Otoplasty is a popular cosmetic procedure that helps patients who are unhappy with the size, shape, or projection of their ears. This surgery, also known as ear pinning, is an outpatient procedure, which means you can go home the same day to start your recovery.
Though ear surgery is a relatively straightforward procedure, it still involves incisions and sutures. Dr. Michael Epstein will reshape cartilage and put in some stitches to give your ears the desired shape and position. As a result, you will need to spend some time at home immediately after the procedure and take some precautions in the following days and weeks.
Part of having realistic expectations for this procedure involves understanding what the recovery period entails. You will need to plan some time off from work and ask a responsible adult to drive you home and help you with specific duties while you heal.
This post will summarize what to look forward to in the hours, days, and weeks after ear surgery.
Immediate Post-Op Period
Our nursing staff will stay with you and monitor your vitals until you wake up from anesthesia. Once you are ready to go, you should ask a friend or family member to drive you home, as you’ll still be too groggy to get behind the wheel. Ideally, the same person will stay with you overnight in case you need assistance.
The First Few Hours After Surgery
When you get home, we recommend getting some rest, which you’ll probably want to do anyway. Make sure to elevate your head with a few extra pillows to control swelling. Do not roll over onto either side to avoid putting pressure on your ears.
Once you have recharged your batteries, we recommend you have something to eat. You may feel a bit nauseous, but this should pass quickly. If it doesn’t, let us know – eating is crucial to recover your energy and battle any side effects from your prescribed medicines. Remember to be diligent with your painkillers and antibiotics.
The Following Weeks
Dr. Epstein will put a compressive bandage over your ears immediately after surgery that usually stays in place for 4-5 days. After the primary dressing is removed a garment will hold your ears in the correct position while they heal, and you should wear it for a full week and then at night for weeks 3 and 4 post-op.
Once this critical period has passed, you can resume your life with few complications. We only ask you to follow all post-surgical instructions to the letter, avoid excessive sun exposure for several months, and do not swim in any body of water for several weeks. Don’t worry too much about this now. During your follow-up visits, you will receive personalized recommendations based on your healing process and surgical results.
Learn More About Ear Pinning Surgery in Chicago
Do you still have some doubts regarding otoplasty recovery time? Please schedule a consultation with Dr. Epstein to have all your questions answered. Otoplasty is a straightforward procedure that helps many patients deal with a longtime cosmetic concern. Visit our Northbrook, IL, office to learn whether it is the right option for you!