Otoplasty, better known as ear correction surgery, is a very common procedure that is designed to alter the size or shape of the ears, or to pin them back closer to the head if they are particularly obtrusive. It is most often carried out on adolescents, although it isn’t unusual for an adult to opt for this procedure in later life. Although it is not the most invasive of cosmetic procedures, it is still important that you allow yourself or your child sufficient time to recover and heal after their surgery. This will help to reduce the risk of complications and ensure that you achieve the best possible cosmetic result from the procedure.
To help you prepare, here are our top tips for recovering after otoplasty surgery.
Wash your hair the day before your surgery
Since otoplasty requires your surgeon to make incisions very close to your hairline, you won’t be able to wash your hair for at least several days after your procedure. Therefore, you may wish to make sure that you wash your hair the day before your surgery, wish will also help you feel clean and refreshed in the days immediately after your otoplasty.
Wear your headband as directed
Immediately after your surgery, your ears will be heavily wrapped in bandages. However, after a few days, your surgeon will probably replace this with lighter bandages and a broad headband that resembles a sweatband and covers your ears entirely. This is designed to help protect your ears from knocks and accidental damage such as itching or catching them with a hairbrush. Although it isn’t the most attractive garment, it is important for your recovery and you should ensure you wear yours as directed.
Choose your clothes carefully
You will want to avoid accidentally knocking your ears during your recovery. Once of the best ways to do this is to choose your clothes carefully. Most patients find that wide-neck tops or button-front shirts are the best option while their ears heal, since they are least likely to come into contact with the ears.
Take pain medication as directed
You may be in some discomfort after your surgery and your surgical team will give you a prescription for medication to help alleviate any pain. You should ensure that you take these as directed. Although some people dislike taking painkillers, studies show that being stressed in pain can actually slow the recovery process.
Don’t light up
If you are an adult having otoplasty and you previously smoked, you will have been advised to quit at least six weeks prior to your surgery. You should also avoid lighting up again for at least six weeks after. This is because smoking inhibits healing and can make your recovery slower and at greater risk of complications.
Sleep with your head elevated
Swelling is a normal part of the recovery process, but you can help to minimize the amount you experience by sleeping with your head more elevated than normal. Opt for an extra couple of pillows at night for at least four to six weeks.
Don’t panic if your ears feel numb
Your will almost certainly experience some changes in sensation in your ears after your otoplasty and this is quite normal. The majority of patients find that they feel numb, and this means that you need to be extra careful that they don’t become accidentally injured. For example, you may not notice that your hairdryer is too hot, and this could lead to you burning your ears.
Follow the instructions of your surgical team
Above anything else, make sure that you follow the instructions of your surgical team. They have the training and experience to be able to give you the best possible advice for a smooth and straightforward recovery. If you have any questions or concerns, get in touch with your surgical team as soon as possible.
If you would like more advice on what to expect during the recovery period and how you can make sure that you heal successfully after your otoplasty procedure, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our offices.