Otoplasty, also known as ear pinning or ear surgery, improves the appearance of protruding ears. This procedure alleviates discomfort and boosts confidence. Surgeons can easily access ears compared to other parts of the face and body. Full recovery can take up to six weeks and involves a gradual return to your normal daily activities. Each situation is unique but familiarizing yourself with general recommendations for a safe and smooth recovery provides good foundations.
Follow Your Doctor’s Instructions
Your surgeon uses surgical dressings and headbands to ensure your treated ears heal properly. Keeping them clean and wearing them exactly as directed reduces the risk of infection or injury. Your doctor will change the dressings at follow-up appointments, but you will likely need to keep the headband on day and night during the first couple of weeks. Afterward, you will still need to wear it at night for up to a month.
Make sure to take any medication your doctor has prescribed to alleviate your discomfort and reduce swelling. Set reminders if necessary but they are an important part of your recovery process. You will also need to apply topical ointments to the incision areas on your ears to minimize scarring and speed up healing. Wash and dry your hands thoroughly before application.
Avoid Touching Your Ears
Even when your headband or dressing gets itchy and uncomfortable, you must refrain from touching or rubbing your ears. Stay mindful of your gestures and surroundings to avoid any contact with your ears. Leaving your ears alone is one of the most effective ways you can ensure proper healing.
An effective way to minimize touching your ears is to wear easily removable clothing for several weeks. Choose button-down shirts and anything that zips at the front so you don’t risk damaging your incision or irritating your ears by pulling clothes over your head.
Keep Your Head Elevated
To enhance blood flow and keep swelling to a minimum, you will keep your head elevated for several weeks. This is especially important when you sleep to help avoid putting pressure on your ears. Some swelling is normal after otoplasty but keeping your head up limits the risk of inflammation and redness as your healing progresses. When you are awake, you should avoid bending over.
You should have stopped smoking before your surgery, but you shouldn’t smoke again until your doctor gives you the green light, which should be at least two weeks post-surgery. Smoking and inhaling secondhand smoke can significantly slow down your recovery. Smoking hinders blood circulation and oxygenation, which can lead to irregular scarring and poor healing.
Eat A Healthy Diet
Eating a balanced diet is a common health recommendation and is especially important after surgery. Providing your body with appropriate vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients helps it heal faster. In the early days or weeks after your procedure, you may feel more comfortable eating softer foods and nutrient-dense smoothies. Chewing can be a little difficult right after otoplasty.
Call West Coast Plastic Surgery Center today at (805) 978-8545 or use our online form to schedule a consultation!