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What to Expect From an Otoplasty Recovery

Kelowna plastic surgeon

Learn key facts about recovering from ear surgery from our Kelowna plastic surgery team.


An otoplasty is a procedure that can reshape or reposition large or prominent ears and there are several reasons why patients opt for this surgery: 

  • Overdevelopment of the cartilage - If the ear has too much cartilage, the ears may stick out or protrude.
  • Underdevelopment of the cartilage - If the cartilage of the ear is underdeveloped, it can result in an ear that is too close to the head.
  • Injury - A traumatic injury to the ear can result in an altered ear shape.
  • Other congenital factors - Some individuals are born with a condition that affects the shape of their ear.

WHY CONSIDER OTOPLASTIES   OTOPLASTY BEFORE AND AFTERS

Types of Otoplasty Procedures

  • Ear augmentation - In this procedure, smaller areas of the ear are augmented
  • Otopexy - Also called a “pinback” procedure, this operation flattens protruding ears.
  • Ear reduction - When the ear is too big, a surgeon may reduce it.

 

What To Expect After An Otoplasty

Knowing what to expect after otoplasty in terms of immediate aftercare, as well as the overall recovery period, can help patients determine whether it's the right procedure from them.

Immediately After Your Surgery

  • After the surgery, the patient will most likely be wearing “fluff” bandages for healing.
    • After a few days, the can remove them, and switch to progressively lighter bandages.
  • During recovery, most patients must also wear a headband in order to hold their ears in the proper position. This headband may be worn day and night, and later, only at night.

The plastic surgeon will inform the patient about:

  • wound care
  • pain management
  • instructions for prescription medication
  • any side effects such as nausea or lack of appetite
  • which over-the-counter medications to take

 

Recovery  Period FAQ

When Will The Swelling And Bruising From An Otoplasty Subside?

Full recovery can take up to 6 weeks, but patients usually begin to notice a gradual improvement over the course of 2 or 3 weeks. At this point, a significant portion of the swelling will subside, and the rest will diminish between weeks 5 and 6.

 

How Visible Will Otoplasty Scars Be After Surgery?

Otoplasty scars are positioned at the back of the ear, where the ear meets the head. Because of this, once the area begins to heal, these scars are very discreet in most patients. However, like all procedures, it does have the risk of creating keloid scars. Patients who are prone to abnormal or keloid scarring should discuss this with their doctor.

 

When Can I Return To Work After An Otoplasty?

Most patients with jobs that have a low risk of anything hitting or tugging the ear can return to work after approximately one week. However, some cases may take longer. For example:

  • If a patient is on narcotic pain medication, they may take more time off.
  • For some patients with short hair, even if the risk of ear damage is low, they will take up to two weeks off due to the appearance of bruising and swelling.

 

When Can I Resume Normal Activity?

It is best to relax for the first 7-10 days and to avoid strenuous physical activity for approximately 3 weeks.

Dr. Peterson can provide patients with a guide to increase their activity back to a normal level.

Your physician might advise you to avoid certain contact sports that could harm your ears for a longer period of time. For example, staying away from contact sports for 3 -6 months helps reduce the risk of injury or damage to your new ears.

 

Contact Us

Want to learn more about Otoplasty? Get in touch with our clinic by calling 250-868-9099 or reach us through our online contact form.


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