Ear surgery recovery is quick and relatively comfortable and complications after otoplasty are also rare. The procedure lasts for an hour or two and the recovery period would be around six weeks. Following a few basic precautions during the recovery period would ensure that the operation is a long term success. Post procedure care for quicker ear surgery recovery should follow a particular specific pattern.
Timeline for Ear Surgery Recovery Post Procedure Care
Immediate Ear Surgery Recovery and Care
- As soon as the otoplasty surgery is completed, both your ears will be covered with a head bandage. These bandages have padded cotton and are known as fluff bandages. It is an important part of the post procedure care for successful Otoplasty recovery as they help in preventing any accidental trauma to the ear. The bandage also keeps the ears in position and prevents them from reverting to their old shape. So despite the discomfort of the heavy bandage, you must ensure that it is not disturbed for the next few days.
- The procedure will be an outpatient one, but you will be kept under observation for at least an hour post surgery to ensure that there are no complications. Since local anesthesia is normally used, there should be no vomiting or nausea during this immediate recovery time.
- Once the surgeon is satisfied that all your vital parameters are normal, you can go home. But it is important that some assistance is available for the first 24 hours after the surgery. Rest, relaxation as well as a light diet is recommended. Though there are no dietary restrictions, a light diet will keep you comfortable after the surgery.
- You will be advised to keep your head elevated with the use of pillows as this will prevent bruising and swelling, but be prepared for some amount of pain. The doctor will prescribe medication for pain management.
Day 2 to Day 7 – Ear Surgery Recovery and Care
- Three to four days after surgery, the initial bandage will be removed and a lighter bandage will be applied. The lighter bandage will be kept on till the end of the week, though some doctors may remove it earlier. It performs the same function that the initial, heavier bandage did.
- The pain medication can be substituted with over-the-counter drugs if the pain persists during this time.
- Have a shower once all the bandages are removed. Do not use a blow dryer and avoid extremely hot water as this could cause damage to the ears.
- Once the bandages are out, you will have to use an antibiotic cream, three times a day for three days.
- Make sure that you keep your ear clean.
Day 7 Onwards – Ear Surgery Recovery and Care
- All your bandages will definitely be out by the end of the week. However, you will have to wear a headband to keep the ears in position. You may have to use the headband for a month. Some doctors recommend using the headband only at night.
- There will be a follow up visit scheduled around this time, so that the doctor can check on your progress.
- Apply a warm compress to the ear two to three times a day for two weeks after the bandages are removed.
- Children who have undergone the procedure can return to school a week after surgery.
- It is extremely important that you avoid all rigorous physical activity. Contact sports and gym are not allowed during the recovery period. In fact, some doctors recommend that contact sports be avoided up to three months after the surgery.
- Avoid sleeping on your side during the ear surgery recovery period.
- You might notice the formation of abnormal scar formation and in this case, inform the doctor. Normally, anti-inflammatory medication is prescribed to deal with the situation.
- By this time, the numb feeling should decrease and you may experience some tingling in your ears.
- The entire ear surgery recovery period is estimated to be six weeks, when the healing is complete.
- Meet the doctor at the end of six weeks.
It will take at least six weeks before you can really begin to appreciate the visual difference in your surgical condition before and after otoplasty. The results will be permanent and reversals are rare, and a few basic ear surgery recovery measures can help you successfully achieve this.