What to Expect During Otoplasty Recovery
For various reasons, individuals may find one or both of their ears to cause embarrassment, discomfort, or self-consciousness. Otoplasty, also known as ear surgery, is a cosmetic procedure that can resize, reshape, or reposition prominent ears or irregular ears.
Naturally, as with any cosmetic procedure, the recovery period following otoplasty is something patients have many questions about. The surgery itself is the surgeon’s responsibility. But once you’re home, you’re in charge of making sure things go smoothly throughout the healing process.
So, what can you expect during otoplasty recovery? Let’s explore this critical period of ear surgery and how you can make the most of it for amazing results.
Navigating Your Otoplasty Recovery Time
Following an otoplasty procedure, anticipations of pain and discomfort often worry patients. In truth, however, patients typically experience minimal discomfort and pain. For most patients, the healing process is quick and relatively pain-free. Only rarely do complications occur.
The Otoplasty Recovery Process
Let’s start by taking a look at otoplasty recovery day by day, then we’ll transition to a weekly timeline. Symptoms and side effects are most pronounced directly after surgery, then gradually, you’ll notice improvements as the weeks go on.
Initial 24 Hours
During this time, prioritize rest and hydration. A small dressing and light otoplasty headband may be placed right after surgery. Swelling and some mild soreness are typical.
24 to 72 Hours
Gradually, the swelling will begin to subside, culminating in substantial improvement by the third day.
Three Days to One Week
At this point, patients may often return to work and other light activities. Physically demanding job requirements may necessitate a longer absence.
One to Two Weeks
Most sedentary and light activities can be resumed at this point. Patients should not be experiencing much, if any, discomfort, and scars should be healing well.
By Three Months
At this point, swelling should be nearly, if not entirely, gone. Any bruising or redness should be gone as well, and you should feel comfortable doing all the things you enjoy, including exercise and sports. Of course, every patient is different, so always check with your surgeon first.
Critical Steps for Your Recovery Period
Follow your recovery directions.
Thoroughly embrace the instructions given to you from your plastic surgeon. Maintain open communication, and be sure to address any questions or concerns right away.
Refrain from physically exerting activities (at first).
Be cautious about movement. Increasing your blood pressure from exertion right after surgery can cause recovery complications and may compromise your results.
Your surgeon will provide directions regarding how to sleep. Most otoplasty patients need to sleep on their backs with their heads (head, neck, and shoulders) slightly elevated and propped on the sides by pillows. You want to avoid accidentally rolling to the side, and sleeping at an angle can help reduce swelling.
Keys to a Successful Outcome
Select a qualified surgeon. Working with an experienced board certified facial plastic surgeon who specializes in otoplasty will increase your likelihood of attaining optimal results.
Use effective communication. Be honest and forthright with your surgeon — both before and after otoplasty. You want to honestly express your goals and desires before surgery and express any concerns or worries as soon as possible if they arrive after surgery.
Rest and relaxation after surgery. Although otoplasty is not as invasive or intense as breast augmentation or even liposuction, it is still a major surgery. As such, you must make sure you are taking it easy, getting plenty of rest, and eating a healthy diet while you are recovering.
FAQ: Ototplasty Recovery Process
Will I have an otoplasty scar after surgery?
Like any other invasive cosmetic procedure, cosmetic ear surgery requires incisions. And this means scarring. Fortunately, otoplasty surgery doesn’t require large incisions, and your surgeon will do everything possible to hide the incisions and minimize their appearance.
How much does otoplasty cost?
There are many variations of otoplasty, and it is a major surgery that requires detailed planning and the expertise of an experienced surgeon. Therefore, there is no one-size-fits-all cost of otoplasty. It’s best to book a consultation appointment with a qualified plastic surgeon to determine how much you’ll need to pay for this surgery.
Will insurance pay for ear pinning?
Not usually. Ear pinning and other types of otoplasty surgery are often considered cosmetic and, therefore, elective. This means that health insurance will not pay for them.
How do you sleep after otoplasty?
Always consult with your surgeon for their exact instructions. Generally speaking, otoplasty patients should sleep on their backs with their head elevated slightly. Prop yourself up with pillows, and be sure to secure some of them gently near your ears to keep your head from accidentally rolling to the side.
This is the typical sleeping protocol after ear surgery for the first few weeks of recovery. Having your head elevated helps to minimize swelling.
Is otoplasty recovery painful?
It’s important to follow your surgeon’s instructions for a successful recovery after otoplasty and minimal discomfort. Fortunately, as recovery processes go, most patients do not experience much pain after surgery. For a few days, you may have some soreness, but over the first few weeks, this should dissipate.
Contact your surgeon or a doctor immediately if you experience severe pain or pain that does not go away.
Set Up a Consultation Appointment
Understanding the recovery process after otoplasty is key to getting the results you’re after. If you would like to learn more about otoplasty recovery or schedule a consultation to discuss your candidacy for ear surgery with board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Smita Ramanadham, give us a call today.