Postoperative Instructions: Otoplasty

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Immediately After Surgery

  • Rest: You should rest with your head elevated for the first few days to minimize swelling.
  • Pain Management: Some discomfort and pain are normal. Pain medication prescribed by your surgeon can be taken as directed to manage this.
  • Bandages: Your head will likely be wrapped with bandages to provide support and protection to the ears. Follow your surgeon's instructions on how long to keep these on.

First Week

  • Bandage Care: Do not remove the bandage unless instructed by your surgeon. It is crucial for shaping and protecting the ears during the initial healing phase.
  • Activity: Avoid strenuous activities and exercise. Gentle walking is encouraged to promote blood circulation.
  • Sleeping Position: Sleep on your back and avoid putting pressure on the ears. Using extra pillows to elevate your head can help reduce swelling.

Follow-Up Visits

  • Surgeon Check-ups: Attend all scheduled postoperative appointments. Your surgeon will monitor your healing and may remove stitches if they are not absorbable.
  • Bandage Change: Your surgeon will advise when it is safe to replace or remove bandages. Typically, a lighter, less constrictive headband is worn after the initial bandage is removed, especially at night to prevent the ears from bending.

First Month

  • Ear Care: Once the initial bandages are removed, you may be asked to wear a headband at night to keep the ears in the correct position.
  • Avoid Contact: Protect your ears from accidental bumps and avoid activities that might pull or stretch the ears.
  • Exposure: Keep your ears protected from sun exposure to prevent discoloration and aid the healing process. Use sunscreen if you go outdoors.

Long-Term Care

  • Scarring: Minimal scarring can occur and is usually hidden behind the ear. Any visible scars typically fade over time but can be treated if they become a cosmetic concern.
  • Sensation: Some temporary numbness or change in sensation around the ears is normal and usually resolves within a few months.
  • Final Results: The final shape of your ears will become apparent once the swelling has fully subsided, which can take several months.

Signs to Watch For

  • Infection: Signs of infection include increased redness, swelling, warmth, or drainage from the incision sites, or a fever. Contact your surgeon if you notice any of these symptoms.
  • Unusual Pain or Swelling: If pain or swelling worsens after the initial recovery period, it could indicate a complication.

General Tips

  • Hygiene: Keep the surgical area clean and dry. Follow your surgeon’s instructions regarding washing and bathing.
  • Nutrition and Hydration: Eating a healthy diet and staying hydrated will help speed up the healing process.