Otoplasty (ear surgery) for children or adults can set prominent ears back closer to the head and reduce the size of large ears. Surgery may also be helpful for “lop ear,” “cupped ear” and “shell ear” as well as large or stretched earlobes and lobes with creases and wrinkles. The procedure lasts from 2 to 3 hours and may be performed in a hospital, office-based facility or an outpatient surgery center under general or local anesthesia.
Otoplasty Postoperative Instructions
After otoplasty (ear surgery), it is important to protect the ear carefully and not traumatize it for several weeks. External sutures, if used, will be removed within a week after surgery. The incisions are usually placed behind the ear and heal very well, becoming almost invisible.
- Have someone drive you home after surgery and help you at home for 1-2 days.
- Get plenty of rest and increase your fluid intake.
- Decreased activity may promote constipation, so you may want to add more ripe fruit to your diet. Prunes and prune juice work well for most.
- Take pain medications as prescribed. Do not take aspirin or any products containing aspirin or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
- Do not drink alcohol when taking pain medications.
- Refrain from drinking alcohol for three weeks following surgery, even when no longer taking pain medications, as alcohol causes fluid retention.
- If you regularly take vitamins with iron, resume these as tolerated.
- Do not smoke or consume nicotine, as smoking delays healing and increases the risk of complications.
- Start walking as soon as possible with assistance the day of surgery, this helps to reduce swelling and lowers the chance of blood clots. Starting the day after surgery, walk 300 feet three times per day with assistance daily.
- Do not drive until you are no longer taking any pain medications (narcotics).
- Do not drive until you have full range of motion with your arms.
- Refrain from vigorous activity for two weeks.
- Social and employment activities can be resumed in 10-14 days.
- Sexual activity can be resumed in two weeks unless otherwise specified by Dr. Bindingnavele.
- You may shower 48 hours after surgery.
- Keep incisions clean and inspect daily for sign of infection. No soaking incision with water for two weeks after surgery.
- Wear ear protection continuously for 2 weeks unless otherwise instructed by Dr. Bindingnavele.
- Sleep with head elevated unless otherwise instructed.
FOLLOW UP CARE
- Your post-operative appointment will be scheduled before surgery for your convenience.
- You are likely to feel tired for a few weeks.
- Maximum discomfort will occur in the first few days after surgery.
- You will have bruising and swelling of the ear. The majority of bruising and swelling will subside in 6-8 weeks.
- Significant improvement in ear with improved symmetry near normal projection.
WHEN TO CALL
- If you have increased swelling or bruising.
- If swelling and redness persist after a few days.
- If you have increased redness along the incision.
- If you have severe or increased pain not relieved by medication.
- If you have any side effects such as rash, nausea, headache, or vomiting.
- If you have an oral temperature over 100.4 degrees.
- If you have yellowish or greenish drainage from the incisions or notice a foul odor.
- If you have bleeding from the incisions that is difficult to control with light pressure.
- If you have loss of feeling or motion.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is a candidate for ear surgery?
Those in good overall health without a life-threatening illness or chronic ear infections are candidates for ear surgery. Potential patients should not have any medical conditions that can impair healing, and protruding ears can be treated if they are not associated with hearing loss.
Is there an age requirement for otoplasty in children?
As long as the child is a good candidate for the procedure, he or she may undergo otoplasty once the ear cartilage is stable enough for correction (generally around five or six years of age).
Where are the incisions placed for otoplasty?
The incisions for ear surgery are usually placed on the back surface of the ear, which makes scarring virtually undetectable. If incisions need to be made on the front of the ear, they will be placed within the folds to make them as inconspicuous as possible.
How long after surgery will the results of otoplasty be visible?
Protruding ears will be immediately improved after surgery, and more extensive corrections will develop as the ears heal over time. Your surgeon will give you more details about your recovery and results based on your individual condition.
Why Choose Dr. Vijay
Dr. Vijay is very unique in the sense of his great customer care, service and experience. He approaches each client as an individual and takes the time to thoroughly understand their needs and desired results.