation on the side of the patient if he or she is really willing to experience all of this simply to achieve their desired look.


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